NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Thursday morning, Mayor LaToya Cantrell was joined by executives from Mastercard and Mobility Capital Finance Inc. (MoCafi) to kick-off the launch of the Crescent City Card Program.
The program involves a series of initiatives and products to offer financial inclusion, access to emergency disbursements, incentives to drive economic growth, empower underbanked residents, and provide better access to City services such as NORD recreation centers, parks, libraries, and public transportation.
“This series of initiatives will address racial and wealth gaps that we know are prevalent right here in our city,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
“My administration continues to identify innovative ways to serve and empower our residents and will make sure that the unbanked are banked and have access to financial education and other resources so that they can attend to basic needs and continue to invest in themselves. We are strategically focused and being intentional in meeting our people where they are as we invest in their future.”
As part of this transformative partnership, Forward Together New Orleans Mayor’s Fund launched the Hurricane Ida Emergency Relief Program in September, working in tandem with the City of New Orleans to distribute $190,000 to residents to aid in recovery efforts. These funds are being distributed through an Immediate Response Card furnished by MoCaFi, which acts as a prepaid bank card for quick and easy use.
“MoCaFi is honored to join the City of New Orleans and Mastercard in offering a financial product that will effectively address the wealth gap in this incredible city,” added Wole Coaxum, Founder and CEO. “A city that represents resilience, diversity, and history deserves a card that reflects the richness of its heritage and cultural appeal. The Crescent City Card will open doors to access for everyone who calls New Orleans home.”
Through a $500,000 grant from Mayors For A Guaranteed Income, 125 opportunity youth will participate in the New Orleans Guaranteed Income Program beginning in December and will receive $350 a month for ten months via a MoCaFi immediate Response Card. Using innovative technology, this card will also provide access to NORD recreation centers via contactless technology as a part of the Crescent City Card program umbrella.
During the press conference, community partners from The First 72+, CEO Works, and Collegiate Academies Next discussed how the Crescent City Card Program, through the Guaranteed Income initiative, will ensure the residents they serve can gain access to resources that will help build generational wealth.
Today’s announcement builds on Mastercard’s commitment to the City of New Orleans and its residents and businesses. New Orleans is one of seven cities in Mastercard’s “In Solidarity” initiative, a $500 million commitment to closing the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black Americans.
Along with this new partnership, Mastercard is hosting programming across New Orleans touching on empowering small businesses, increasing financial literacy, lifting up HBCUs and collaborating with City leaders to use data to drive inclusive economic growth.
On Monday, City representatives will join Mastercard for “In Solidarity with New Orleans,” a virtual discussion hosted by Blavity addressing a financial system that has systemically disadvantaged and excluded Black communities and how the public and private sectors can collaborate to advance opportunity and equitable growth in New Orleans.
The card is expected to be launched in Spring/Summer 2022, interested participants can visit mocafi.com for more information.