Last December, Senators Grassley and Ernst had a chance to stand against predatory payday lenders and stand with hardworking Iowans. Instead, Grassley and Ernst voted to confirm Kathy Kraninger to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal regulator charged with policing Wall Street and predatory lenders.

After just two months on the job Kraninger is proposing to gut consumer protections against payday lending which Richard Cordray’s CFPB spent 5 years working to craft. Kraninger wants to eliminate a requirement that payday lenders confirm that a borrower can repay a loan while managing other expenses as well.  The CFPB’s own research found that 80 percent of payday loans are taken out to pay back earlier payday loans.

She isn’t doing this because they are popular, as payday lenders are despised by Democratic and Republican voters alike. Payday lending costs Iowans millions of dollars per year, and the average payday loan-consumer in Iowa has taken out 20 or more, usually just to pay back their earlier debts.

If there was ever a time for Grassley and Ernst to stand up for working Iowans, it was in December when considering who would head the CFPB. And now that Kraninger is pushing to let payday lenders operate like it’s the Wild West, Grassley and Ernst could speak out against the proposal.

But so far not a peep. Thankfully we have a chance to weigh in, as the CFPB has a comment period before they make a final decision. Please submit a comment. And then, let Grassley and Ernst know that they missed a chance to stand with everyday Iowans by confirming someone who would rather protect predatory loan sharks than their victims.

Join us on Tuesday, April 24 in Des Moines to confront Wells Fargo at their annual shareholder meeting and demand they put People and our Planet before corporate greed. RSVP and get more details here.

Wells Fargo’s abusive actions have hurt millions of people – everyone from students and veterans to homeowners in our community.

Or, as Saqib Bhatti, director of the Refund America Project, reminds usWells Fargo was “one of the leading banks when it came to mortgage discrimination, really targeting communities of color with predatory mortgages. In fact, workers from within the bank have come forth and said that within Wells Fargo, they referred to subprime mortgages as “ghetto loans,” and said that they were intended for “mud people.” This is a type of culture that you had within Wells Fargo. […] What we found is, time and again, it’s black and Latino communities that are targeted for the worst of Wells Fargo’s racist practices.”

Wells Fargo rakes in profits while our communities suffer.

Enough is enough. They’ve chosen to hold this national meeting in Des Moines, hoping to escape the protests that have dogged the event in recent yearsWe’ll converge on their annual shareholder meeting in downtown Des Moines and demand they put People and Planet first.

We’ll kick off this powerful day of action at 8:30am. RSVP and get more details here.

In a rare turn of events, Rep. Rod Blum will be holding four town hall meetings next week in the 1St Congressional District.

Here are the details:

  • May 8th at 7pm: Dubuque Senior High School Nora Gym, 1800 Clarke Drive, Dubuque
  • May 9th at 7pm: Kirkwood Community College Johnson Hall Gym, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids
  • May 10th at 7pm: Cedar Falls High School Gym, 1015 Division Street, Cedar Falls
  • May 11th at 12pm: Marshalltown Community College Babe Harder Gym, 3700 South Center Street, Marshalltown

Rep. Rod Blum has been avoiding his constituents like the plague, but finally emerged to hold some town halls in the district. But not without quite a few requirements from you (**ie, read this**):

  • You must register for the town hall at https://blum.house.gov/townhall
  • You must bring a photo ID, if your photo ID does not reflect your current 1st District address, please bring a utility bill or statement reflecting your current 1st District address along with your photo ID.
  • Information listed on ID must match the information provided on RSVP.
  • Children under 16 will be admitted without ID but still require RSVP.
  • Doors will open 60 minutes prior to events
  • No backpacks, signs, banners, or artificial noisemakers will be allowed into the event.

Attend a town hall and ask a question about issues you care about the most!

>>Also, we’ve heard that Medicaid and SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) could be on the chopping block during this Congress.

If you’re able to meet Rep. Blum’s stringent requirements to exercise democracy, ask if he stands with his constituents or big money corporations that prioritize profits over our health and safety.

