Results tagged as
By Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County, Florida April 12, 2016 09:00 AM
Nearly one out of every five people who live in Miami-Dade County is an immigrant eligible for citizenship; but because of real and perceived legal, financial and informational hurdles, these individuals are missing out on the potential for higher earnings and access to vital resources for education and retirement.
That’s nearly half a million people -- greater than the entire population of the City of Atlanta.
Increasing immigrant integration in our county for those who are eligible will benefit families, their businesses, and both our local and national economies. Studies show that residents who naturalize see an average increase in earnings of between eight and eleven percent. If just half of all eligible residents became citizens, that could translate into a $3.2 billion boost in total earnings for Miami Dade residents. We also know that becoming a citizen opens up pathways for immigrants to stabilize their household finances and to build a stronger financial identity alongside their new national identity.
April 06, 2016 12:00 PM
Young people around the world need better economic opportunities, and increasingly the economic competitiveness of cities depends on their success. At the Citi Foundation, we work to inspire young people to believe in themselves and in their futures. That’s why, two years ago, we launched Pathways to Progress with a three-year commitment to invest $50 million to reach 100,000 low-income youth in ten cities across the U.S.
Through programs that cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, instill leadership skills through debate and participation in service projects, provide a first job, and create networks of professional and personal support through mentor relationships, Pathways to Progress has connected tens of thousands of young people to opportunities that are shaping their progress and improving their economic futures. Today, we’re well on our way to meeting and exceeding our original goal, having reached over 70,000 young people.
By Steven Avadek, Director and Global Head, Citi Realty Services March 30, 2016 04:00 PM
Vashi Branch, Mumbai, India
For the ninth year in a row, Citi has engaged in Earth Hour campaign efforts encouraging Citi facilities to go 'dark' on March 19th between 8:30PM and 9:30 PM local time. Every year, Citi Realty Services coordinates with Citi sites across the globe to participate in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights in office facilities and branches around the world. This year, Citi sites in South Africa, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, The UAE, The UK and US were among the over 3,181 Citi locations in 1,120 cities in 94 countries that switched off their lights during Earth Hour.
Citi first joined the Earth Hour event in 2008 with more than 50 registered locations, and has continued over the years to add more sites to support the campaign around the world. Sustainability is a key priority at Citi and I’m proud of the level of employee engagement around our sustainability initiatives. This year Citi came together more than ever before surpassing last year’s total sites ‘going dark’ and exceeding a participation rate of over 67 percent. Employee participation is critical to the success of any sustainability program and our colleagues continue to demonstrate their commitment to the importance of our sustainability initiatives.
Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera: Building more financially inclusive cities for Mexican Immigrants
By Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Consul General of Mexico in New York March 28, 2016 02:00 PM
Maria De Los Angeles Baez Rivera, a Mexican immigrant living in Queens, was in a very difficult place in October of 2014. Facing extreme financial hardship, she did not have a permanent home, and was constantly moving from place to place. She did not have a bank account, could not afford a mobile phone, and lacked the basic resources and stability necessary to obtain full-time employment.
There are roughly 320,000 Mexican immigrants in New York City—a community roughly the size of Pittsburgh—many of whom are struggling with similar situations as Maria. In order to better understand the financial needs of this community, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and Citi Community Development published the Immigrant Financial Services Study in April 2013. The study revealed that more than half of Mexican immigrants in New York City do not have a bank account because of perceived or structural obstacles to engaging with financial institutions—obstacles which are often rooted in language, cultural or informational barriers to trust.
Mexican immigrants, like immigrants from many other countries, often have limited experiences with financial institutions in their new home. They worry about hidden fees, the security of their deposits or that authorities might take away their money. They are unfamiliar with tax benefits and are at times skeptical of programs that offer help.
By Pramit Jhaveri, Citi Country Officer, India March 23, 2016 09:30 AM
In January, Citi’s Club House Road facility in Chennai, India, became the very first Citi Realty Services (CRS) managed location globally to install solar photovoltaic panels. These clean energy generating units were installed on the rooftop of Citi’s office and are expected to generate a minimum of 60,000 kWh annually, generating around 3 percent of the building’s annual electricity consumption as well as avoiding over 55 tons of carbon dioxide being released per year - a significant contribution towards conservation.
By Kristen Scheyder, Senior Program Officer, Citi Foundation, and Steven Bosacker, Director of Public Sector Innovation, Living Cities March 17, 2016 11:45 AM
They want to fortify, scale, and sustain. From seawalls to stairs, streetlights to stormwater, Pittsburgh, Saint Paul, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. are setting ambitious targets as they join the City Accelerator’s Infrastructure Finance cohort.
