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Community Affairs Officer's note - Issue 2, 2003

Community Affairs Officer's note - Issue 2, 2003

November 1, 2003


Richard M. Todd Former Vice President and Advisor to the CICD
Community Affairs Officer's note - Issue 2, 2003

Progress in our core urban neighborhoods

This edition of Community Dividendis a goodbye of sorts. I am pleased to announce that, effective in 2004, Community Affairs Manager Jacqueline Nicholas will become Community Affairs Officer (CAO) for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Her promotion to assistant vice president and CAO is recognition of the experience, dedication and enthusiasm she brings to our team. As vice president over Community Affairs, my own involvement in the Minneapolis Fed's community development initiatives and research will continue, but in a less visible way.

This issue's cover story focuses on a cause for optimism in our work: The 1990s saw dramatic drops in poverty rates and concentrations in the Twin Cities, and evidence supports the idea that the Midwest's broad-based economic growth was a key force behind the decreases. By implication, the Federal Reserve System's core mission—maintaining a monetary policy that supports long-term growth in incomes—provides a necessary foundation for poverty reduction and neighborhood improvement. Metropolitan and local governments, community and economic development organizations, and ordinary citizens build upon that foundation by strengthening local institutions that facilitate full participation in the economy by all members of the community. Although many hardships persist and much remains to be done, the progress against concentrated poverty in the 1990s gives hope that if the economic foundations and institutional support structures are in place, the future of America's urban areas can be bright.

Additional features in this issue discuss income and poverty trends on Ninth District reservations, an innovative loan guarantee program for Native Americans and amendments to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The topics are diverse, but they all reveal additional aspects of the economic and institutional supports for community economic development.