Annual Wa Abc Conference

Everybody has heard the stories filled with woe and anxiety: a married couple gets divorced and now cannot afford to pay bills and debts by themselves; soldiers coming home from deployment walk back into debt, either from their own past mistakes or their significant other’s choices while they were gone; single parents trying to care for families but cannot get a job because of the economy—the stories go on and on. The Washington State Asset Building Coalition (WABC) formed to help people learn how to avoid these situations,get themselves out of the hole, and even get ahead.

Washington State is a national leader with a well developed network of local asset building coalitions reaching into the majority of the state’s counties These public/private partnerships work to provide free financial education opportunities, free tax preparation aid,information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, and support Bank On programs which provide opportunities for people to save money by using banks and credit unions rather than check cashers, even those who have made mistakes in the past

On June 21-22nd, these local coalitions will gather at the Yakima Convention Center to share best practices and learn new innovations to bring back to their own communities. Boasting six tracks and forty-two breakout sessions, the conference has something for those new to asset building as well as seasoned experts. Speakers from across the country will talk on a variety of issues. José Cisneros, Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco, will be involved in a discussion about furthering the statewide Bank On initiative as well as the role of government in financial empowerment. Lyn Peters of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions will lead several breakout sessions such as “Using Social Media: Why You Should Use It as well as be involved in “The Foreclosure Fairness Act: Washington’s New Foreclosure Mediation Program” and “Asset Building in Rural Communities: Doing a Lot with a Little.”

Several Yakimites will be involved in leading discussions as well. Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) from Heritage University will speak of their experience in training youth to handle finances in the aptly named session, “Bringing Youth Focused Financial Education to Your Community.” David Brown, head of the Yakima County Veterans Program, has great ideas and tips in a session on financial coaching.

Overall, this conference has many great opportunities to learn and the WABC would love to extend the invitation to the public! The cost to attend is $150 and includes four meals. Email Rebeca Potasnik at gro.cbanotgnihsaw|kinsatopr#gro.cbanotgnihsaw|kinsatopr. For more information, go to [www.washingtonabc.org].