Introducing: Riverwest and Harambee Credit Union

Residents, workers, and people from all walks of like are coming together to form a new, basic-services, community organizing credit union that will serve the 53212 ZIP Code of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Our website is creditunion.rca.coop.  We are seeking donations to cover our start-up and operating costs.

What is a credit union?

A credit union is like a bank, but owned and controlled by its members.  It is a financial cooperative that is run democratically.  Typically, a member of a credit union saves money on interest and fees versus a customer at a bank.  To learn more about the credit union difference, visit asmarterchoice.org.

Who are we?  

Sponsored by the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance (rca.coop), we are residents, activists, workers, and people who care in the 53212 ZIP Code, coming mostly from the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods.  This effort is being led by the Riverwest & Harambee Credit Union Organizing Committee.  We are starting a community organizing credit union to provide financial services, help foster new co-ops, and organize our community to stand up to the banksters and Wall Street.  We are advocating for economic democracy, the idea that workers and communities that create wealth control how that wealth is used.   If we don’t do anything, nothing will change.  To help change our economy, we need to start this new credit union.

How do we start a credit union?

We must prove to the government that our community wants a credit union.  Already, we have been successful.  Hundreds of people in the 53212 ZIP Code have pledged over $525,000 for deposits, we have knocked on over 1,800 doors in the ZIP Code, and had hundreds of conversations with future members.  People are really excited for this new credit union.  The biggest hurdle we have now securing our start-up and operating costs.  When the community is behind this effort, and we have raise some start-up and operating expenses, we will apply for a charter and share insurance.  We will be state-chartered by the Wisconsin Office of Credit Unions and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration through the Share Insurance Fund.  As the Committee gets closer to applying, we will be finalizing our business plan, marketing plan, policies, and bylaws.

How can you help?

Start volunteering with us today!  You can volunteer by knocking on doors, helping with data entry, or serving on our Organizing Committee.  Make sure to visit creditunion.rca.coop for more details, or call Alex Brower at 920-723-3392.

Introducing: Riverwest and Harambee Credit Union