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Webinar to Explore What Localities Can Learn from Each Other's CSA Efforts

In recent years, city officials have leveraged partnerships with financial institutions to create Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs at the municipal level. The growth of these programs has been fueled by cities sharing best practices and learning from other existing municipal programs.

The story of St. Louis’ CSA program, College Kids, is a case study in how this works. St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones was inspired to start College Kids in 2015 after learning about San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, which became the first universal municipal CSA program in the country upon its founding in 2011. Today, K2C has 31,000 children with accounts, and College Kids now serves close to 10,000 children in St. Louis.

Drawing from San Francisco's success reflected Jones' approach to policy design, which she described in a recent profile: “I’m not a fan of reinventing the wheel. I’m definitely a fan of seeing what works in other cities and tweaking it for our own environment and then letting it roll.” We at Prosperity Now agree, which is why we’re convening on July 17th for our next children's savings webinar, CSAs in the City: Assessing Municipal and Countywide Opportunities, to discuss the plethora of recent municipal CSA pilot programs and initiatives and spark an exchange of ideas across localities.

The webinar will feature Erin Waddell from the Louisville Children’s Savings (LCS) program and Phil Maurizi of Promise Indiana. Erin and Phil are two experienced CSA practitioners who will share best practices for the successful implementation of municipal and county CSA programs.

The webinar will highlight examples of the growing CSA movement, including but not limited to the following programs:

In the fall of 2016, Boston began a pilot CSA program, Boston Saves, to serve all kindergarteners in the city by 2020. The Boston Office of Financial Empowerment leads this commitment. College Kids and Boston Saves share similarities that are indicative of the collaboration and strong partnerships within the CSA movement.

This year, two newly elected mayors named CSAs as part of their agendas to increase economic mobility in their cities. Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta has promised to develop a robust CSA program that would serve every kindergartener in Atlanta public schools. Mayor Bottoms has developed several potential programs to increase equity in Atlanta, with education and CSAs as a major focus.

Melvin Carter, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, has also pledged to create a citywide CSA program. The St. Paul CSA program would grant each child in Saint Paul an account seeded with $50 to help build savings for college. Mayor Carter’s CSA initiative is looking to other cities, such as San Francisco and Oakland, for guidance during the development of Saint Paul’s own program.

Be sure to register for the webinar!

Keep up with the latest information on our work in Children’s Savings and the field at large by joining the Campaign for Every Kid’s Future.