For Immediate Release: February 7, 2018
Contact: Rashmi Rangan, 302-824-5219
or Howard L. Keener, Jr., 302-230-2970
DCRAC Launches “Mission 723” A Credit Builder App for iOS and Android
Wilmington, DE: To help boost credit scores to 723—the score that distinguishes good credit from acceptable credit—the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc., (DCRAC) has launched a new Mobile App called “Mission 723”.
Supported by a grant from the Financial Literacy Education Fund from the State of Delaware, Mission 723 is a space travel themed educational game to help users reach a credit score of 723. It combines a weekly money savings challenge, fun facts, and short quizzes. The app will take users on an informative and fun mission to "Planet 723."
“In our quest to engage our community about strong credit scores, we teach, we coach, and we use technology (FaceTime, Facebook, webinars, etc.),” said Rashmi Rangan, Executive Director of DCRAC. “When there is an app for everything, why not for the way we engage with our clients? Mission 723 is a 52-week journey with a goal of a credit score of 723. Along the way, we coax our pilots to begin a culture of saving.”
Since the early 2000s, DCRAC has encouraged its clients to build a credit score of 723 or higher—a score to qualify for prime rates, rather than subprime alternatives that carry interest rates upwards of 300 percent. Mission 723 is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices.
About DCRAC: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. (DCRAC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for Delawareans. Since its founding in 1987, it has commented on the abusive and discriminatory mortgage lending practices that have visited misery upon low- and moderate income and minority communities. DCRAC was the first non-profit in Delaware to obtain a Certification from Standards for Excellence Institute.
For Immediate Release: September 26, 2017
Contact: Rashmi Rangan, 302-824-5219 or
Larry Nagengast, email@example.com, 302-373-5254
DCRAC to celebrate 30th anniversary, salute supporters
Wilmington, DE: DCRAC, the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc., will mark its 30th anniversary and salute key supporters at the Celebrate CRA Awards Dinner on Oct. 12.
DCRAC, founded in 1987 by James H. Sills Jr., who would later become mayor of Wilmington, and other civic leaders, originally provided a voice for low- and moderate-income Delawareans at public hearings on a series of major bank mergers in the 1980s and 1990s. Its mission has evolved to provide credit, housing and tax clinics for its constituency and to create the Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union.
This year DCRAC will honor banker and business executive Robert G. Elder, architect Joe Zebleckes and the marketing team of Barclay Card US.
Elder, now marketing director of the Santora CPA Group, will receive the Excellence in Community Service Award for creating and leading a series of roundtable meetings that bring together regional philanthropists and the leaders of nonprofit organizations that seek their support. Zebleckes, owner of the Brandywine Design Guild, will receive the Board of Directors Award for his generous contributions in overseeing the design and renovations of DCRAC’s new headquarters on South Harrison Street in Wilmington. The Barclay Card marketing group will receive the James H. Sills Jr. CRA Excellence in Leadership Award for its creativity that resulted in Stepping Stones CFCU acquiring and branding a mobile van that will be used to visit targeted neighborhoods so residents can open accounts.
The DCRAC celebration will be held at The Waterfall, 3416 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, on Thursday, Oct. 12, with a cocktail hour at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, contact Rashmi Rangan at 302-298-3250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About DCRAC: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. (DCRAC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for Delawareans. Since its founding in 1987, it has commented on the abusive and discriminatory lending practices that have visited misery upon low- and moderate income and minority communities. DCRAC received the coveted Standards for Excellence re-certification in 2013. To qualify for such prestigious recognition, DCRAC was evaluated pursuant to a rigorous process examining organizational ethics, accountability, integrity, financial management, program structure and governance, using benchmarks far exceeding legal requirements.
For Immediate Release: July 5, 2017
Contact: Rashmi Rangan, 302-824-5219
or Larry Nagengast, email@example.com,302-373-5254
Arsht-Cannon Fund grants DCRAC $25,000 to be used for the Low Income Tax Clinic
Wilmington, DE: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Council, Inc., (DCRAC) has received a $25,000 grant from the Arsht-Cannon Fund for its Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC), which annually provides assistance to more than 200 Delawareans who have active controversies with the Internal Revenue Service on tax issues.
“Since 2004, the Arsht-Cannon Fund has donated more than $8.3 million to support non-profit organization programs that serve Delaware. With the mission focusing on Delaware’s Latinos in 2008, over $5.4 million has funded research, educational opportunities, access to healthcare and special youth programs.” said Dr. Christine A. Cannon, Arsht-Cannon Fund executive director. “DCRAC’s work with the Latino community in the area of federal income tax compliance aligns with our focus on immigration. To many immigrants, a new life in America poses challenging obstacles for assimilation and integration which are compounded by the need to interact with the IRS.”
“We operate on the all too real front lines of daily living and its complexities to ensure low-income taxpayers receive equal treatment in their many interactions with governmental entities,” says DCRAC Executive Director Rashmi Rangan. “This grant comes at a critical time in the struggle to inform, assist and empower Delawareans in need of access to services that are available for all.”
In 2014, 443,820 federal tax returns were filed in Delaware. Nearly 60 percent (265,560) have adjusted gross incomes below $50,000, an income level rife with issues involving income reporting inaccuracies, a large tax bill resulting from a misunderstanding over whether income was earned as an employee or as an independent contractor, identity theft, the qualification rules for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is so important to the low-income community, or an automated presumption of fraud.