In December 2015, the Citi Foundation and Living Cities invited approximately 40 of the nation’s largest cities for an opportunity to explore a new set of financing options to help address the funding gaps for high priority capital projects. Chiefs of staff and senior policy advisors to mayors, who form the Project on Municipal Innovation, submitted data-rich presentations in their applications to the City Accelerator. The desire for cities to build, maintain, and repair infrastructure that protects the future and the past was palpable and the need to fund projects differently is urgent.
Acknowledging their budget constraints, limited means of additional revenue creation, and other challenges, the four cities selected for the Infrastructure Finance cohort are representative of cities throughout the country. Municipal leaders are searching for immediate and multi-generational strategies -- that is, ways the significant investment of previous centuries can be preserved and upgraded to make their cities thriving 21st century urban markets. Most of all, local governmental leaders want to increase equity by managing public assets and dollars more effectively so that low-income residents are beneficiaries of the built environment.
By Andrea Jung, President and CEO, Grameen America March 11, 2016 02:45 PM
Left to Right: Andrea Jung, President and CEO; Grameen America, Bob Annibale, Citi Community Development; and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman & Founder of Grameen Bank and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
Eight years ago, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus had a vision to bring his award-winning micro-lending model to the United States. As the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Professor Yunus was internationally acclaimed for demonstrating that lending small amounts of money to underserved women would provide them with the economic opportunity they needed to start businesses and escape the grips of poverty.
To get the program off the ground in the U.S., Grameen America approached Citi as a thought partner, tapping into the firm’s expertise and international experience in microfinance. In 2008, with Citi’s support, Grameen America opened its first branch in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Grameen America alleviates poverty for low-income women by providing them with small-dollar loans to support the creation of micro-enterprises, working in groups of five. For our members – more than 90% of whom are self-employed minorities living in underserved neighborhoods – a critical element of building and safeguarding capital is access to high-quality banking products and services. In addition to receiving support from Citi for our operations, we work closely with the bank to provide our members with savings accounts for which fees are waived.
By Ben Hecht, President and CEO, Living Cities and Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi February 17, 2016 02:00 PM
The unfolding water contamination issue in Flint, Michigan, which led to the declaration of a federal emergency, is the latest example of the challenges that many of our nation’s cities face when it comes to the deterioration of aging infrastructure. From transportation and stormwater to broadband and energy efficiency, cities are juggling limited resources to build and maintain vital capital assets to meet even the most basic needs of residents, especially in low-income communities. It is estimated that the growing demand for infrastructure improvements totals more than $60 trillion globally. Increasingly, cities and states are being required to cover these costs on their own, requiring enormous coordination and new financing mechanisms to address this large and growing funding gap.
This redirection of funds can take a toll on a city’s most vulnerable populations, diverting scarce resources from other critical services. Cities must develop a capacity to smartly resource their infrastructure priorities, so they can better equip themselves to tackle issues like poverty, education and job creation, and have more funding at their disposal to do so.
In the recently released 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, local leaders noted that they are receiving reduced levels of funding and support at the federal level, and are as a result being increasingly forced to take this daunting challenge into their own hands. That’s why Living Cities and the Citi Foundation have designed the third cohort of City Accelerator—an initiative that’s helping 11 select U.S. cities foster innovation and collaboration between urban leaders—to test, innovate and codify new ways of building, repairing and maintaining much needed infrastructure.
By David Chubak, Head of Productivity, Citi December 18, 2015 11:30 AM
The FinTech Transformation
In the past year, I have had the privilege to work closely with leaders across Citi to introduce new ways of enabling progress by accelerating innovation that influences the way we work, live, bank, and serve our clients and communities. I traveled across multiple regions with Citi business heads, learning from external innovators, and collaborating with a growing FinTech population around how we can deliver a more “remarkable” client and employee experience. It has been inspiring to meet thought leaders across industries to discuss the future of banking and how we at Citi can bring the benefits of the FinTech transformation to our global network – and how we manage our internal processes. After all, a remarkable client experience begins at home, with our employees.
By Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi December 10, 2015 03:15 PM
I consider myself fortunate to do what I do: crafting and executing the Citi Foundation’s philanthropic strategy to support the economic needs of low-income communities. I get to look out and see how we can help make our cities better and more inclusive. This requires having a clear view of the economic and societal problems we face and, equally as important, an understanding of the psychological toll those problems have on families and communities.
In both professional and personal conversations, I’ve noticed that many parents are no longer confident in a brighter future for their children. That’s not just my observation. In a recent NBC News online poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans said that today's children in the United States will grow up to be worse off than they are.
How can that be, when the economy is showing concrete signs of rebounding? What’s so different today verses prior economic downturns that our belief in the American dream, once unwavering, is at risk?