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Federal Reserve Kicks Off Nationwide Listening Sessions In South Dallas

From left: Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Terry Flowers of St. Philip's School and Community Center; and Richard Clarida of the Federal Reserve just before the listening session.
Syeda Hasan
/
KERA
From left: Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Terry Flowers of St. Philip's School and Community Center; and Richard Clarida of the Federal Reserve just before the listening session.

Officials with the U.S. Federal Reserve were in Dallas Monday to launch a series of national conversations. The goal of these meetings is to understand how federal monetary policy impacts everyday people.

The Federal Reserve held the first of its "Fed Listens" sessions at the St. Philip's School andCommunity Center, just south of Downtown Dallas. According to census data, the area around the school is home to some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Richard Clarida, vice vhair of the Federal Reserve, heard from people about the need for more well-paying jobs.

"This is a broader problem in our country, that the people aren't where the jobs are," Clarida said.

Others said to attract business and jobs, South Dallas needs better access to transportation and high-speed internet. Fed officials also heard from local nonprofits that are working to improve access to credit and cut down on predatory lending.

Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, says many of the challenges he heard point to the need for meaningful — and stable — employment.

"It reminds me there's no substitute for somebody having a job," Kaplan said, “and when you have a job, it makes progress on a lot of these other issues more possible or even more probable."