This is a great week for AFFIL because our friend Denise Richardson devoted an entire column to us at the Florida Sun Sentinel. (Thanks again Denise!) You can see her column here.
Coincidentally, a while back Sam asked me to write a “what AFFIL is up to” blog post, and lucky for me, Denise has now done some of the work for me. Here’s an excerpt of what she has to say:
I’m quick to get up on the rooftop and start shouting about pro-consumer organizations and resources that can benefit the public. AFFIL, Americans for Fairness in Lending, is that kind of resourceful organization.
Most recently, AFFIL worked hard to sponsor and succeeded in helping pass the federal Credit Card Act, which protects consumers from those “at any time, for any reason” interest rate increases while also limiting credit card distribution to students, ensuring that consumers are given a fair amount of time in which to receive and pay their bills, and determining that payments must be applied fairly between multiple accounts. No more got-cha tricks!
Getting the Credit CARD Act passed was a fantastic victory. Our Board Member Janne O’Donnell attended the signing ceremony at the White House (see her pictured above with President Obama – you may remember her if you’ve seen the movie Maxed Out).
Of course, there’s still lots to do. Many of our members were angry that the Credit CARD Act didn’t contain a usury cap, for example. Over the summer and throughout 2009 we’ll be focusing on pushing for the creation of a national usury cap and a Financial Product Safety Commission. Getting a decent mortgage bill through Congress is another priority. (AFFIL is actually interested in a range of issues; see a larger sampling here.)
AFFIL spreads our messages both online and through grassroots connections. Denise is helping us make more connections in her home state of Florida. We’re hoping to expand our network there and elsewhere; we’re looking for more individuals and organizations like legal services orgs, housing counselors, faith-based groups, activist organizations and others who want to join the fight. We provide these groups with resources such as tip sheets, fact sheets, sample op-eds, sample letters to Congress, posters, support for movie screenings, and tips for working with the media. (For more information about becoming an ally, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
AFFIL’s secret is that we’re only as strong as our members and allies. As Denise puts it, we’re “creating a web of connections”; a great big mass of people working together to combat a huge, extraordinarily well-heeled industry with tons of clout. (Yes, the banking industry still has tons of clout.) So to join us, please get in touch or check out our website. And thanks!