After 5 decades of private credit reporting, it's time for a change | The Hill
Amy Traub and Chi Chi Wu, Opinion Contributors
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Credit reports contain far too many errors for something so vital to our economic well-being, with one in five consumers having an error, and one in 20 having a serious error that would affect their ability to obtain credit or its pricing. Consumers are frustrated by the Kafka-esque system devised by the credit bureaus to process disputes, which often blocks them from getting relief. Credit reports and scores are used for inappropriate purposes, such as employment, insurance, and even immigration (their use is required as part of the Public Charge Rule.) Most critically, credit scores reflect and perpetuate thorny racial disparities, playing a role in financially entrenching America’s original sin.
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Many of the problems with credit reporting stem from its very nature. An oligopoly of three private companies governs our financial reputations, trading in and profiting from our data. We are captives because we cannot opt out of the system. Instead, creditors and other companies are the credit bureaus’ customers and constituency. There’s not much incentive for credit bureaus to create a system that works better for consumers, including disadvantaged communities. We can see the upshot of this dysfunction where credit reporting issues are often the number one source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including during this pandemic.
But there is a way forward. Among President-elect Biden’s economic proposals is an innovative plan to establish a public credit reporting agency, based on policy developed by Demos. This solution recognizes that access to consumer credit is a public good and would promote that public good by establishing a public institution to replace the private companies that now control credit reporting. A public credit reporting agency or registry would also be an effective way to build economic power for Black and Brown households by putting equity at the center of its decisionmaking and enabling them to exercise greater control over their economic lives. . . .
The Governor has wisely ordered that any Oregonian's CARES check be free from garnishments by creditors (except for restitution garnishments for criminal justice debts) during the COVID-19 emergency. The top picture is the key provision. If you want the full text and all the details and definitions, the full order is shown below that and you can download it by clicking on the down-facing arrow.
Kudos to Gov. Brown for acting to help Oregon families survive this crisis in this critical period.
Click on the photo above to be taken to a cool search engine that compiles state-specific and federal benefits in one place for any state. Here's today's printout for Oregon (subject to updates of course):
The Braille and Talking Book Program
offers Veterans who have difficulty with regular print materials the return of the gift of reading.
The Joy and Freedom of Reading
Whether escaping into a great novel or staying current with popular magazines, the freedom and independence of reading are only a few steps away. This program, from the National Library Service (NLS) and the Library of Congress, provides talking books, audio magazines, and digital talking-book players free of charge.
Any honorably discharged Veteran who is
* has low vision, or
* a disability preventing the reading of traditional materials is eligible.
Participants choose whether their selected reading materials are delivered by mail, downloaded from the web-based service BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) or through the BARD mobile app for smartphones and tablets.
NLS maintains a vast catalog of titles and publications from the latest best-sellers to timeless classics. Plus, Veterans have preferential status in the lending of materials and equipment.
The Braille and Talking Books Program is accomplished through a nationwide network of libraries to serve citizens and Veterans living inside the U.S. or abroad.
Applying for this service is easy.
Call the National Library Service at 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) or
visit them on the web at www.loc.gov/ThatAllMayRead
Veterans served to protect freedom.
Now let National Library Service provide the freedom for all to read.
Oregon Women Lawyers Society (OWLS)
Mary Leonard* Chapter
2019 Salem Day Out for CourtCare
An Alley Party in support of Mid-Valley Court Care
Saturday, June 1, 2019 in the alley @Taproot (State between Liberty and Commercial)
Salem Day Out for CourtCare has something for everyone and is a great way to enjoy our Salem community and support a great cause. This event aims to raise between $10,000 and $20,000 for Mid-Valley CourtCare!
(*Mary Leonard has a fascinating story and was the first woman admitted to the bar in Oregon - click here for more)
What is CourtCare?
CourtCare is free child care for children ages six weeks to 12 years in a safe, supportive, and quality environment. Children are spared from witnessing adult conflict, hearing harsh words, and seeing potentially disturbing scenes which could traumatize or even re-traumatize them. If both parent and child are supported during the child’s early stages of life, it makes an enormous impact on the child’s future health and development. What children see and experience in early childhood affects both their brain development and their health.
Why is CourtCare Needed?
