Coalition For A Prosperous Mississippi busy teaching others how to build wealth

By Brinda Fuller Willis, PHD

Jackson Advocate Contributing Writer

The Coalition For A Prosperous Mississippi (CFAPM) presented a Civic Engagement and Advocacy Workshop on September 13, 2012 at the Regency Hotel in downtown Jackson. The program was successful in educating Mississippians in regards to the potential their collective impact can have to influence, exude power and gain access to the legislative electorate. Attendees had concerns regarding Individual Development Accounts and the expansion of Cooperatives in Mississippi via possible newly proposed legislation. The Civic Engagement and Advocacy Workshop was presented by Pamela Shaw, president and founder of P3 Strategies, LLC. Shaw informed the audience on the ABCs of advocacy and how the legislative process in Mississippi works. She shared ways and methods of how advocacy can be utilized to accomplish the collective desires of groups who hold the same positions and aspirations. During the workshop participants were instructed on how to build positive relationships and trust with elected officials, monitor the legislative process and identify activities that affect their issues, provide expertise to elected officials, and persuade legislators to support designated positions, grassroots mobilizing strategies/tactics, and mobilization of supporters. Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are special matched saving accounts designed to help those of modest means to establish a pattern of regular savings and ultimately purchase a productive asset such as a home, start a small business, and further their education or job training through a state-supported match funding source. According to an issue brief distributed by the Coalition For A Prosperous Mississippi, substantially more people in the U.S. today are facing a future of limited hope for long-term financial security. Therefore, the organization supports the enactment of the Family Empowerment Initiative to provide for the establishment of IDAs that are designed to: Provide low wealth, unbanked and under banked Mississippians an opportunity to gain economic stability to become self-sufficient; Facilitate and mobilize savings; Promote home ownership, small business development, education, saving for retirement, assistive technology for people with disabilities, and automobile purchase; and Strengthen families and build sustainable communities The Coalition For A Prosperous Mississippi (CFAPM) is located at 120 Monterey Road, Suite-A in Richland, Mississippi. To learn more about services and programs, call Melbah Smith at 601-932-4778.