I was honored to ‘show up’ in St. Louis, MO today for the official unveiling of the City of St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment, which was the vision of my friend and fellow HOPE board member Hon. Tishaura Jones, the City Treasurer in St. Louis.
Soon, this new City Office will feature the second HOPE Inside location serving greater St. Louis. The first HOPE Inside St. Louis serves the Jennings/Ferguson area and is with Regions Bank.
The partners and sponsors for this coming City sponsored HOPE Inside location include longtime HOPE partners Wells Fargo, BMO Harris Bank, and new partners such as Ameren UE, Eagle Bank, Midwest BankCentre, People’s Community Action Corporation, Scottrade Bank and of course, the City of St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office, which is using parts of its parking meter fund to pay for the new Office.
When I was a Presidential Appointee for George W. Bush, the President signed an Executive Order (encouraged by the work of Operation HOPE on the ground in low wealth communities across the nation) which — for the first time in U.S. history — made financial literacy the official policy of the U.S. federal government.
Later, I was honored to also serve President Barack Obama on his Councils — both the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and the follow up Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. In both cases, we helped to stand up what was called ‘Local Financial Literacy Councils.’
I later found out that it was City Treasurer Jones, working on behalf of the entire City and during the Obama Administration, which both made the original commitment to launch a Local Financial Literacy Council in and for St. Louis, and now — is the first Local Council that took real action; creating this first ever City of St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment.
In short — this is a big deal. You can find the complete Flickr album from the event.
John Hope Bryant