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By Sonia Rahm, Citi Community Capital October 27, 2016 11:00 AM
In Los Angeles, city officials, non-profit organizations and Citi recently gathered for the groundbreaking of a large-scale affordable housing project, underscoring the tremendous need for affordable housing in the second largest city in the U.S.
The new development, Mosaic Gardens at Westlake, will include two adjacent buildings composed of 125 units of affordable housing with 63 of the units reserved for formerly homeless individuals and 62 for working families and seniors. Each building will have its own laundry, community room, roof deck, an onsite gym and a central courtyard connecting the two buildings.
In continued support of the growth and development of Los Angeles, Citi is acting as an investor and lender for the Mosaic Gardens project, collectively providing $40.6 million in construction and permanent loans while acting as the project’s sponsor bank with a $1.2 million affordable housing project loan. Developed by LINC Housing, a non-profit affordable housing developer, Mosaic Gardens is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification and scheduled to be completed next December.
October 18, 2016 02:00 PM
By Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40, Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi
This week in Quito, Ecuador, international leaders have gathered in support of the New Urban Agenda, which lays the groundwork for improving the lives of more than half of the world’s population. Habitat III follows the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 and the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015, marking the logical next step to set the world on a pathway towards more inclusive, sustainable, and thriving cities.
Mayors are key actors in delivering the local action necessary to achieve the targets set in Paris and deliver the New Urban Agenda. Yet, as was highlighted by yesterday’s launch of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Call for Action on Municipal Infrastructure Finance, mayors face many challenges in delivering sustainable urban development, particularly acute financing challenges. In an environment of constrained municipal budgets, we need to unlock additional funding and finance to deliver sustainable services to the growing urban population.
That’s why C40, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and the Citi Foundation have joined other sustainable urban finance leaders at Habitat III in Quito to emphasize the critical role of finance in delivering a truly sustainable future. It is time to focus on how local and national governments, financial institutions, and the private sector can work together to mobilize the trillions of dollars of investment needed to turn ambition into action.
From Comic Book Heroes to Cracked Phone Screens - Young Entrepreneurs Have their Sights Set on Success
October 12, 2016 12:30 PM
“We’re just 8th graders!” This disclaimer from youth entrepreneurs Anna Doherty and Hope Sacco sent waves of laughter around the auditorium. The duo might have been only in the 8th grade, but under bright lights, in front of a giant screen and an eager audience, their business pitch at the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (presented by the Citi Foundation) made it clear to hundreds of attendees that the business partners were serious about taking their success to the next level. The Baltimore-based co-founders of Girls Coloring for Change, a coloring book featuring illustrations of inspiring women, wowed guest judges, including returning judge David Chubak, Citi’s Head of Productivity. Their passion for empowering young girls, compelling team dynamic, and early business success in bookstores helped score them points. The pair ultimately walked away with the $25,000 grand prize package, which included a college scholarship and resources to help their business grow.
By Leigh Phillips, Chief Executive, EARN October 05, 2016 01:00 PM
Saving money is an act of hope – and pragmatism– for tomorrow.
Saving money means planning for the best, while being prepared for the worst.
Too many families in America, however, when considering whether to buy a home or save for a child’s college education, lack access to the right tools and support to start saving, build a financial buffer against the unexpected, and invest in the future.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, approximately one of every two American households are considered “financially fragile,” a status defined by being unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt.
EARN -- a national nonprofit helping working families achieve prosperity through savings – is working to address that widespread challenge by connecting low-income families with savings solutions. Our clients are 90% people of color, 76% women, and earn on average $21,000 a year.
Over the past 15 years, our programs have helped more than 6,500 low-income families in California save $7 million of their own money. As we plan for the next 15 years, we have our sights set higher. EARN is pioneering a new approach to savings that leverages technology to provide a range of flexible solutions. Citi’s support has been critical – and will continue to be — to achieve these results.
By Jean Horstman, Chief Executive, Interise September 20, 2016 12:30 PM
Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers. That’s why when small businesses thrive, our economy and communities thrive.
Yet 96 percent of small businesses fail in the first 10 years of operation.
We need to resolve this shortfall to create more jobs, strengthen cities’ local economies, and create more diversity among successful business owners.
