The features in this issue of Community Dividend are tales of adaptation. Our main feature, an interview with National Community Capital Association President Mark Pinsky, explores the recent history of Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs. Pinsky describes how these specialized entities are responding to fundamental shifts that challenge their ability to invest in and serve economically distressed communities. As he explains, CDFIs that make the effort to examine and adjust their practices have the best chance of surviving the changes.
Another feature profiles ethnic-based nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities that pursue community development. The article explains how groups that form to provide basic services to refugee and immigrant populations can undergo a progression into housing development, small business training and other arenas.
Recent mortgage agreements in Indian Country are the subject of our remaining feature. So far, five American Indian tribes in the Ninth Federal Reserve District have reached agreements with Fannie Mae and local financial institutions to make conventional mortgage lending possible on tribal trust land. These developments signal a long-awaited shift in the mortgage industry that will give many American Indian homebuyers access to affordable, mainstream lending products. Like the stories of the CDFI industry and the Twin Cities-based nonprofit groups we also share here, the story of the Indian Country mortgage agreements demonstrates the value of adapting policies and methods to meet a community's needs.
Community Affairs lost a close friend in early May, when Margaret Tyndall died suddenly of a heart attack. Margaret joined the Minneapolis Fed in 1990 as a consumer compliance examiner and was named Community Affairs Manager in 1995. She held leadership roles in our department for the next eight years, earning a national reputation for her work on Indian Country issues and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Margaret returned to her hometown of Chicago in late 2003, where she applied her CRA expertise as a compliance specialist in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Supervision and Regulation Department. An unshakeable sense of social responsibility guided her personal and professional pursuits, and she was active in a number of volunteer organizations throughout her life, particularly the League of Women Voters and the Girl Scouts. She is deeply missed by her many friends and colleagues.