For more information or to run a question past us just shoot us an email or give us a call the office at 515-282-0484!

Join the Fight: 

 

LIKE and TWEET to share this rare opportunity! 🙂

Letter to the Editor Printed in the Des Moines Register 4/15/2017

President Donald Trump is violating our country’s basic democratic principle of transparency — and Rep. David Young is helping him get away with it.

During a February town hall, Rep. Young told us that when “you run for president, you’re president, you should release your tax returns. It’s a distraction and I think the American people should know.” Yet just a few days later, Rep. Young went back to Washington and voted against a resolution that would force Trump to release his tax returns from the past 10 years.

Rep. Young’s two-faced position on Trump’s tax returns is cynical even for a politician — and dangerous for our democracy. One of the most important constitutional responsibilities of Congress is to serve as a check on the president. Yet, despite the fact that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, Rep. Young won’t stand up and ensure that the American people have a full understanding of their president’s potential conflicts of interest.

The American people need a full and complete picture of Trump’s income and investments to know all the possible ways he could make money off the presidency. That’s why I’ll be joining the Des Moines Tax March on Saturday, April 15. Our leaders — starting with Trump and Rep. Young — are accountable to the American people. Instead of hiding the truth and working in the shadows, Rep. Young should stand with his constituents and demand that Trump immediately release his tax returns.

— Adam Mason, State Policy Organizing Director at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

 

FIND A TAX MARCH NEAR YOU: https://taxmarch.org/local-marches/

 

LIKE and TWEET to share with your networks

Senators Grassley and Ernst will be holding town hall meetings on April 18 and April 20.

Town halls are a great opportunity to raise our issues and hold elected officials accountable back home in their districts. It’s our job to remind them that they work for we the people, not big corporations and Wall St. that want to cut our safety net to line their already wealthy pockets.

Sen. Ernst’s town hall will be Tuesday, April 18:

  • 1pm: Wall Lake Community Center, 101 Boyer St, Wall Lake

Sen. Grassley’s two town halls will be:

  • Tuesday, April 18: 2:30pm at Keokuk County Courthouse, 101 S. Main St., Sigourney
  • Thursday, April 20: 10am at Iowa State Bank, 500 Audubon St., Sac City

Attend a town hall and ask a question about issues you care about the most!  We’ve heard that Medicaid and SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) could be on the chopping block during this Congress.

Here’s a few talking points if you’re able to ask a question on one of these issues:

  • Our Medicaid should be controlled by us, it is here to take care of our family, friends, and neighbors, it should not exist to line the pockets of private corporations with our tax dollars.
  • The average monthly SNAP benefit in Iowa is $108 dollars and for every dollar spent on SNAP, it generates $1.80 in economic activity in the state.
  • Block-granting these programs doesn’t provide “flexibility” to states – it’s a benefit cut.  Block granting eliminates the ability for these programs to respond to increased need that results from rising poverty and unemployment during economic downturns.

For more information or to run a question past us, call the office at 515-282-0484!

Next Monday, March 20 – two of the biggest issues we are fighting at the Statehouse will see action at three metro-area city council meetings.

It’s critical that we mobilize our members to pressure the city councils in Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines to stand with everyday people, not corporate power.

Can you attend one of these meetings next Monday?

  • Ankeny’s city council is trying to opt out of Polk County’s increased minimum wage ordinance that goes into effect April 1. Essentially they’ll vote on lowering wages. That’s not right; living wages are good for everyone. We’re meeting at 5 pm at City Hall – details and RSVP here
  • Des Moines City Council (thanks to your pressure) will take a public vote on support for HF 484, the bad corporate-power grab bill to dismantle Des Moines Water Works. We want them to stand with ratepayers – NOT Farm Bureau who is playing politics with our precious water. We’re meeting at 4:30 at the *new/temporary* council location – details and RSVP here
  • West Des Moines city council will review their potential support of HF 484, the bill to dismantle DMWW, for the first time. We’re meeting at 5 pm at City Hall – details and RSVP here