CFED has changed its name to Prosperity Now, and as one component of their changing brand, they are forming a new nationwide network of organizations which serve as leaders in state, tribal, or local economies. This network will be known as Community Champions. AC CAN has been selected as a Community Champion to represent our powerful network of asset building organizations in the East Bay. We are proud of our ongoing relationship with Prosperity Now and will continue to share resources, opportunities, and news from the national network with you in Alameda County and the East Bay.
The Prosperity Now Community brings together more than 24,000 practitioners, advocates, and researchers across all 50 states and D.C. to create strong connections between communities and mobilize action to create lasting social change.
The Prosperity Now Community facilitates learning, creates connections, and inspires action to create and improve programs and policies that foster opportunity, especially for those who have not had it before. Their unwavering commitment to creating prosperity includes efforts on a wide range of issues, such as consumer protections, equity in the tax code, increasing affordable housing and removing barriers to saving, and building wealth.
California Reinvestment Coalition finds that installment loans are causing financial heartburn for California families. Consumer advocates expressed alarm about a new report released by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) focused on installment lending in California. According to the report, 58% of installment loans for amounts ranging from $2,500 to $4,999 that were made last year came with interest rates of more than 100%. And, despite originating fewer car title loans, lenders repossessed more than 20,000 cars in 2016, representing a 22% increase from the year before.
“This report confirms once again that the California legislature needs to develop a backbone when it comes to standing up for consumers instead of for the lenders that are taking advantage of their constituents,” explains Liana Molina, Director of Community Engagement at the California Reinvestment Coalition. Read more
CalEITC EXPANSION: Advocates are celebrating a success in the new state budget-the expansion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a refundable state tax credit that helps working families who earn very little to better afford the basics. California Budget and Policy Center Executive Director, Chris Hoene, called it “an important victory for working Californians.” The state budget agreement extends the CalEITC to include self-employed workers and also lifts income eligibility limits, allowing well over 1 million additional families to benefit from the credit. Read more about the credit HERE
RULE PASSED TO ENSURE GROUPS GET THEIR DAY IN COURT: On July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new rule to ban companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses to deny groups of people their day in court. Many consumer financial products like credit cards and bank accounts have arbitration clauses in their contracts that prevent consumers from joining together to sue their bank or financial company for wrongdoing. By forcing consumers to give up or go it alone – usually over small amounts – companies can sidestep the court system, avoid big refunds, and continue harmful practices. The CFPB’s new rule will deter wrongdoing by restoring consumers’ right to join together to pursue justice and relief through group lawsuits. Watch a video illustrating the rule HERE
- July 19: Spurring Innovations in Credit Counseling: Lessons from the Smart Growth Innovation Program. REGISTER
- July 20: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray and the Office of Community Affairs is holding a webinar to mark the 6th year anniversary of the CFPB and highlight the many resources and tools that they’ve developed to help consumers navigate the financial marketplace. REGISTER
- July 25: The Prosperity Now Scorecard is being released. Join HERE to discuss the most salient findings and trends as they relate to how residents are faring financially and what policy actions we can take to help families improve their financial health.
- August 17: AC CAN Stakeholder Convening.
UNDEREMPLOYMENT: Top 6 Things You Need To Know About Underemployment Right Now. Read the Article
TOOLKIT FOR EDUCATORS TO SUPPORT UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS AND FAMILIES: Members of the California Equity Leadership Alliance, comprised of eight organizations, have created a new toolkit designed for educators to better support undocumented students and their families. Access the toolkit HERE
IRS ANNOUNCES NEW SET OF ITIN EXPIRATIONS: ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire Dec. 31, 2017, and ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. The IRS provides information about ITIN expiration in Spanish and English HERE. Materials HERE are also translatable into several other languages which will help taxpayers avoid common errors and file complete and accurate ITIN renewal applications.
HIGHER ED AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN THE 2017-18 STATE BUDGET: The California Budget & Policy Center released its complete report on the enacted state budget package for 2017-18. The report includes the following topic areas: California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, and Financial Aid, Overall Corrections Spending, and Proposition 57 Prison Population Reduction. Read the Report
CERTIFY YOUR SERVICE: If you’re a teacher, social worker, first responder, government employee, or work in another area of public service and have student loan debt, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. It’s a program that offers loan forgiveness for student loan borrowers with federal Direct student loans who make 120 qualifying payments while enrolled in a qualifying repayment plan, and work full-time for an eligible public service employer. If you are working toward earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness, it’s essential that you understand the program to help avoid setbacks that could hurt your progress toward loan forgiveness. Learn more
Building Skills Partnerships – Financial Education Specialist
Mission Economic Development Agency – Adelante Fund Director
Mission Economic Development Agency – Policy and Organizing Director
W.K. Kellogg Foundation – Program Officer for Family Economic Security
Northern Nevada HOPES – Bilingual Financial Empowerment Coach
EARN – Content Marketing Manager
EBALDC – Financial Services Coordinator – SparkPoint Oakland