Patty Grossman
Cascadia Revolving Fund

Interviewed by Lynn Adler and Jim Mayer
Producers of Faith, Hope and Capital

Patty Grossman believes that the role of CDFIs is to reform the economy and revolutionize the monetary system. She's been working in the Pacific Northwest to do just that.

Read a portion below of our interview or go to a printer-friendly page of the full interview.

LA: Why don't we first talk about the causes of poverty in this region.

PG: The Pacific Northwest shares one characteristic with most areas of the country, and that is that most counties have female head-of-household rates of poverty that are shockingly high——30-50%. But there's also some sources of poverty peculiar to the region. One peculiarity is that in the past, the economy of the Pacific Northwest really consisted of timber and the fishing industries. Today, those are beleaguered industries, becoming much less part of the mainstay economy. It's happening in a relatively short period of time, so the transition to a new economy is very difficult for very large groups of people.

LA: You once said to us that the role of CDFIs was to reform the economy and revolutionize the monetary system.

PG: Well, I think the goal is no less grand a conception than that. Now it seems a little silly to talk in those terms when you're talking about a nascent movement, which is struggling with very basic issues of how to do this endeavor. But, I really think that CDFIs are the key to opening up tremendous opportunity to a lot of people who are left out of the economic mainstream. It's such a hackneyed phrase, but I really think that's exactly what we're doing. I think the goal of CDFIs is to provide that initial foothold that somebody can climb a mountain from——enough money to make your idea fly. It just doesn't exist anywhere else and that's the whole idea of CDFI——to provide the nuts and bolts and the frameworks for support, so people can make it over the long haul.

Full interview for printout

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