OFN board of directors during a visit at the Capitol Hill

OFN Board Takes CDFI Priorities to the White House and Capitol Hill  

Read time: 3 minutes

When the OFN Board of Directors convenes in Washington each year, it is an opportunity to organize an important day of advocacy in the epicenter of national politics.  

On May 21, the Board had a full schedule in DC, including meetings with CDFI Fund Director Pravina Raghavan, representatives of the Domestic Policy Council and other Administration officials, and members of Congress.  

OFN taps into the strength of our Board and membership to share a practitioner perspective, which is one of the most powerful ways we advocate for our industry and the communities we serve.  

At the same time, Board members gain insight into the political and legislative process and learn what policymakers are prioritizing. These meetings help to advance our policy priorities while continuing to develop strong allies and advocates across the federal government. 

OFN board members and staff meet with CDFI Fund Director Pravina Raghavan at the OFN office in Washington, DC.

OFN board members and staff meet with CDFI Fund Director Pravina Raghavan at the OFN office in Washington, DC.

The CDFI Fund

CDFI Fund Director Pravina Raghavan and Deputy Director for Policy and Programs Marcia Sigal joined the Board to discuss current priorities and issues facing CDFIs. Each OFN Board member shared insights from their lending specialty, including small business, housing, and Native communities. This was the first time Director Raghavan sat down with the full OFN Board since joining the Fund earlier this year.  

OFN maintains a trusted relationship with the CDFI Fund, ensuring that the concerns and focuses of our members are addressed by the agency.  

The White House

The Board met with over a dozen officials from the Biden-Harris Administration, including Special Assistant to the President for Racial and Economic Justice Amber Greene, in addition to representatives from the National Economic Council, White House Office of Public Engagement, White House Counsel, and the Department of Treasury’s Counselor on Racial Equity.  

The conversation focused on the legal environment surrounding race-conscious programming. Despite recent court challenges, CDFIs continue their work to create an equitable economy for historically underserved communities.  

The Administration has shown unprecedented support for CDFIs and mission-driven community lenders, and OFN is proud to deepen the relationship between our industry and the Administration.  

Read the White House readout of the meeting.  

Capitol Hill

To round out the afternoon, the Board met with six offices on Capitol Hill (five in the  Senate and one in the House of Representatives) to discuss CDFI Fund appropriations, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, tax policy, and CDFI certification. 

The Board spoke with Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), as well as the offices of Representatives David Joyce (R-OH-14)  and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME).  

OFN has strong bipartisan allies on the Hill and continues to educate members of Congress about CDFIs and the critical role they play in creating economic opportunity for all. 

To get involved in advocacy efforts on behalf of CDFIs and the communities they serve, visit our take action page. 

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