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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has
— Margaret Mead
 
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 advocacy

We know programs alone do not end poverty because the problem of poverty is systemic. We believe advocating for policies with a direct effect on the root causes of poverty creates the impact needed to help communities and families escape poverty.

Our advocacy work supports our mission by focusing on policies that provide consumer financial protections, stops the debt trap of predatory lending, creates an equitable tax code, and closes the racial wealth gap.

The goals of our advocacy work are to engage and educate the public on legislation, meet with legislators on the local, state and national level, and supporting policies that help the most financially vulnerable.

The public side of our advocacy work often shows in campaigns we collaborate on with advocacy coalition partners, through initiatives we lead and participate in, and in the annual projects, we do as an organization.

 
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Consumer Financial protection

stop the debt trap

right side up the tax code

Our organization supports policies that protect consumers from predatory lending products and practices. It's fundamental to alleviating poverty that the most vulnerable financially have access to financial products and services that do not have the goal of taking advantage of them. The policies we support aim to provide clear and easy to read disclosures on agreements, interest rates that aren't higher than similar products, and products that aren't deceptive in nature or practice. We also advocate for the right for consumers to have the ability to address wrong-doings by companies of financial products and to seek full redress.

Our organization takes a focus on stopping the debt trap, specifically from payday lenders because of the way payday lenders and their products target low-income earning communities. Our goal is to cap annual interest rates at 36% at the state level for each state and in Federal law. This rate cap, essentially makes it impossible to operate in the current business model, that payday lenders have, which is unsustainable consumer debt creation. Changing how this one product works, would keep millions of financially vulnerable individuals from going deeper into debt.

Through our advocacy work, we envision a tax code from local to national levels that benefits the lowest income earners the same as it does the highest income earners. Current tax codes unequally benefit high-income earners and penalize low-income earners who are striving to gain assets and increase savings, things lower income earners need the ability to do, as it provides a means to get out of poverty. A tax code that is flipped upside down would greatly benefit the most financially vulnerable and help to close the wealth gap, especially for communities of color, which have historically been disenfranchised by tax codes.


Stay informed

Learn more about the legislation we support and oppose and read the letters we have signed onto throughout the years in our archives, to help protect the most vulnerable financial consumers.

You can also see the legislation we’re following and where bills stand in each state we’re active in and on the federal level. There are ways that the public can get involved in our advocacy work, including participating in our projects and/or getting involved in our public calls to action.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our Advocacy Newsletter and stay current with our Advocacy Blog to get an in-depth look at our positions on policies we’re supporting or opposing.

Read past issues of the TOLF Advocacy Newsletter.