AFR joined partners to send a letter to Congress urging senators and representatives to ensure that civil rights enforcement is prioritized with increased funding in the FY 2022 appropriations cycle. The letter calls on Congress to double the funding provided to each of the civil rights offices across the federal government so that they are able to adequately respond to complaints of discrimination; proactively ensure compliance with the laws they enforce; provide guidance, regulation, and technical assistance to prevent discrimination; and collect and report data on equal opportunity across all domains of American life.
AFR joined a letter expressing strong support for the nomination of Rep. Marcia Fudge as the next Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The letter cited Rep. Fudge’s stand-out qualifications, her long track record of working across party lines and with a wide range of stakeholders, and her demonstrated lifelong commitment to advancing the civil rights of all people. It urged the Senate to support her prompt confirmation.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund signed onto a housing letter opposing the OCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking “Fair Access to Financial Services.” The letter urged the OCC to withdraw the proposed rulemaking in its entirety, on the basis that it is a perversion of long-held anti-discrimination principles. The letter stated that the OCC appropriated civil rights language to protect market activities, drafted vague and unintelligible standards, undermined the ability of financial institutions to consider important facets of reputational risk in making investment and underwriting determinations, and provided a negligently inadequate 45-day comment period in the midst of the COVID crisis.
AFR joins the Civil Rights Movement and the nation in mourning the passing of John Lewis. We celebrate his leadership, his outsized contributions to the struggle for racial and economic justice – until the very end of his life – and his steadfastness in demanding and defending a more robust democracy. His work as a legislator with a strong moral compass advanced all these strands of work and highlighted the relationship between them all.
“HUD’s proposed rule makes it virtually impossible for a disparate impact claim to stand in court,” says Linda Jun, senior policy counsel for Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “By raising the threshold for disparate impact, the new rule creates a nearly unsurmountable bar for plaintiffs to prove discriminatory outcomes and makes it much easier for defendants to shield themselves from any responsibility for discrimination.”
“Today, consumer and civil rights groups, leading legal scholars and members of Congress will submit amicus briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the case of PHH Corporation v. CFPB in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The diverse amici urge the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to maintain a strong, independent agency to protect American consumers. …’In the five years since it opened its doors, the CFPB has worked tirelessly to enforce the laws that went ignored in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, and has done more than any other federal agency to empower consumers against predatory, deceptive, and outright fraudulent behavior by bad actors in the financial industry…,’ said Wade Henderson, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.”