SOURCE: Operation HOPE, Inc.

March 10, 2008 05:30 ET

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson Joins California Members of U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy for Oakland Town Hall Meeting

Convened by Operation HOPE, Secretary's Visit Highlights Federal Government Efforts to Ensure Californians Facing Economic Challenges Are Kept Abreast of Available Resources

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. traveled to Oakland last Thursday to publicly discuss several White House foreclosure prevention initiatives and economic stimulus measures. Hosted by financial literacy organization Operation HOPE (HOPE), the town hall meeting, located at the HOPE Center in the Bank of the West Fruitvale Branch, focused on the importance of American families becoming more economically literate, saving money, and holding on to their most important asset -- their homes.

"Better financial education will do more than just help homeowners -- it will help a student assess the terms of a student loan, help a young family decide whether to afford a new or a used car, and help everyone know that the bill will come due next month, when you use the credit card today," Paulson said. "A more financially literate citizenry can help our economy in the broadest of terms."

U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral, Mayor Ron V. Dellums, and three California members of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy were all on hand to welcome Secretary Paulson. They include Advisory Council Chairman Charles Schwab, Vice Chairman John Hope Bryant, and Member Don J. McGrath, chairman and CEO, BancWest Corp., chairman of Bank of the West, and a national HOPE board member.

Charles Schwab, CEO of The Charles Schwab Corporation, was pleased that the exchange provided an opportunity to outline what the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy seeks to accomplish. "This Council is committed to helping the President and the Treasury Secretary make financial literacy a national priority," said Schwab. "It is critical that we bring together the private sector, the government, the non-profit sector and our religious communities to help give people of all ages and backgrounds the skills to understand and manage their finances."

HOPE Founder and CEO John Hope Bryant, who played a dual role at the gathering by serving both as host and vice-chairman, had this to say about the recent actions taken by the federal government. "Operation HOPE has made a concerted effort over the last 16 years to focus the nation on practical financial literacy education that will benefit all Americans, particularly those living in underserved communities. What we are doing today is not only historic, but absolutely necessary to our collective global prosperity."

About Operation HOPE

Operation HOPE (HOPE) is a leading global nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. Through various initiatives and its three principal programs: Banking on Our Future (teaching youth about financial empowerment), HOPE Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and recovery), and the HOPE Center Banking Network (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), HOPE is at the forefront of a "silver rights" movement, making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. For more information, visit us at www.operationhope.org.

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