Those of us in public service hear from and understand very well our neighbors and friends frustrated and fearful over the deepening economic crisis America faces. Banks and other lending institutions are struggling; corporate America finds itself in many cases on uncertain ground and the news from Wall Street can be frightening for anyone trying to save or invest money.
It behooves us, therefore, to bring together community partners who can make a real difference for our citizens by offering simple, practical solutions and advice for those in our city who are looking for answers.
Most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most households do not have enough emergency savings for unplanned expenses. Local leadership is key to providing what we feel is necessary encouragement and support to help us become a community of savers.
My friends and colleagues at the United States Conference of Mayors' National DollarWi$e Campaign and the Consumer Federation of America's America Saves campaign are teaming up with Akron to launch a new effort: the Savings Communities initiative.
In place will be a team of local employers, financial institutions, nonprofits, and others emphasizing a message of personal savings and providing pragmatic opportunities to help people save money.
We encourage you to join in this effort. Learn as much as you can to help yourself and your family. Join us in the Savings Communities program. And keep watching this web site for new and important information.
DONALD L. PLUSQUELLIC
PROMOTING WEALTH-BUILDING IN YOUR COMMUNITY
The personal savings rate is near zero, most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures like a car repair. But with more societal encouragement and support, Americans can be persuaded to build wealth, not debt.
Local leadership is key to providing that encouragement and support, which is why The United States Conference of Mayors' National DollarWi$e Campaign and the Consumer Federation of America's America Saves campaign are teaming up with cities across the nation to launch a brand new effort: the Savings Communities initiative.
The centerpiece of the initiative is a coalition of local employers, financial institutions, nonprofits, and others that promote a message of personal savings and provide concrete opportunities to help people save. For a bank or credit union, that could mean offering and promoting a no-fee savings account. An employer could work to boost participation in a workplace retirement program. A nonprofit could offer financial counseling or education.
Together, members of the coalition work toward a community-wide savings goal, progress towards which will be tracked and publicized. Through this effort, we hope to turn the tide and improve savings behavior in communities across the country.
What a savings community will do
NOVEMBER 2008-JANUARY 2009
A joint initiative of