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Business for Democracy and ASBC Lead Effort to Overturn Citizens United v. FEC

The Business for Democracy Campaign, which the American Sustainable Business Council is spearheading in partnership with Free Speech for People is tackling the compelling issue of corporate contributions to political campaigns.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision on January 21, 2010 allows corporations to spend unlimited funds to support or oppose candidates for political office, overturning campaign finance laws in place for decades. The Business for Democracy campaign is an initiative of business leaders and their companies who believe this ruling is in direct conflict with American democratic principles and a serious threat to good government. The campaign supports the four members of the Supreme Court and the 80 percent of Americans who disagree with the decision (Washington Post poll, Feb. 17, 2010).

If you'd like your business to join this effort, you can sign the statement of support here or here.

Community Development Banking e-newsletter, Aug. 14, 2008

In This Issue:
* Capital Magnet Fund is Passed
* CDFI Fund Updates: FY 2009 NOFA, Certification deadlines, Certification Conf. Calls
* FY 2009 Appropriation Update
* 2009 CDFI Institute – Save the Date
* 2008 Annual Development Banking Conference
* OFN Conference

Capital Magnet Fund is Passed

On July 30th, President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (H.R. 3221), which is intended to stabilize financial markets and the housing sector. Included in H.R. 3221 is the Capital Magnet Fund. This is a landmark piece of legislation that creates a permanent trust fund for CDFI Fund certified CDFIs and nonprofit organizations having as one of its principal purposes the development or management of affordable housing. The Capital Magnet Fund will receive annual allocation from GSEs that is estimated to be $218 million when fully funded in 2012. For more details on the Capital Magnet Fund you can click here or read the text of H.R. 3221 (Section 1339) .

The CDFI Coalition would like to gratefully thank Opportunity Finance Network and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) for their outstanding initiative and leadership in developing and promoting the Capital Magnet Fund. Their foresight and determination has created the most important federal resource for CDFIs since the creation of the CDFI Fund.

H.R. 3221 also includes several major pieces of legislation aimed at stabilizing the housing market: including new authority for the Treasury Department to buy stock and extend credit to Fannie and Freddie; a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie; an overhaul of the Federal Housing Administration; an agency that insures mortgages; an FHA-led program to help borrowers refinance mortgages; and $15.1 billion in tax breaks.

H.R. 3221 also increases the limit on public welfare investments, commonly known as Part 24 investments, from 10 to 15 percent for a national or state member bank’s capital and surplus. Also, it narrows the scope to only include low-and-moderate-income communities. This provision restores the types of investments in affordable housing and community and economic development that were previously eligible. It also provides parallel authority for thrifts.
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CDFI Fund Updates: FY 2009 NOFA, Certification deadlines, Certification Conf. Calls

The CDFI Fund recently announced the FY 2009 Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) for the CDFI Program. This NOFA makes up to $54 million in funds available to CDFIs. The deadline for the FY 2009 round of funding is Oct. 31, 2008. For more information read the CDFI Fund’s press release here.

The CDFI Fund also recently announced the deadlines for certification to apply for FY 2009 funding. These deadlines include:
(1) Organizations that are not Certified CDFIs and that intend to apply for Financial Assistance in the FY 2009 CDFI Program funding round must submit a CDFI Certification Application by 5:00pm EST Wednesday, October 1, 2008;
(2) Organizations that are Certified CDFIs and that intend to apply for Financial Assistance in the FY 2009 CDFI Program funding round must submit a Certification of Material Events form by 5:00pm EST Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

For more information read the CDFI Fund press release here.

The CDFI Fund will also be conducting a series of conference calls regarding CDFI Certification. These calls will serve as a forum for potential certification applicants to ask questions of CDFI Fund staff about becoming a certified CDFI. For information on when they call will be held, click here.
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FY 2009 Appropriation Update

Both the House and Senate Appropriations committees passed their recommendations for the FY 2009 appropriations for the CDFI Fund. The House committee approved an appropriation of $105 million, while the Senate committee approved an appropriation of $100 million. Both appropriations are significantly more than the President’s recommendation of $29 million for the CDFI Fund and higher than last years appropriation of $94 million. For more information about the House’s bill click here . For more information about the Senate’s bill click here.
For a more detailed summary of the FY 2009 appropriation click here.
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2009 CDFI Institute – Save the Date

SAVE THE DATE for the 2009 CDFI Institute, March 1-3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The 2009 CDFI Institute will be held at the Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel. The 2009 policy conference will feature candid dialogue with community development finance experts about issues facing the field. Also included are opportunities to meet with Congressional Leaders, the CDFI Fund, and to interact with your CDFI colleagues from around the country. Mark your calendars and join us, your colleagues, a new Administration and new Congress in March 2009. For more information about the Institute click here.

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2008 Annual Development Banking Conference

The National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) invites you to join us again this year to listen in, share experiences and contribute to the future of the community development finance industry. As always, the NCIF Conference is focused on providing Actionable Strategies for Community Development Banks and Credit Unions that can be replicated to improve financial performance and enhance development impact. We are honored to have the Honorable Donna Gambrell, Director of the CDFI Fund, as a keynote speaker for this year’s event.
The Conference will be held in Chicago on November 6th & 7th, 2008. For more information, and to register for the event, please click here.
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Opportunity Finance Network Conference

The 2008 Opportunity Finance Network Conference will be held on December 9-12, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 2008 Opportunity Finance Network Conference offers excellent learning and networking opportunities for CDFIs and opportunity finance staff, management, and board members; bankers and regulators; foundation staff and religious investors; investment managers; and anyone interested in knowing more about the opportunity finance industry. For more information on this conference click here.

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