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Appeal

Thank you for helping us advance our mission to build economically strong communities for all. 2020 has been a challenging year on many levels.

Because of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, a bright light has once again been turned upon multiple social and economic issues including systemic racial injustice. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people living and working on the margins and CEI has had to pivot our organization’s focus and efforts to ensure that workers, consumers, children and families are financially stable, protected and able to access the services and supports needed during these uncertain times.

Your financial support makes it possible for the Center to remain nimble and responsive to ever changing conditions as they unfold.  This ability to adjust our focus and adapt has allowed us to make substantive impacts ---at critical moments--- in the social and economic issue areas you care deeply about including:
  • Advocating on behalf of families and partnering with the City of Tucson Mayor and Council to provide $500,000 federal CARES act dollars for quality preschool and afterschool scholarships for families impacted by COVID-19 through The Preschool Promise Coalition
     
  • Providing direct technical assistance services to Pima County area quality preschool providers, many of whom are monolingual Spanish speakers in order to help them apply for federal COVID-19 Payroll Protection Program funds. CEI helped 11 preschools submit applications and gave assistance and advice to another preschool center for a combined total of $141,518 dollars.
     
  • Advocating on behalf of Grandparents raising grandchildren & Kinship caregivers with state agencies to ensure physically vulnerable caregivers and children had easy access to in-person school attendance mandated exemptions.
     
  • Assisting with planning and implementation of a first ever virtual state-wide Grandparent & Kinship Caregiver Summit, resulting in a geographically diverse audience that far exceeded expectations with over 150 online participants.
     
  • Managing a broad consumer protection coalition with the focus of putting an end to triple digit interest rates on car title loans that trap vulnerable consumers in an unending debt spiral that often leads to bankruptcy and eviction. It is time to stop state and federally sanctioned usury.
     
  • Continuing to shine a bright light on government and corporations’ exploitive practices through research and education and holding regulators at all level of government accountable.
For more in-depth information on our project and issue areas please visit: The Preschool Promise; a broad movement to ensure that all children have access to High Quality Early Childhood Education, and Arizonans for Responsible Lending; a state-wide consumer coalition comprised of individuals, nonprofit organizations, faith and business community leaders.
We could not do this work without your financial support.
Thank you for your end of the year contribution.   
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Volunteer Spotlight - Jean Ann Fox

Jean Ann Fox has been “officially” volunteering with the Center for seven years, since 2013. Jean Ann is a nationally recognized expert on consumer issues. Her work in Washington, D.C. as the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) Director of Financial Services included acting as a lead advocate in the passage of the Military Lending Act and implementation of Department of Defense rules to protect active-duty service members and their families from predatory lending.
In her professional role as Director of Financial services, Jean Ann launched the nationwide high-cost credit network of advocates to coordinate work and strengthen effectiveness in protecting consumers in the high-cost credit market.  This network became a bedrock of support during CEI’s early advocacy work on predatory payday lending here in AZ.  

The regular telephone meetings of state’s advocates to share information and updates along with the annual Summit in D.C., allowed CEI volunteers and staff access to experts all across the country and was pivotal in our coalition’s victory in 2008 over the payday lending industry.
Jean Ann and her husband moved to Arizona in 2007, just in time for the No on Prop 200 campaign to sunset payday lending.  As her work for CFA transitioned to retirement in 2017, her volunteer work for CEI expanded. We are fortunate to have someone of her experience and knowledge available to help us continue our efforts to protect vulnerable workers and families. She volunteers countless hours to advance CEI’s mission. 
Jean Ann analyzes legislation and prepares written materials on state legislation for CEI and the Arizonans for Responsible Lending coalition. When called upon she drives from her home in Prescott to the state legislature in Phoenix to give testimony on consumer related bills - most recently she testified on the bill that created a state "FinTech" Regulatory Sandbox program.

She researches and writes reports including updating the car title lending in Arizona report, Still Wrong: Wrecked by Debt (2019). She helps CEI in drafting comment letters in federal regulatory agency dockets, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules on payday and car title loans and FDIC and OCC dockets on safe credit products and rent-a-bank lending. Jean Ann continues to provide updated briefings for Arizonans for Responsible Lending coalition. The next coalition briefing will be this January prior to the start of the 2021 legislative session.
Jean Ann's volunteer title is Advisor, even though her contributions to CEI’s consumer protections project and our broader social and economic justice mission far exceed this modest seeming role. Jean Ann Fox is much more than an Advisor, she is one of the primary driving forces for consumer protections in Arizona.

Richard Elías Legacy Award goes to Kelly Griffith

"The Richard Elías Legacy Award is given to honor an individual who works with the Southern Arizona community to build resilience, work for justice, and honor the beauty and heritage for our community and for its members. This individual is a champion of our unique Sonoran desert and its people, and exemplifies many of the admirable qualities of Richard Elías: a person who is dedicated and willing to take risks, who is approachable and open to everyone in the community, and who promotes equity and opportunity."
Executive Director
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Please note: As a 501(c)3 nonprofit your contribution is fully tax deductible

If you would prefer to make a donation by check, please make your check out to "Center for Economic Integrity" and mail it to the following address.

Southwest Center for Economic Integrity
509 E. Radburn St.
Tucson, AZ 85704
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