December 12 2007 Ycabc Minutes

Yakima County Asset Building Coalition
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
2:00-4:00 pm
Fireside Room, EPIC Place Campus

Present: Tim Sullivan (United Way of Yakima County), Sylvia Martinez (IRS), Bill Stevens (AARP), Matthew Solomon (EPIC), Lance Stephens (United Way of Yakima County), Tracy Fletcher (Northwest Community Action Center), Kim Tully (Yakima County Department of Community Services), Dick Allen (Yakima Housing Authority), Tony Klein (Banner Bank), Sondra Pieti (OIC of Washington), Madelyn Carlson (People for People/211), Sue Pitman (EPIC - Ways to Work), Carol Ann Black (Catholic Credit Union), Michele Besso (Northwest Justice Project)


Lance Stephens called the meeting to order and introductions were made. Lance gave a brief summary of the initial meeting of the Coalition held on October 25th.

Formation of Coalition Structure

Tim Sullivan reviewed the purpose and need for an Asset Building Coalition and handed out copies of the Asset Coalition Membership draft Guidelines.

It was recommended that the mission be shortened to read: The mission of the Yakima County Asset Building Coalition (Coalition) is to advocate for financial literacy and the development of personal assets for working families and individuals living in Yakima County.

It was also recommended that AARP Tax Assistance be included as a supported activity and that an additional guideline be added that would allow changes to be made to the guidelines.

Madelyn Carlson made a motion to approve the guidelines with the recommended changes. A second to the motion was made by Sue Pitman. The motion was approved.

Silvia Martinez made a motion to accept the name Yakima County Asset Building Coalition or Yakima County ABC as the official name of the Coalition. A second to the motion was made by Bill Stevens. The motion was approved.

Dates and times were discussed for when the Coalition would meet. It was agreed that the Coalition would meet on the second Thursday of every month from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Meetings will be held at the EPIC Place Fireside Room. The next Coalition meeting will be held on Thursday, January 10th.

A discussion was held on what organizations are missing from the list of participants. The following suggestions were made:

• Love Inc. or Association of Churches
• Clients of member organizations – It will be up to the members to identify and invite clients to participate.
• Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Lower Valley representation - Washington State Migrant Council, Nuestra Casa, Consejo Counseling & Referral Services
• Yakima Nation – Madelyn will contact Terry Johnson-Davis
• Habitat for Humanity
• KDNA – Juan Ozuna

Tim handed out copies of a draft membership application for potential members to complete prior to becoming voting members.

State Asset Building Conference

Sue Pitman reported that she attended a planning meeting on November 29th with representatives from the Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development (CTED) and the Washington State Asset Building Coalition.

CTED is planning to hold an Asset Building Conference on June 4th - 5th in Yakima at the Convention Center. The conference will be 8:30-4:00 with a reception to follow on the first day. Workshops will cover different asset building topics. Registration will cost $80 and is open to anyone interested in asset building. The planning committee is currently identifying potential keynote speakers and a Conference MC.

Initial Efforts

Tracy Fletcher discussed that one of the first activities of the Coalition could be to conduct an inventory of current asset building activities in the County and determine where there are gaps in service. Tracy has contacted Paul Knox at CTED to send her examples of asset inventories that have been done by other Asset Building Coalitions in the state.

Tracy handed out copies of the Washington Asset Building Coalition proposed policy principles. Many of the same goals of the state coalition are similar to Yakima’s and the Coalition may want to look at endorsing and adopting some of them.

Tracy discussed applying for a planning grant from the State to help our efforts in initiating some local asset building efforts. The grant will be available in the spring and it was recommended that the Coalition begin developing a proposed project for the grant.

One effort that could be done now would be to conduct an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) outreach effort this tax season. Tracy asked Paul Knox if CTED could help with some marketing costs to help promote a local campaign. Tracy asked who would be interested in serving on a EITC planning sub-committee. A meeting date and time will be determined and a notice will be sent out to the Coalition Members.

Meeting Adjourned at 3:45 pm