Maurice A. Jones testified before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress this week, urging its members to implement Opportunity Zones in ways that will truly benefit Americans in underinvested communities. The policy can spur billions in private investment in the country’s most distressed census tracts and play a major role in closing the opportunity gap, he said. But we need federal tax incentives and other strategies to help the program succeed.
In an op-ed for Yahoo! Finance, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones hit home the value of financial literacy as an essential skill on the path to financial wellbeing for all Americans—and to a healthy U.S. economy. Thinking back to his own childhood and the lessons in money management he absorbed working on his family’s farm, Jones calls for the public and private sectors to join forces and connect underserved youth to the kind of financial education that can make the American Dream a reality.
Winter may be hanging on longer than expected (in some parts of the country), but at LISC, the month of March has blossomed like never before. In the last three weeks, we raised $68 million—from longstanding donors such as State Farm and Wells Fargo, through new partnerships with ProMedica, Union Pacific and the San Francisco Foundation, and with expanded public resources from the CDFI Fund and the city of Washington, DC. We’ll invest it. We’ll leverage it. We’ll use it to lift up underinvested neighborhoods and develop the skills of talented people in our neighborhoods. There’s still much to do to foster economic opportunity in our communities and we are grateful for this support, which helps us do the job. What a month it’s been. And we've still got a week to go!
LISC and State Farm expanded their long-time partnership this week with new funding to boost economic opportunities in 11 cities. "Millions of people are looking for opportunities to earn higher wages and build stronger futures for their families,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO. "Our partnership with State Farm is vital to advancing this important work.”
At a time when data plays a more important role than ever in guiding our work—and telling our stories, a distinguished researcher will lead LISC in evaluating the strength of our investments to link people with opportunity.