Table of Contents:
|Minutes from Task Force Meeting Jan 13, 2018|
|JUJ Statement to Regulations.Gov|
|Minutes August 16, 2017|
|Minutes June 29, 2017|
|Minutes May 18, 2017|
|Minutes April 20, 2017||Minutes Sept 13, 2016|
|Minutes May 18, 2017||JUJ Statement to Regulations.Gov|
|Minutes April 20, 2017||Minutes Sept 13, 2016|
|Minutes March 29, 2017||Message Aug 14, 2016|
|Minutes March 8, 2017||Town Hall July 18, 2016|
|The Power of Community Action (University Study)||Minutes June 15, 2016|
|Minutes Jan 25, 2017||Notes from May 17, 2016|
|Minutes Jan 09, 2017||Notes from Apr 13, 2016|
Attendees: Susan, Mark, David, Kim, Phyllis, Cheryl
1. Susan Reported that she and David have set up a meeting with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, their Peace and Justice Commission, to present our program on pay day lending and alternatives. The contact person is Marie Kenyon. The date is March 15 at 6:00. If you would would like to attend, e mail Susan.
2. FYI: Brian has been coordinating the links to various articles re pay day lending.
1. David reported that St Rose Duchesne has had 3 meetings and has voted to join the Task Force to join our advocacy efforts to promote alternatives to payday lending. They have appointed 2 church members to join our efforts. They have contacts within the Florissant City Council.
2. The goal is to put together a town hall meeting with members of the church and community to see if they are interested in this issue. The long-range goal is to pass an ordinance in Florissant, similar to the St. Louis City ordinance.
Employer Based Lending: An Alternative
1. Mark reported on the True Connect Program. He spoke with the founder of True Connect, as well as Meridith Covington, at SLU in the Policy Devt. Program. His report was previously e- mailed to the Task Force. He has another call set up to True Connect to discuss our role in the process.
2. At our next Task Force meeting we plan to discuss other types of institutions that might be interested in this alternative. (nonprofits, hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, etc.)
Potential Partners and Coalition Members: Missouri Faith Voices
1.Cheryl reported that she spoke with Reverend Cassandra Gould, the director of Missouri Faith Voices, regarding the Opportunity to Thrive Task Force (i.e. PayDay Lending) and our advocacy efforts regarding payday lending policies. She also spoke with Alice Chamberlain, the organizer of Missouri Faith Voices. Alice said there will be a meeting in Jefferson City on February 20th to voice their concerns
2 Alice asked if we could share this information with the entire JUJ mailing list to see if anyone would be interested in attending the Feb 20th meeting. David will put this e mail together. Subsequently, it was sent out to the entire JUJ e mail list.
Other Up and Coming Meetings
1. Diversity Impact Group (initial meeting was subsequently cancelled.
2. Monsanto YMCA North Martin Luther King Day (attended by Susan)
3. Metropolitan Congregation United: Susan and David will set up the meeting, per the request of the director, David Gerth
4. Archdiocese of St Louis, Truth and Justice Commission: March 15, 6:00 pm. Pls let Susan know if you are interested in attending our presentation.
5. We are waiting to hear from St Rose regarding the next step
6. We are trying to set a plan for Financial Education, with Treina Lind (Red Dough) and Veronica
7. At St Rose. (This has been accomplished., as of Feb 16 Veronica is also interested in bringing the Financial Education Program to other churches in the area.)
KUDOs to our Advocacy Committee.
NEXT MEETING, MARCH 14 2018
Present: See bottom of the Minutes.
Susan informed the group that a PowerPoint presentation is available that we can use to reach out to groups that are interested in learning about Pay Day Lending .We have also started focusing on alternatives to Payday Lending, such as Lending Circles, Employers’ Programs, and, of course, Red Dough.
Phyllis talked Laura Goldmeier, who has a relationship to a physician whose office is in St. Charles He urged us to try to get Red Dough information to St. Charles residents. And he suggested we ask Red Dough to open an office in St. Charles , even if only a few hours per week. Phyllis suggested a one-page version of the Red Dough brochure for a hand-out.
A question was asked whether Red Dough is sustainable. As they are associated with Prosperity Connection and were started through a generous grant/donation, it is believed that it is a stable organization. Prosperity Connections has a relationship with several banks in the area. They also offer other services like currency exchange, debit cards and more, as revenue sources. Susan said that they had checked out Prosperity Connection very carefully. We also met with their President of the Board of Directions in October 1916..
