The Asset Building Program launched the Bipartisan Asset Policy Forum, in association with Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), Assembly Members Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), Ted Gaines (R-Roseville), Ted Lieu (D-Carson), Roger Niello (R-Sacramento), Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles), and Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), in 2007.
The forum includes a monthly educational luncheon speaker series that focuses on the challenges that low- and moderate-income California families face in building savings and assets for education, retirement, homeownership, entrepreneurship, and security against economic crises. It provides an opportunity for legislators, their staff, advocates, and leading outside experts to come together and discuss - in a non-partisan, forward-looking manner - recent research findings, policy options, and potential legislative opportunities to advance the goal of expanding asset building.
After more than two years, the program took the Forum on the road in 2009, bringing unique and valuable conversations about asset policy to Los Angeles and San Diego.
Click here for a comprehensive list of all events we host or co-sponsor, and to learn about the important issues they address.
Community organizations, members, and advocates gathered in San Diego to hear a diverse panel of women share research and best practices in a collaborative setting.
Too many Angelenos lack a bank account - a basic financial tool. Without one they pay more to cash paychecks, pay bills, and lack a way to build credit and even a safe place to keep their money. Experts shared the latest research on financial services and the under-served in LA, and financial empowerment policies moving forward in Sacramento.
Lori Bamberger, who helped spearhead the Assets and Homeownership Initiative for the Asset Policy Initiative of California families, led a dynamic lunchtime discussion on how public policy can encourage wealth-building in California to bring homeownership opportunities into reach for working families across our state.
Amy Sherman of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning discussed how workforce development policy should evolve as our economy and workforce changes. Ms. Sherman focused on policies that promote education and skills development to ensure that California's workforce remains highly-skilled, highly-trained and positioned to improve the state's economic vitality.
Zeny Agullana, Executive Director of the ScholarShare Investment Board, presented an overview of California's tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan; where the program is headed, and how it can help all Californians offset the high cost of education, reduce post-graduation debt, and build savings and assets.
July 2008, Claudia Viek, CEO of the California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity (CAMEO), discussed the ways in which California can stimulate the growth and success of entrepreneurship by fostering microenterprise development as well as the benefits of microenterprises including: economic self-sufficiency, job creation, community economic development, and poverty alleviation.
Mark Iwry of the Brookings Institution presented on the current retirement savings state and national policy options to significantly encourage retirement savings and the accumulation of assets by lower- and middle-income workers.
Ellen Seidman, Director of the Financial Services and Education Project in the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation, presented on the importance of financial literacy for both individual households and the broader macroeconomy.
Anne Stuhldreher discussed what it means to be "unbanked" and why it is a problem for California. She also provided an overview of Bank on California, which is modeled after Bank on San Francisco. Treasurer Jose Cisneros described the ground-breaking initiative that is successfully bringing thousands of local unbanked residents into the financial mainstream.
Dory Rand presented on the savings crisis and discussed policy solutions that can help Californians build wealth.
Carol Whiteside, former mayor of Modesto, discussed the Central Valley's economy as it relates to family incomes and asset accumulation and how those factors relate to residents' ability to pay for college education and/or job training, start small businesses, and sustain a decent standard of living in retirement.
The Center for Responsible Lending's Paul Leonard discussed the current subprime mortgage crisis - its causes, the continuing effect it will have on homeownership, wealth, and the California economy, as well as present possible solutions.
Jennifer Brooks, CFED’s Policy Director, presented on how California ranks with other states in relation to asset-building policies through the examination of CFED’s 2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard.
Heather McCulloch, founder of Asset Building Strategies, provided an overview on the history and evolution of policy ideas, in the United States and aboard, for expanding saving by families and individuals.