That’s why Interise developed the StreetWise ‘MBA'™, an intensive, hands-on, 13-week mini MBA program to help small business owners with demonstrated potential survive that hazardous and critical start-up phase. CEOs who have themselves achieved early business growth and are motivated to build their own business skills and their network of peer entrepreneurs act as advisors to the program and its participants.
StreetWise ‘MBA'™ entrepreneurs graduate with a three-year strategic growth action plan and the tools, peer and professional networks needed to implement it. In addition, after completing the program small business owners find themselves far better equipped to successfully bid on contracts with government and anchor institutions.
By Eileen Auld, New York Tri-State Market Manager, Citi Community Development September 14, 2016 10:00 AM
About two years ago, Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development, and I met with Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, to discuss an innovative idea to advance financial inclusion in America’s cities: Cities for Citizenship.
At the time, we were collaborating on a New York-focused program that connected eligible immigrants to naturalization resources through their public-school aged children. But we wanted to think even more broadly, because the stakes across the country are high.
There are almost 9 million immigrants eligible to naturalize today, more than half of whom are living on low incomes. But due to financial, legal and language barriers, they have not become citizens. Their situation is limiting economic opportunities not just for them but for their families and the cities where they live. Foreign-born residents who naturalize see up to an eleven percent boost in personal incomes due to access to better jobs, social benefits and educational opportunities. Naturalized citizens are also over four times more likely to have a bank account than non-citizens, providing them with financial security and the ability to more fully participate in the economy. The U.S. is missing out on billions of dollars in tax revenues and earnings due to this naturalization gap. For example, if all eligible immigrants naturalized in Los Angeles, tax revenues would increase by $364 million dollars.
By Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi September 13, 2016 05:00 PM
Service has the potential to transform communities and bring people from all walks of life together through a common purpose and a shared goal. This weekend, I saw that potential activated when a new class of ServiceWorks AmeriCorps VISTAs began their work in support of the economic progress of young people as the country remembered those we lost 15 years ago on September 11.
On Saturday, September 10 in New York City, Citi joined volunteer service champion General Stanley McChrystal to help kick off another year of ServiceWorks as part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative. General McChrystal administered the pledge of service to 72 ServiceWorks AmeriCorps VISTAs at the National Opportunity Summit, a convening focused on expanding economic opportunities for youth with an emphasis on making civic engagement opportunities more accessible.
ServiceWorks AmeriCorps VISTAs receive the pledge of service from General (Ret) Stanley McChrystal at Opportunity Nation’s National Opportunity Summit.
The VISTAs will dedicate one year of their lives to service by teaching young people across the nation the crucial workplace and leadership skills necessary to compete in this economy, while also working to connect them to their communities through service projects that address pressing issues, from homelessness and hunger to violence and bullying. Since launching ServiceWorks in 2014, 7,500 young people across the United States have been impacted by the program. Additionally, Citi employee volunteers have also supported ServiceWorks in a variety of roles, from participating in youth-led, AmeriCorps-VISTA-supervised service projects to more intensive mentoring and skills training sessions with youth participants.
By Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, Citi August 26, 2016 01:00 PM
Citi brought the excitement of Rio to life in NYC at Pier 26 (right across from our Global Headquarters at 388 Greenwich Street), with a free public event from August 5 -11. This event marked the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games with the lighting of our own Olympic Cauldron by Head of Global Public Affairs Ed Skyler (pictured left). Team USA fans and Citi colleagues gathered along Hudson River Park for an opportunity to experience and share Olympic spirit with Brazilian cuisine and culture, creating their own Rio on the Hudson.
By Candi Wolff, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Government Affairs, Citi August 19, 2016 03:00 PM
Today, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray announced the appointment of Will Howle, Citi President of U.S. Retail Banking, to the CFPB Consumer Advisory Board, a panel of consumer experts and industry leaders created to advise CFPB leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends.
By Kristin Solheim, Director, Global Government Affairs, Citi August 18, 2016 11:00 AM
In the midst of the thrilling tennis action on display at the 2016 Citi Open in Washington, D.C. this year, Citi hosted an exciting new event to benefit the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), the tournament’s non-profit owner and beneficiary.
Citi is proud to be the title sponsor of the Citi Open, which has provided Citi with a unique opportunity to give back to Washington, D.C. community for the last five years. We are proud to partner with the WTEF, an incredible organization that supports the DC community and has worked to improve the lives of underserved children in the nation’s capital through athletic and academic enrichment for more than 60 years.