There are only a few weeks left until August and while many of us may be heading for vacation, it is important to remember that August is a crucial month for advocacy. Congress takes its traditional “August Recess” and members will spend much of the month back in their home states and districts connecting with their constituents. This is a prime time to advocate for the CDFI Fund, especially with the proposed cuts to the CDFI Fund in FY18.
One way to advocate for the CDFI Fund is to request a congressional site visit with a member of Congress while they are back in their districts. Congressional site visits are great opportunities for members of Congress and their staff to learn from you and your borrowers about the impact CDFI Fund funding has in creating access to capital.
When it comes time for a member of Congress to vote on an important amendment or bill that will impact the CDFI industry, the site visit you scheduled becomes a reality to the member of Congress as to how his or her vote may affect the constituency back home. For example, when the House Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee and full House Appropriations Committee were marking up the FY18 FSGG Appropriations bill, several members of Congress mentioned specific impact data of CDFIs in their district and FSGG Subcommittee Chair Tom Graves even mentioned having visited the organizations in his district.
Now you may be wondering which member of Congress you should request a visit with. Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are top priority for site visits if your CDFI does lending in those districts. Additionally, you should request a site visit with those members of Congress in your congressional delegation. There’s no time to waste, request a site visit with your member of Congress today before their schedules get filled up! Detailed information on how to request a site visit can be found on OFN’s Congressional Site Visit Toolkit.
If you schedule a site visit, please fill out this form. OFN is tracking which members of Congress have a confirmed CDFI site visit in August so that we can coordinate our advocacy efforts during the August recess.
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