1. Sal met with personnel from the Federal Reserve who said that he wants to meet with the group
2. The group Safe Connections – survivors of Domestic Violence - has many Payday Lending consumers. We are doing a presentation there Oct 18.
Susan suggested that we need to look at Stage II of our efforts and that would include Budget education, teaching how to keep a “budget diary” to increase awareness of spending patterns. The idea is that attendees can learn how to establish an “Emergency/Rainy Day fund that is available when unexpected expenses occur. There are a number of organizations who are already providing this and our efforts could dovetail with theirs.
An explanation was given of Better Family Life, a mainly African-American social services agency, in St. Louis, very strong in North County. They work with NCJW and the PDL task force has been invited to meet with them again and come up with some ideas of how we might work together.
Based on the stats that Steve presented earlier led to the determination that we should focus on three areas, where there are lots of Payday lending businesses: Florissant, St. Charles and Fenton.
David recapped his, and Susan’s meeting in Clayton with Patrick McCauly. Patrick also told them about the City Council and the names of the first two people we should contact. He also gave them a primer on the strong mayoral system of their government. Thanks to Marilyn Ratkin for the introduction to Patrick.
David further reported: Marie Kenyon identified an excellent social justice council of a Catholic church in Florissant. We visited them last week. They worked on the PDL issue some years ago when MCU and others did a ballot effort that failed. They presented it to the Parish Council and even though the main priest did not like the idea the parish council did not reject it but asked for some more information which we gave them. Thanks to Marie.
Susan Talve gave us the name of another clergyperson at AME church that she likes a lot and we will contact her. Susan thought this would be a good place to start. Thanks to Rabbi Talve.
Sal asked if should suggest to Florissant to try to adopt the ordinance – with modifications, of course – that was passed in the City of St. Louis. We are working getting a copy of the ordinance as a model for us.
Sal also pointed out that we need to tailor our messages, and levels of action depending on the audience we address.
We welcome all Task Force members to attend meetings we have with “target groups”. These meetings are very interesting and informative. Let me or David know.
Thanks to everyone who participated and they were:
Susan Roth, David Lander, Peg Blyth, Creighton Cohn, Sal Valadez, Carol Lander, Steve Birenbaum, Cheryl Perl, Phyllis Cantor, Marilyn Ratkin (via speakerphone) and Richard Gavatin
JUJ Payday Lending Task Force Meeting May 18, 2017
Sub Task Force on Developing a Municipal Regulation of PDL Steve reported that he had researched the “spread” of the Payday Lending (PL) offices in the state of Missouri. He acquired a list of all PL offices and they can be sorted in different ways. The question was: Were we to address these issues geographically? Or by number of PL offices? The size of the cities/municipalities? Or how likely we thought that each city would be receptive to our views?
The problem with the data he has access to, is that many zip codes encompass more than one city, and some cities are “sprawled” over more than one zip code.
A complete list can be provided if requested.
Florissant and St. Charles each are near the top of the list and we decided that Florissant is the first place to start We need to reach out to churches and to progressive leaders and political allies in a very preliminary way to see if any are interested in the general topic of predatory lending and then see if this is a good place to start. If so we would start with educational sessions at churches and civic groups. We identified one person to reach out to and in addition we will talk with Marie Kenyon and Jill Shupp about other people with whom to start.
Creighton questioned if there is any way for us to know if this does any good since the relief is not very complete. We had a good discussion and concluded that although this is far from a solution it is a great place to start raising the issue and building awareness and a coalition of supporters and passing an ordinance which is useful.
Sal said that we want to highlight alternative lending opportunities, essentially a Red Dough “everywhere”. Maybe we can address the banks behind the PLs if these ordinances are passed in more places. It was argued that maybe Credit Unions can be a partner.
A motion was made and seconded that we, as a priority should focus on Florissant. Per Marie Kenyon. Office of Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese, Florissant is an important Catholic hub and would be responsive to information about PLS.
Step 1 would be for the subgroup, consisting of Susan, Marie and Marilyn R to try set up an introductory meeting there and as Step 2 ask Jill Schupp about potential “friendlies” among Florissant politicians.
