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.
- Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) raised 50%, increasing income for over 430,000 low-wage workers.
- Midas served on the State Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Task Force to promote and inform financial education delivery initiatives.
- Completion of 3rd year of the Gateway City financial education pilot, educating 5200 high school students.
- With partners in Raise Up Massachusetts:
- Earned sick time law implemented despite opposition, increasing financial stability of nearly 1 million Massachusetts workers,
- Midas volunteers collected 250 signatures in support of a constitutional amendment to change the tax structure to boost investments in education, infrastructure and transportation.
- Protection for low income residents against abusive debt collection,
- Expansion of a pilot program to integrate financial education in public schools,
- Increased state regulation of for-profit career schools.
Our policy priorities are informed by benchmarks our national partners, CFED, in the Assets & Opportunities Scorecard. Midas is the Massachusetts state leader for the National Assets & Opportunity 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 include membership to the Color of Wealth Working Group. The group is focused on reducing the racial wealth gap and is 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 an Assets & Opportunity Network Partner with our national partner; Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). 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 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 the CFED to raise public awareness
To review the CFED policy agenda please visit www.cfed.org/policy.