Blog Posts By: CEDAM Staff

Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs): Expanding Post-Secondary Options

row of pink piggy banks on a table

Written by Brian Rakovitis, manager of financial empowerment initiatives Children’s Savings Accounts, or CSAs, have been well documented in their effect to increase college attendance and completion, as well as to reduce student loan debt among low- and moderate-income students as compared to their economic peers. Prosperity Now’s study also reports that they have been… Read more »

Congress Is Voting on a Bill That Could Make Debt Traps Legal Again


This article originally appeared at  Written by Joe Valenti and Jessica AcMoody  Today, the House of Representatives votes on an end run around state consumer protection laws. If it passes, the bill would overturn state efforts to stop payday lenders from charging triple-digit annual interest rates and creating consumer debt traps that can turn a $1,000 loan… Read more »

LINC UP’s First Friday Event Brings Neighbors Together with Music, Food and Fun

By Camille Allen, communications intern Live jazz, soul food, spoken word and poetry: this is what any given first Friday of the month can look like for CEDAM member Linc Up, an organization that once primarily focused on affordable housing but has expanded to become a community revitalization agency in Grand Rapids.   For the… Read more »

A Day On, Not a Day Off for CEDAM AmeriCorps Members

Legislation to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday was signed in 1983, and was first observed in 1986. It was in 1994, however, that the MLK Day of Service was established as a way to transform Dr. King’s teachings into community action that strengthens communities across the country. Participating in a… Read more »

Introducing New CEDAM Team Member Ben Dowd

Ben Dowd Controller

CEDAM is excited to announce Ben Dowd as its new Controller! Dowd will manage CEDAM’s finances, including grant and budget management for CEDAM’s programs, as well as provide human resources support to the CEDAM team. Background Ben has been working in banking for 15 years, 12 of which have been spent as a manager at… Read more »

Avenue for the Arts Program Creates Strong Sense of Place


By Camille Allen, Communications Intern Downtown Grand Rapids between Fulton and Wealthy Street lies the South Division commercial corridor, a street blossoming with art, culture and character. Every month, Avenue for the Arts shines a spotlight on this street with their First Friday event, which brings attention to the Grand Rapids art scene and the… Read more »

What’s in the Final Tax Bill?


Written by Jessica AcMoody, Senior Policy Specialist and Grace Hough, Policy Intern The House and Senate reached a compromise on their individual tax plans last week creating a merged tax bill. The bill passed the House on December 19 by a vote of 227-203, and passed the Senate early Wednesday morning by a vote of… Read more »

CEDAM Member CAHP Hosts Open House for Rehabbed Lansing Home


By Meghan Kuhr, Communications Intern On Tuesday, November 12, CEDAM member Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) held an open house for their newly rehabbed Lansing home. The almost 100-year old house was beautifully restored with 3 bedrooms, 1 ½ baths, original wood floors, modern conveniences and a two-car garage. CAHP provides livable homes, increases housing… Read more »

How Do Key Provisions Differ in the Senate and House Tax Bills?

The Senate tax bill passed in the early hours of Saturday morning with only one Republican, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) voting against it. The bill now heads to conference committee where the House and Senate will try to reconcile the differences in their two tax reform plans. Once negotiations are finished a draft of the… Read more »

CEDAM and Partners Lead Michigan Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Consortium

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On Friday, November 3, organizations from across the state of Michigan representing community foundations, nonprofits and local governments met to discuss the future of Children’s Saving Accounts (CSAs) in Michigan. CSAs are long-term savings or investment accounts that help children (ages 0-18) and their families, especially those from low-income families, build savings for the future…. Read more »