Like many of you, we at Community Vision have been profoundly affected by the results of the recent national elections. As our organization’s spokesperson, it is typically my task to share our thoughts with our clients, investors, and industry colleagues when something truly significant occurs in the world.
Without a doubt, this is one of those times. My colleagues and I have deep concerns about the implications of many of the new administration‘s plans. Repeal of universal health care, rollbacks of key financial system safeguards, and threats to immigrants, LGBT folks, women, Muslims, and people of color – these are frightening developments that are raising our concerns daily.
Of course, as a financial institution focused on fighting poverty and creating new opportunities for low-income people, Community Vision has a very clear view of the implications of these changes on the financial well-being of people in low-income communities. We believe these changes will have disastrous effects on people’s lives. Accordingly, while we have always been nonpartisan and expect to remain so, our knowledge of the needs of low-income communities brings with it a responsibility to speak out in support of social and economic justice when we can to inform the public debate.
All of us here at Community Vision deeply appreciate the messages of hope and solidarity we’ve been receiving from our community partners across the country. They are a welcome and reassuring reminder of the strength and commitment of the network of fellow CDFIs, community development practitioners, and advocates for social justice to which we are fortunate enough to belong. We are grateful to our industry colleagues, and look forward to joining with them as well as our clients as coalitions begin forming to protect the civil rights and human services under threat as the new administration rolls out its plans.
I also want to extend a message to all of our clients and community partners whose work is likely to be affected. First and foremost, to our current and prospective clients – we’ve got your back and we stand in solidarity with you. As a CDFI focused on nonprofits, we want you to know that you are our first priority. We stand ready to help and advocate for you. If you find yourselves needing financial advice or support, don’t hesitate – reach out to us.
To our CDFI colleagues in the field — we are committed to working with you to protect the important industry we have built together. Please reach out to us as we will to you, so we can make sure the entire country knows how essential we are to the thousands of low-income communities we serve.
And to our investors and donors – thank you! This is not a time to retrench, but rather to stand together. The more that concerned citizens speak up for social justice – with their voices as well as resources – the more power we can have as a community coming together in support of justice and equity. As CDFI practitioners and investors, we have a unique and powerful position from which to inform the debate and take well-considered action. I am convinced that in the days ahead our perspective will have a tremendous positive impact – as long as we continue to work together.
And if you feel moved to support our efforts, we would appreciate your year-end contribution today.
Mary A. Rogier