Imagine having to go to court for divorce proceedings, a sex abuse trial, a domestic violence case… now imagine not having child care and you have to take your young children with you. This is a current reality for families in both Marion and Polk Counties. Children should not have to be in the room while legal proceedings are taking place. Those involved in the courts have seen babies and toddlers left unattended in hallways while their parents are in courtrooms; young children sent to restrooms unsupervised; children seeing their parents upset and emotional about adult conflicts; children watching as a parent is arrested and taken into custody; children hearing adults talking about family violence, restraining orders, custody disputes, or criminal behavior of family members… thus the need for CourtCare.
OverviewMid-Valley CourtCare provides free, high quality care from trained early childhood staff in a licensed child care setting. Children must be at least six weeks of age and not older than 12 years. CourtCare hours of operation listed here begin September 5, 2017. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register online now to reserve your spot!
In Marion County, CourtCare is operated by the Salem Family YMCA, located across from the Marion County Courthouse in downtown Salem. Please use the child care entrance off of Cottage Street. Marion County CourtCare is available to anyone with court-related business or a court-related appointment.
Marion County CourtCare is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
In Polk County, CourtCare is operated by Family Building Blocks at the Academy Building near the Polk County Courthouse in Dallas. Polk County CourtCare is available to anyone who needs to conduct business with the court system or local social service agencies including, but not limited to: Polk County Behavioral Health, Public Health, DHS, or Housing.
Polk County CourtCare is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m., and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
John Gear to Host Radio Celebration: 227th Birthday of the Bill of Rights, Saturday December 15, 1 p.m. on KMUZ (88.5/100.7 FM, or at KMUZ.org)
The internet depends on the First Amendment, part of the first set of amendments to the Constitution that became known as the Bill of Rights.
It is no exaggeration to say that the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and their application to the states through the 14th Amendment, are the backbone of American life and what it means to live in the United States.
To help celebrate the Bill of Rights and discuss some important omissions from it, Salem's community radio station KMUZ (at 88.5 and 100.7 FM in Salem area and at KMUZ.org anywhere on the web) will air a special 227th Birthday Celebration on December 15 at 1 p.m. with KMUZ sponsor, John Gear of John Gear Law Office.
And if you have questions about the Bill of Rights or your civil liberties, you can send them to Info@KMUZ.org with BILL OF RIGHTS SHOW in the subject line.
All questions will be considered and some will be addressed during the show. That’s
Saturday, December 15 at 1 p.m.
on community radio station KMUZ (88.5 and 100.7 FM in the Willamette Valley, streaming at KMUZ.org to anywhere in the world).
Salem Harvest's November Newsletter worth sharing entirely
Notes from the Field
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
On November 20th, Salem Progressive Films is showcasing the documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste at the Grand Theater at 7:00pm. This in-depth film covers all the bases on where food is being wasted throughout the global food system and offers innovative solutions as well.
Salem Harvest will be there in the lobby before the film sharing information about our program and how we reduce wasted food. After the show, I will be addressing the attendees, sharing my experiences as Executive Director and that of our growers and harvest leaders surrounding food waste at the farm level. Please join us!
What do you do with plums so sour and astringent that they are nearly impossible to eat? Cook them down with sugar, turning them into jam, of course!
On November 10th and 15th, Salem Harvest volunteers will be gathering to turn 120 pounds of otherwise inedible plums into the tastiest plum jam ever created. Lots of fun, team building, teaching and learning the art of jam making, and keeping food from being wasted.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Each year, John Gear Law Office helps sponsor an important event for Salem, the "Empty Bowls" fundraiser put on by Willamette Art Center to raise funds for Marion-Polk Food Share. These two nonprofits team up to give you the opportunity to buy gorgeous things, lovingly made and finished by all-volunteer potters, with all the proceeds going to support the food bank that fights hunger in the Salem area all year round.
Make out your gift lists for the holidays and maybe for all 2019 as well -- friends, family, parents, kids, teachers, coworkers, you name it -- there are so many beautiful, one-of-a-kind things that there is sure to be a perfect gift for everyone you know at Empty Bowls, and you can help boost the total raised to fight hunger in Salem to over $200,000.
Willamette Art Center is on the State Fairgrounds, use the Silverton Road (Yellow) Gate. The event is Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18.
The Willamette Art Center hosts the annual Empty Bowls Benefit sale benefiting Marion-Polk Food Share.Saturday, November 17th, 2018 from 9AM to 5PM
Sunday, November 18th, 2018 from 12PM to 4PM
John Gear Law Office -