Key Priorities

Chicago Community Catalyst Fund

Investing big dollars in the parts of Chicago too often forgotten
Chicago Tribune | Editorial Board | September 22, 2017
“For instance: the Chicago Community Catalyst Fund, also known as Fund 77. This is the brainchild of City Treasurer Kurt Summers, who will also chair its soon-to-be-named seven-member board. The Catalyst Fund’s aim is to grow local employers by providing access to capital, chiefly loans between $100,000 and $1 million. How so? With a sophisticated financing protocol that officials assure us will target public and private resources to underserved neighborhoods.”

Boosts OK’d for 2 funds to rebuild neglected neighborhoods
Chicago Sun-Times | Fran Spielman | September 5, 2017
“One year after the $100 million Catalyst Fund was created to bridge the funding gap outside the downtown area, the City Council’s Finance Committee finally got around to approving the first $50 million in city contributions to the fund. The ordinance approved Tuesday also outlines the process for appointing board members and the conflict-of-interest provisions those appointees will be required to follow.”

Chicago commits $100 million to investment fund aimed at low-income areas
Chicago Tribune | Peter Matuszak | July 5, 2017
“City Treasurer Kurt Summers thinks he’s found a way to help these urban deserts bloom: a city-backed investment fund that would irrigate the area with new capital. The aim is to jump-start the expansion of neighborhood businesses and real estate developments by providing more access to new financial resources, particularly affordable loans between $100,000 and $1 million. Business owners could use the money to increase space, pay for new equipment, hire new employees, pay off debt or build liquidity.”

Chicago’s ESG Investing Initiative

Governments Push ESG Investment Forward
Bloomberg | Emily Chasan | March 13, 2018
“Summers last week sought permission from the city council to amend its investment policy so the funds he oversees can integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into investment decisions, and sign onto the Principles of Responsible Investment. The move would make Chicago the largest U.S. city to make those shifts. Under the proposal, Chicago also aims to achieve a carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2020.”

City Officials Want Chicago to Become a Responsible Investor
Wall Street Journal | Sarah Krouse | February 28, 2018
“Officials in the nation’s third-largest city want to make a company’s record on issues such as water usage, labor rights and diversity as important as creditworthiness when deciding how to invest its $8 billion operating budget. Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers is seeking permission from the city council to use environmental, social and governance factors to inform investment decisions. Legislation proposed Wednesday would amend the city’s current investment policy to allow for the so-called ESG changes.”

Chicago treasurer: Use city’s investment portfolio to fight climate change, promote social progress
Chicago Tribune | Michael Hawthorne | February 28, 2018
“Summers is proposing to overhaul the city’s investment strategy to ensure taxpayer dollars are directed to financially sound companies that make it a priority to protect the environment, encourage gender and racial diversity, uphold labor standards and operate ethically…’We should be rewarding good behavior,’ Summers said in an interview with the Tribune. ‘With the rapidly expanding use of analytics, we can promote change and avoid companies doing things that are harmful to consumers or to workers, things that ultimately put the city at risk.'”

Community Banking Initiative

Chicago Puts Millions of Deposits Into Its Last Black-Owned Bank
Bloomberg | Jordyn Holman | September 18, 2017
“Chicago is pumping deposits into the last black-owned bank based in the city, bolstering a lender that began in the Great Depression…‘If we’re going to be serious about supporting those communities and supporting community banks and what they do for small businesses, we have to look for opportunities like this, [Treasurer Summers] said.’”

Chicago’s last black-owned bank gets $20 million boost from the city
Crain’s Chicago Business | Steve Daniels | September 18, 2017
“The infusion alone, which will be announced this morning, will bulk up the Bronzeville lender’s deposit base by 20 percent. It’s the first such deposit the treasurer’s office has made in a community bank like this, Summers said in an interview. Summers said the idea is to promote support of small businesses in parts of the city that larger banks tend to avoid.”

City Treasurer invests $20 million in city’s only black bank
Chicago Sun-Times | Mary Mitchell | September 18, 2017
“Summers grew up in Bronzeville two blocks from where Illinois Service Federal is located. His mother still lives in the neighborhood. ‘I can remember looking at our neighborhood and then going on field trips to more affluent areas that didn’t look like ours,’ Summers recalled. ‘And I would come home and ask my mom why aren’t we worthy of the investments that other people have. I think no child in this city should have to questions whether or not they are worthy,’ he said.”

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