Sal gave us a name of the spokesperson for the Hispanic Leaders’ group in Florissant, Elana Kenyon (no relation to Marie) and Sal promised to facilitate a meeting with her.
Susan informed that the local MOPirg no longer has any staff and they were a great ally.
On the education: Peg and Susan discussed the Community Investment Act (CRA), which penalizes local banks that do not invest in low income neighborhoods. This means several credit unions work with the “unbanked”, and PDL is part of that. More to follow on the CRA coming soon!
2. Subtask Force on Alternatives to PayDay Loans
Two meetings have been set up: June 7 at Jewish Family Services and Shir Hadash, Reconstructionist Community, June 24.
Nursing Homes (where the employees are targeted by PLs inside the actual nursing homes). It needs to be said that some Nursing homes are a tad better than others in this respect
And Food banks. Richard will contact the Jewish Food Pantry Executive Director.
Lastly, we need to check with Prosperity on the Military ordinance on PLs, which is based on Federal Law. Some restrictive rules on the PLs were instituted a few years back, and we should follow up on the effect of these restrictions.
In the meantime, Susan and David have attended several meeting and, thanks to Sal’s help, have meet some political representatives and also participants in the Better Family Life project. All are interested in what we are doing.
1. Sal will reach out to his contact and set up a meeting with a couple of us
2. David will call Marie Kenyon to begin thinking of church leader to contact.
3. We work to compile a list of progressive community leaders to begin the dialogue on predatory lending.
4. Someone will draft a brief fact sheet about the City.
5. Susan and Peg will continue their educational efforts
6. We will start building our community wide coalition.
Present: Laura Goldmeier, Henry Berger, David Lander, Sal Valadez, Creighton Cohn, Marie Kenyon, Mimi Scolnick, Susan Roth, Jerry Hochstzstein, Steven Birenbaum , Peg Blyth, Richard Gavatin
1. Follow up on Alternative Lending Sources: Peg Blyth spoke with the loan project coordinator at Central Reform Congregation. He said they were just starting their program with 2 clients at this time. They need to give it some time to see how it works before our listing them as one of our sources of alternatives for PDL (Pay Day Loans).
2. -Places for People: to be followed by by Phyllis Cantor
3. -Jobs with Justice: Phyllis spoke with Rev. Martin, who heads the program with the possibility of collaborating with them. PDL is not one of their priorities at this time.
4. -Jewish Family Services: Peg Blyth and Susan Roth are meeting with Lou Albert, Executive Director on April 21 to discuss the possibility of doing a presentation, with Paul Woodruff, executive director of Prosperity Connections/Red Dough.
5. -We also briefly discussed a presentation with the staff that Laura Goldmeir works with.
• CFPB/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: this task force has been put on hold for the time being. Although this is an important issue, we don’t have enough committee members to work on it.
• Municipal Regulation of PDL: The discussion revolved around two issues: how to formulate the wording of our proposed regulation (narrow language or broad) and where to focus our efforts.
• It was suggested we follow up with Cara Spencer’s office (Proposition S in the City) for assistance on these questions.
• Regarding where to focus, Steve Birenbaum has put together a list of PD loan shops by zip code and by location. This issue is still being discussed in terms of whether to start with a municipality with few pay day loan shops or more.
• Marie Kenyon raised an important point that where we start, we need to engage the community to be part of and perhaps lead the effort. She suggested starting with small town hall meetings to begin that process and get the community buy in and direction. She also has contacts with a parish in Florissant and we may want to start there.
• This issue is also still being discussed before a decision is made.
1. Installment Loans : material presented by Mimi Scolnick . New …. These loans give a longer pay back period and are harder to regulate, but the effects on the interest are rate are the same as PDL.
2. Discussion ensued re Alternatives to PDL, in addition to Red Dough. Apparently credit unions and some banks are giving microloans. Susan and David will discuss this with Paul Woodruff (director if Red Dough) at our April 28 meeting with him. This information may also be available at the April 22-29 STRUT (St Louis Regional Unbanked) meeting, Money Smart Week.
3. Partnerships: Marilyn Ratkin has a list of potential partners and will be working on this.
Sal Valadez suggested we explore if The Journey church, which has several locations in St Louis, is also working on PDL or interested in partnering with us. We will begin exploring this possibility as a very good start.
SO WE HAVE LOTS TO DO AND LOTS OF POTENTIAL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE