December 9 2010 Ycabc Minutes

(December 9, 2010)

Present: Michele Besso (NWJP), Dave Gilbreath (CCCSYV), Luz Bazan-Gutierrez (RCDR), David Hacker (VISTA Supervisor/Lutheran Public Policy Office), Steve Houghton (AARP),Steve Loeb (VISTA), Amy Peters (211/PFP), Lance Stephens (UWCW), Bill Stevens (AARP), Homer Tamaz (NW Fair Housing Alliance)

Call to Order: Dave Gilbreath called the meeting to order at 9:30AM.

Agenda: The agenda was approved as presented.

Minutes Review/Approval: Minutes from the November 18, 2010 meeting were approved as written.

EITC Committee Update: Bill Stevens reported on the recent meeting in Sunnyside for a presentation and stated we found a volunteer there for financial education. Blanca's son is also interested in volunteering. Nuestra Casa doesn't have the right connections to get volunteers. Mike, an AARP volunteer from Selah, will look into trying to recruit from the service clubs there. We are going to use Taxwise Online in Selah —- the rules have been relaxed for using it. We have 18 potential recruits, but some of those will likely drop out. Bill reported Sunnyside will most likely be an ad-hoc site this year and Heritage University will likely be a regular tax site. EITC Awareness Day and the launch of our services is planned for January 28, from approximately 11:00AM-3:00PM.

For various reasons, Morningstar Church will no longer be available as a tax preparation site. There was a discussion of possible replacement sites, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, St. Michael's, the Vineyards, Yakima Library, Southeast Community Center, St. Joseph's, OIC (Sunnyside and Granger), EPIC Fireside Room, Rose of Mary. We need space for about 6 tables. We don't need to set up private rooms. We have been going 3 times a week at Morningstar, T-Th, 11:00AM-3:00PM. A site with ample parking, easy accessibility, and a place we could leave printers are positives.

We will begin advertising in the first week of January and can begin doing taxes on Jan 28. Ads before that will let people know about our services and when they begin. We still have KDNA slot, we'll try to get other slots too. Like last year, we plan to supplement paid advertising with appearances on various radio talk shows, including KIT, 980 Talk Radio and Radio KDNA. We will also seek non-paid PSAs from various media. Possible use of Unavision’s community awareness talk show was discussed (Martin Ortiz is the point of contact). Isabel has been on it before.

Lance reported we expect to receive a Wal-Mart grant again this tax season, with the requirement to highlight the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

Bank-On Yakima County Update: Due to a change in leadership, HAPO has dropped out of the Bank-On program. We have delayed the incentive program due to a lack of bank involvement from all banks except US bank and CCU. Dave reported he recently contacted Craig Nolte, Federal Reserve of San Francisco, asking if he can make a presentation in the next few months to help us re-energize our Bank-On program. This would include a discussion of the benefits to banks in becoming a part of a local bank on program and how this helps banks meet their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements.

Update on VISTA Recruitment for YCABC: Dave Gilbreath reported we have 7 highly qualified candidates competing for Steve’s VISTA position with the Yakima County Asset Building Coalition. All but one are college graduates and all have impressive resumes. Steve, Amy and Dave will be conducting interviews over the next several days. We hope to have a replacement identified and in place by the time Steve leaves on/about Jan 21, 2011.

Monthly Budget Review: Steve provided a budget update and reported we have spent less than $5,000 of our approximately $25K operating grant from the WA Department of Commerce. As reported last month, most of our expenditures will occur in Jan-Mar as we launch our EITC Tax Program and incentives for Bank-On. Like years past, we hope to make a donation to 2-1-1 for their continuing support of EITC, Bank-On and other YCABC initiatives.

Legislative Update: The State Legislature will convene on Jan 10, 2011 for its next 105 day session. The future of state asset building funding is in jeopardy because of significant state funding shortfalls.

IDA Discussion: There was a follow-up discussion of the Individual Development Accounts concept. We would likely need at least $20,000 to launch an IDA program in Yakima. We'd have to have funding in place and an organization to manage the program in order to launch. It was reported that Isabel started an IDA program several years ago and it didn't work well because it wasn't a good organizational fit. Cowlitz had a micro-lending program before launching their successful IDA program. If we were successful in securing Federal grant funding, we would need a source for matching funds. Since State funding for this purpose has dried up, the most likely funding source is banks and financial institutions. We will ask Sue Ford if US Bank might be interested in helping with IDA funding. Luz may be able to manage them as well —- her organization already does loan servicing. Steve will find out more about the grant time-line. Everyone agreed we need to proceed carefully and that we aren’t likely ready to seek Federal grant funding until we have more information and a partner willing to provide matching funds.

Other Business/Announcements:
Northwest Community Action Council (NCAC): Dave confirmed that Ben Sorio has agreed to represent the NCAC and the Lower Yakima Valley as a member of the YCABC. He plans to attend the Jan 2011 meeting.

WA State ABC Meeting: A State ABC meeting is schedule for Jan 27, 2011, which will also include a “legislative afternoon” to allow visits with elected officials.

Next Meeting: The meeting adjourned at approximately 10:30am. Next Meeting: Thursday, January 13, from 8:30-9:30AM at People for People.

Recorded by,

Steve Loeb
Americorps VISTA