Los Angeles The Consulate General of Mexico, the City of Los Angeles, Citi and the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) announced on May 5 the launch of the Financial Empowerment Window (Ventanilla de Asesoría Financiera), a program which provides free, culturally and linguistically competent financial counseling and education resources onsite at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles.
The Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization with a well-developed financial education program that serves Angeleno families, provides services at the Ventanilla including one-stop access to information and one-on-one financial consultation on high priority topics to help Mexicans and the broader Latino community participate more fully in the American financial system and achieve greater financial security.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, reinforced the Mexican government´s commitment to look after its immigrants’ well-being in the United States, “We praise the strategy and financial program that will be practiced in the Ventanilla to help Angelenos get on a path to financial stability and success.”
The Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Sada Solana, confirmed the importance of the Ventanilla at the Mexican Consulate, “The program is a big step to give free information and advice to the Mexican community on topics that will help them to achieve greater financial security and a better understanding of the American financial system.”
"Growing L.A.'s prosperity means empowering all Angelenos with information that helps them to shape their own destiny," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "With this expansion of the Ventanilla program, the largest population of foreign nationals in Los Angeles will gain access to important financial literacy resources, teaching them valuable budgeting skills needed to succeed in life."
This marks the first expansion of the Ventanilla program, which was first launched at the Consul General of Mexico in New York City in 2014 with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Citi Community Development.
In just two years of operation, the Ventanilla program in New York City—where the Mexican immigrant population is substantially smaller than in Los Angeles—provided one-on-one financial counseling to 2,260 clients, hosted more than 40 financial education workshops with nearly 690 attendees, and distributed more than 44,000 pieces of financial education literature.
The new Los Angeles Ventanilla, located inside the Consulate’s premises, promotes financial capability in a trusted space and empower the Latino population to build positive financial identities to achieve financial stability that is essential to long-term asset building and economic security.
“There are more than 1.5 million Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles—a community larger than the total population of Philadelphia—many of whom are living outside of the financial mainstream because of language or other barriers to access,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “We are proud to support the expansion of the Ventanilla program, which provides Mexican immigrants who are new to the U.S. financial system with access to vital resources for getting banked, gaining access to free tax prep and the Earned Income Tax Credit, establishing credit and building a secure financial future within the trusted and culturally relevant setting of the Consulate.”
It is estimated that 16,000 Mexican Consulate visitors will receive financial education or financial coaching services at the Los Angeles Ventanilla in the first year, as well as gain access to free tax preparation, matched savings accounts and other financial empowerment services from YPI.
“In the Promise Zone, the Promise Neighborhood and throughout Los Angeles, YPI works with young people and families on the path from cradle to college to career, and financial capability is often the first step on that path,” said Dixon Slingerland, Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute. “The Ventanilla will send a strong signal to these families and many more throughout Southern California that there is help to get them on that path—whether that means saving for college, getting out of debt, or simply having the support of trusted, mainstream financial services."
The launch event was attended by Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Claudia Ruiz Massieu; Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Carlos Sada Solana; Chief of Staff of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ana Guerrero; Senior Vice President for Southern California of Citi Community Development, James Alva; Executive Director of Youth Policy Institute, Dixon Slingerland; and the President and CEO of Southern California Grantmakers, Christine Essel.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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The Youth Policy Institute
Youth Policy Institute has been providing wraparound services to low-income families in Los Angeles since 1996 and is the only agency in the country to have been awarded all four of the Obama Administration's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives: Promise Zones, Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation. Together, these initiatives form a place-based approach to fighting poverty, reducing crime, improving educational opportunities and creating access to jobs that builds on YPI's decades of history helping youth and families. For more information, visit www.ypiusa.org | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram @ypiusa