Fordham Campaign Takes Huge Step

by Brett Vetterlein, Community Investment Campaign Organizer

The campaign here at Fordham to move our money into the Bronx community has reached a new high. We are inches away from success and ready for what comes next. After a lot of hard work put in by our group “Fordham for the Bronx,” including countless hours of research, proposal drafting, tabling, petitioning, and fliering, we are making serious headway.

Back in early March, we presented our campaign to the United Student Government with the hope of gaining official support from the representative of the student body. With a near unanimous vote in favor of the proposal, which asks for 0.5% to 1% of the Operating Account (between $170,000 and $350,000) to be invested in either Bethex Federal Credit Union or the Amalgamated Bank, we decided it was time to take things to the next level. The next week we got our letter of support from USG, another from some faculty members, as well as our proposal and officially submitted them to both the university’s Chief Financial Officer and the Treasurer. That day we got the chance to speak briefly with the Treasurer to give him a little more detail about what we want and why we want it, who seemed interested by the idea.

Giving the administration time to digest the proposal, we met again with the Treasurer on April 6th to give our “pitch.” However, it seemed like the pitch was unnecessary. The Treasurer was overwhelmingly positive in his response to the proposal, suggesting that the university would considering making two investments of $250,000, totally half a million dollars, into the financial institutions we suggested. This is still unofficial, and in my last conversation with the Treasurer, he said he was still working out all the details. While the money is not moved yet, and we don’t have time to slow down and celebrate, it was nice to just take a second and look back at how far we had come in just barely a years time. We at Fordham are very confident that this money will be set to be moved before the summer comes, and are prepared to follow up during the summer and into next semester to make sure it does. If successful, Fordham for the Bronx hopes to pursue other community investment projects in the Bronx. We have begun to considering doing a Bronx-wide community investment initiative, aimed at getting the biggest powerhouses, including Montefiore Hospital and the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, to start moving money away from corporate banks and into the hands of Bronx residents.

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