Hearing Highlights Strategies to Help Working Families Thrive During Tough Economic Times

August 18, 2011

Informational Hearing Culminates with Community Financial Fair

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) chaired the first hearing of the newly created Assembly Select Committee on Financial Empowerment today in the city of Bell Gardens. Financial experts provided community members with a comprehensive overview of barriers and opportunities for asset building and asset preservation.

The Select Committee on Financial Empowerment was created to ensure that all Californians, regardless of economic status, have access to important wealth building tools and to ensure that Legislators have the information necessary to implement sound public policies that will promote and support asset building and preservation among working families.

“Families in South East Los Angeles County are struggling with a nearly 20% unemployment rate, while budgetary shortfalls continue to impact the services they rely on,” said Assemblyman Lara. “In these times of economic uncertainty, a person's ability to go from mere subsistence to obtaining financial stability, prosperity and success relies on their ability to build and protect their assets. Low-income working families in our state can benefit greatly from essential services and resources in the short-term; however, policies that promote and reinforce long-term financial stability and independence should be our priority."

The Select Committee on Financial Empowerment will facilitate discussions with state legislators and leading policy experts to explore lifelong asset creation and protection strategies through informational hearings, policy briefings, roundtable discussions, the publication of white papers and quarterly newsletters, as well as a year-end report summarizing its legislative activities and providing potential policy recommendations to state legislators.  The Committee will help identify wealth-building opportunities in the areas of education, health, homeownership, and retirement savings.

CONTACT: JULIA JUAREZ (323) 839-2091