Our Agenda for Family Financial Security in Oakland and Alameda County
Provide Comprehensive and Integrated Services: Co-locating multiple income and asset development services, robust client referral networks, creating wraparound services, etc. are proving to be effective approaches to addressing the complex and changing nature of households’ financial coaching and service needs.
Encourage Financial Capability at All Ages: While financial capability is important across all stages of life, ensuring that young people and others entering into the workforce have financial skills, knowledge, and access to fair financial products is particularly critical to supporting a lifetime of financial well-being.
Expand Protection and Uptake of Working Family Tax Credits: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) play an important role in reducing poverty, particularly among families with young children. For now, the EITC and the CTC are protected in the federal budget, but statewide and nationally, turning the tax code right side up is imperative to addressing wealth inequality.
Protect Consumers from Predatory Practices: Undergirding all strategies for economic security must be sound public policy and forceful legal advocacy to both undermine predatory practices and provide consumers with good information and legal representation to protect themselves. Unscrupulous foreclosures, unlawful debt collection practices, and unjust court fines and fees can compound already stressful situations for families.
Increase Sustainable Wage Employment: We must ensure that working people in Oakland and Alameda County have access to jobs that pay sustainable wages both by increasing the quality of jobs and by creating pathways that enable residents to prepare for and connect to those jobs.
Preserve and Increase Healthy, Affordable Housing: Affordable housing is a cornerstone of financial security. We need to pursue strategies such as inclusionary zoning, expanding protections for renters, strengthening code enforcement to ensure that housing is healthful, and permanently removing land from the speculative market through community land trusts.
Provide Pathways for Entrepreneurs: As the Oakland economy grows we must create opportunities for small businesses to start up, expand, and thrive. We must prepare and support entrepreneurs to create good jobs, find safe loan and credit products, and make sound financial decisions. Much like individual consumers, entrepreneurs also need to build their financial capability, especially in an expanding market like Oakland.
Links to Policy & Systems Resources:
Advocacy campaigns we’ve supported:
- Elimination of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) service fees
- Stronger rules to protect consumers from bad prepaid cards.