Scholarship Recipients Named

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 Emerge Solutions Learning and Commitment Scholarship: Holland Gibbs, Weddington, NC; Sarah Hill, Waterloo, IA; Carrie Montgomery, Hot Springs, AK; and Lanetria Washington, Maumee, OH. The scholarship helps to defray expenses to attend aha! Process’s Addressing the Challenges of Poverty annual conference in Indianapolis, IN, Sept. 22-24.

Nominations Now Open: 2019 Emerge Solutions Scholarships to aha! Process Conference

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Emerge Solutions Learning and Commitment scholarships to the 2019 aha! Process Addressing the Challenges of Poverty Conference. The scholarships are available for graduates of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World and Investigations into Economic Class in America who could benefit from attending the conference. For more information and a nomination form, click here.

Board Changes

Two new members have joined the Emerge Solutions Board of Directors. They are Pattie Hamons, consultant, Character Assets, Toledo, Ohio; and Lisa Reed, executive director, Residential Home for the Developmentally Disabled, Coshocton, Ohio. New officers also have been elected. They are president, Carrie Arnold; vice president, Stephen MacDonald; secretary, Treasure McKenzie; and treasurer, Amber Werner. For more information, click here.

Join in Our Survey

Emerge Solutions promotes cross-sector collaboration and knowledge exchange to close the poverty gap and build sustainability across communities, states and nations. To do this more effectively, we’re updating our directory of organizations working to eradicate poverty. Our goal is to better help people connect with each other, forge networks and share information about what works and what doesn’t. Won’t you please help us out? It will take only about four minutes of your time. To participate, please click here. Thank you!

California Eliminates Money Bail

Here’s a good example of removing a structural barrier from the paths of low-income individuals by addressing an exploitative practice at the policy level. Recently Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to eliminate cash bail in California. The change aims to treat both rich and poor fairly by eliminating a practice (widespread throughout the country) that often relegates poor individuals to what is essentially a debtor’s prison, separating them from their families and their livelihoods although they represent no threat to society.

 

‘A Way of Monetizing Poor People’

As new federal regulations have curtailed payday lending, private equity firms — including one headed by former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, who in his role in the Obama administration condemned predatory lending — have stepped into the growing field of “consumer installment loans” to offer enticing, but exploitative, alternatives. One firm, Mariner Finance, stands out among its peers for its use of mass-mailed checks, a tactic which preys upon low- to middle-income individuals anxious about financial challenges such as vehicle repairs and hospital bills. Victims face exorbitant interest rates and fees as well as lawsuits when they can’t keep up their payments. You can read more here.

Going Postal to Kill Payday Lenders

With the rising cost of housing and the stagnation of wages, many low-income workers depend on payday loans to make ends meet — at an average annualized interest rate of 390 percent. Now, a Democratic senator has proposed an alternative: low-cost banking through the postal system. It’s an idea that can be implemented without any great administrative difficulties, policy-design challenges or start-up costs, and will benefit not only low-income workers, but also the U.S. Postal Service itself. And there is little reason why it should not have bipartisan support. This is a great example of a policy change that addresses a huge problem for the poor, and it’s legislation we’ll all want to follow. To read all about it, click here.