Senator Mark Warner Sheds Light on New Policy Implications for CDFIs During OFN Webinar

Caroline Valvardi

2021 has brought big political changes to Washington, D.C. — a new President, new Congressional leaders, and new opportunities. On March 4, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) joined several hundred OFN member CDFI practitioners, along with OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah and OFN public policy staff, for a webinar to talk about these historic changes.  

Senator Warner, who helped establish OFN member CDFI Virginia Community Capital (VCC) in 2006, was instrumental in securing record-breaking funding for CDFIs in the December 2020 COVID-19 package and continues to be a champion for CDFIs and the underinvested rural, urban, and Native communities they serve.  
 
“It was really surprising to me how few Senators at least were familiar with CDFIs. I think that’s an opportunity as we try to educate,” Senator Warner said. “I would love to work with VCC and the whole [CDFI] network on how we educate. I’d be happy to host my colleagues if we’ve got a pitch deck.” 

CDFI Fund’s CDFI and NACA Program Manager Amber Kuchar-Bell also joined the webinar to share updates on the recently opened CDFI Fund Rapid Response Program application process in advance of the March 25 deadline.  

OFN Senior Vice President of Public Policy Dafina Williams and Senior Associate of Public Policy Mary Scott Hardwick closed the webinar with key updates on Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional priorities, the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process, changes to Congressional committee leadership, and tools that OFN member CDFIs can use to help advocate to their Members of Congress. 

OFN is urging Congress to approve $1 billion for the CDFI Fund in FY 2022 appropriations. Visit OFN’s Policy Action Center to join us in these efforts and contact your Members of Congress. 

Listen to the webinar recording.  

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