Nearly one in six Delawareans who claim an Earned Income Tax Credit can expect an IRS controversy; it is estimated that between 2003 and 2013 the IRS paid out at least $124.1 billion in improper payments. Caught in the web of intricate EITC rules are a large number of working Latino families with children who claimed average refunds of about $1,400. The Arsht-Cannon grant will allow DCRAC’s Tax Clinic to serve and empower the Latino community in addressing existing and emerging federal income tax issues.
“The root causes of poverty, especially as they relate to a person’s pocketbook and economic security, may never leave our community. But with our advocacy, our knowledge, our commitment and our community support from donors such as the Arsht-Cannon Fund, DCRAC assists in the crusade against injustice and exploitation of the low-income community,” Rangan says. “We are grateful for the Arsht-Cannon Fund’s focus on immigrant issues and we are honored by their recognition of our work in this area.”
About DCRAC: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. (DCRAC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for Delawareans. Since its founding in 1987, it has commented on the abusive and discriminatory mortgage lending practices that have visited misery upon low- and moderate income and minority communities. DCRAC received the coveted Standards for Excellence re-certification in 2013. To qualify for such prestigious recognition, DCRAC was evaluated pursuant to a rigorous process examining organizational ethics, accountability, integrity, financial management, program structure and governance, using benchmarks far exceeding legal requirements.
About the Arsht-Cannon Fund: Created in 2004, the Arsht-Cannon Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation is a donor-advised fund directed by Adrienne Arsht, chair of the Arsht-Cannon Foundation’s advisory committee. Originally planned by the Honorable Roxanna Cannon Arsht and S. Samuel Arsht, involved citizens of Delaware who endeavored to give back to their beloved home state through their service and wealth, the fund was created to “preserve, support, protect, and defend the best interests of a civil society.” The Christiana Care’s Roxana Cannon Arsht Surgicenter and the University of Delaware’s Arsht Hall – home of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute – are tributes to their charitable legacy.
For Immediate Release: May 22, 2017
For More Information Contact:
Rashmi Rangan, Executive Director
DCRAC Welcomes New Director of Strategic Projects and Community Affairs
Wilmington, DE: The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC) (dcrac.org) is pleased to announce that Mr. Howard Keener has joined their staff effective May 22, 2017 in a newly created role as Director of Strategic Projects and Community Affairs.
In this role, Mr. Keener will work to further DCRAC’s mission throughout the state by strengthening internal policies and procedures, managing relationships with funders, donors and board members, building strategic partnerships, and managing communications, marketing and community affairs. His responsibilities will be split between DCRAC and Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union.
Rashmi Rangan, DCRAC Executive Director, states "We are delighted to welcome Howard to our team. His wealth of business experience and expertise comes at an opportune moment in our organizational life cycle. As we continue our growth trajectory, we will look to Howard to strengthen and enhance our impact on the community we serve."
Mr. Keener worked most recently with the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement as Vice President of Communications and Member Relations. Preceding this role, Howard was President of Keener Marketing Communications LLC where he consulted with several Delaware nonprofits. Just prior, he worked for Blood Bank of Delmarva in directorial level positions in marketing, business development and strategic planning. Howard has earned an MBA from University of Delaware, and a BS in Business Management from Widener University.
The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for all Delawareans. Since its founding in 1987, it has commented on the discriminatory mortgage lending practices that have severely impacted low and moderate income and minority communities. DCRAC received the coveted Standards for Excellence® recertification in 2013, through a rigorous examination of ethics and accountability which evaluates organizational integrity, financial management, programs, and governance, using benchmarks which go well-beyond legal requirements.
About Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union
Stepping Stones Community FCU’s mission is providing members access to credit with need-appropriate financial services, education, and individualized approaches to money matters to ensure awareness of all their financial choices.
For Immediate Release, October 25, 2016
Contact: Larry Nagengast, firstname.lastname@example.org, 302-373-5254
or Jaclyn Quinn, email@example.com, 302-298-3251
Lawyer, banker, Catholic group saluted at DCRAC annual dinner
WILMINGTON, Del. -- DCRAC, the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc., recently honored Wilmington attorney Richard Cross, Fulton Bank executive Randy Taylor and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development at its annual awards dinner.
Cross, a partner in Cross and Simon, and Taylor, president of Fulton Bank’s Delaware Division, received excellence in service awards.
Cross was cited for his successful representation in the Court of Chancery of a borrower who sought to have a payday loan voided because its terms were unconscionable. “The remarkable result of this litigation should serve as a warning for reform needed in the predatory lending community,” said Rashmi Rangan, DCRAC executive director.
DCRAC honored Taylor as a thank-you for his efforts in gifting a Fulton Bank branch in Wilmington to DCRAC for use as its headquarters and a home for its Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union. “Through this remarkable donation from Fulton Bank, hundreds, if not thousands, will have easier access to credit in the years to come,” Rangan said.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, based in Washington, D.C., received the Community Reinvestment Act Leadership Award for providing advice and financial support during DCRAC’s 10-year effort to establish Stepping Stones, which opened in 2012.
DCRAC, founded in 1987 as an advocate for equal access to credit, provides multiple services to assist low-income individuals deal with a variety of creditors, including mortgage holders, banks and other lenders, and the Internal Revenue Service. It also operates the Stepping Stones CFCU.