This issue of Community Dividend includes features on securitization of community and economic development (CED) loans, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and a new statewide financial education coalition in Montana. The topics don't appear to have much in common on the surface, but they all center on the idea of tailoring programs and services to fit a community's needs. Securitization of CED loans can increase the pool of funds available to grassroots organizations that are positioned to assess where help is needed in their neighborhoods. A Twin Cities VITA site provided tax preparation help in Spanish to meet the needs of the local population. The Montana Financial Education Coalition was founded in response to multiple needs. Its broad mission will enable the organization to adapt as financial education needs change across the state.
In a similar vein, Community Affairs strives to design programs and events that reflect the needs of our District. This issue features one small example. The sidebar "¿Califica para el Crédito por Ingreso de Trabajo?" was created to provide basic information on the EITC to our growing Spanish-speaking population. It's the first time Community Dividendhas included an item in a language other than English. Considering the growing cultural and linguistic diversity in the Ninth District, it won't be the last.