Systems Change, Public Policy, & Consumer Financial Protection
Changing systems to provide equal economic opportunity for all.
The Midas Collaborative, with its many partners and members, educates and advocates for policy change at both the state and federal levels. individuals draw on the grassroots experience of member organizations in asset building and protection against high-cost predatory financial lenders, products and services.
Midas investors and community partners are the voices in these legislative policy discussions, connecting personal finances with public policy. These discussions provide opportunities for leadership for the whole Midas team to promote economic policies that affect our communities.
Our fundamental concern, the potential for economic and political marginalization of our target population, which subsequently results in a permanent under-class and a political system that is unresponsive to the needs of the working poor, drives our policy and advocacy efforts at the following legislative levels:
At the state level, Midas engages in policy discussions on topics such as supporting personal savings, consumer financial protection, financial education, and reducing inequality while leading and supporting coalition work. Many of our priorities date back to our work in forming and providing staff support for the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission. Our outreach includes coalition actions, e-mail and social media outreach, and earned and paid media.
Current legislative partners include Greater Boston Legal Services, EMPath, National Consumer Law Center, and Jewish Community Relations Council who are working to create a just and fair debt collections system. Following the recent ACLU report, A Pound of Flesh: The Criminalization of Private Debt, a transparent system is required to ensure families are not trapped in debt. Massachusetts has the opportunity to lead in consumer protections as efforts at the national level stall.
- Youth Financial Education
- Advocacy that lead to an Act Relative to Financial Literacy in Schools to be passed by the Massachusetts Senate
- MassSaves Day on the Hill in support of quality financial education for youth
- Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) raised 50%, increasing income for over 430,000 low-wage workers and inclusion of survivors of domestic violence.
- With partners in Raise Up Massachusetts:
- Advancing key initiatives onto the 2018 ballot that invest in Massachusetts families. Inititiatives include Paid Family and Medical Leave, Fair Share Amendment to support education, infrastructure and transportation, and a $15 minimum wage increase.
- Increased state regulation of for-profit career schools.
Our policy priorities are informed by benchmarks our national partners, Prosperity Now, in the Assets & Opportunities Scorecard. Midas is the Massachusetts state leader for the Prosperity Now Community Network.
We work with organizations, agencies, and other stakeholders in consumer financial protection to promote a safe economy; The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, The FDIC, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Consumer Law Center, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Treasurer, the Mass Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and many others.
Recent partnerships included membership to the Color of Wealth Working Group. The group focused on reducing the racial wealth gap and was convened by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The group was created as a follow up to the The Color of Wealth report that highlighted wealth disparities in the Greater Boston area.
To find your elected officials please visit www.wheredoivotema.com.
On the national level, Midas is a Prosperity Now Community Partner with our national partner; Prosperity Now. Midas utilizes social media platforms daily to raise awareness on subjects related to national policy and program innovations.
With national partners, we’ve been successful in:
- Engaging with Massachusetts delegation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to end payday lending abuses
- Educating state legislators and the public on a host of financial security bills, now pending
- Releasing the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard for Mass. prepared by Prosperity Now to raise public awareness
To review Prosperity Now's policy agenda, please click here.