Milwaukee neighborhoods in the 53212 zip code are posed for a new and intriguing twist in financial institution options. In early December, the New Economy Credit Union (NECU) elected a board of directors and announced it is seeking official state approval. Digging its roots in neighborhoods like Harambee and Riverwest, the new project aims to establish a “community organizing credit union,” its founders say.

In creating the New Economy Credit Union, its founders needed to select a prime area. According to organizing committee member Alex Brower, ideal locations were areas in need of more capital, and the 53212 zip code clearly qualifies. It is a lower income area of Milwaukee, meaning it also ranks low statewide. According to data on the city by zip code, the unemployment rate for the 53212 area ranges from 14 to 16 percent.

While the state reviews NECU’s request for approval, the committee is launching a fundraising effort. The goal is to raise $300,000 from community donations, no small challenge. To that end, all groups, persons, businesses and co-ops with connections to the 53212 zip code will be tapped for fund raising.

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