Advancing Economic Security & Community Prosperity
New and improved site launches

The We Prosper Illinois web site relaunched this week with financial tips to help cut expenses, boost income and find safe and affordable loans. WeProsper is a joint initiative of Woodstock Institute, New America Chicago, and The Chicago Urban League to help protect and assist those vulnerable to predatory financial practices that strip away wealth and cause financial distress.
naughty or nice
Who’s been naughty & nice in 2021

Santa isn’t the only one keeping a list and checking it twice this year! We’re releasing our first annual “Naughty & Nice List” to recognize good and bad actions in the area of financial services in 2021.
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Annual report highlights work 2019-21
Earlier this month we released our first annual report since new CEO Horacio Mendez arrived in 2020. It’s been a time of significant change and substantive accomplishments.
Sign on to IL CRA letter
Make sure Illinois CRA
means real financial inclusion
The Illinois Community Reinvestment Act (IL CRA) gives us an opportunity to increase access to credit and capital in Illinois communities.
Please have your organization sign onto our recommendations for shaping this new legislation into an effective tool to increase financial inclusion for communities of color and rural communities. Feel free to reach out with comments or questions to Jane Doyle or Housing Action Illinois' Sheila Sutton.
Woodstock welcomes
FDIC review of bank merger process

During the best of times, the process by which banks are allowed to acquire or merge with other institutions has made it unnecessarily difficult and complicated for consumer protection organizations to assess, comment and engage in the process.
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City Council Finance Committee holds
1st LEO hearing on municipal depositories

In testimony to the Council, we recommended Chicago explore the creation of a technical assistance program where City agencies or nonprofit partners could assist smaller banks interested in serving as municipal depositories but hesitant to apply.

Banks and non-profits provided similar types of services to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program. We also presented analysis of lending data by banks in the Chicago mortgage market.
Economic justice in the news

Chicago Sun-Times: High-interest loans in Chicago target Black neighborhoods (11/26)‘“Statistical significance on steroids’” shows payday borrowers mostly lived in majority-Black ZIP codes. Read article Lendtable helps people max out their 401(k)s. So what’s the catch? (12/15) “Lendtable is part of a growing wave of fintech startups creating new financing models that are more accessible to the average consumer... But consumer finance protection advocates fear that what Lendtable is pitching could make it so people who are already struggling financially end up in over their heads.” Read article
Thank you for reading
& best wishes for a safe,
peaceful and fun holiday!