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News From Georgia Watch

May 31, 2017
In This Issue
Save the Date
Georgia Watch in Washington
Financial Empowerment Workshops
Beware the Fine Print
In the News
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Save the Date: October 12, 2017 
Please plan to join Georgia Watch for our
Annual Consumer Champion Awards and 
15th Anniversary Celebration
on October 12, 2017

Details coming soon!
Georgia Watch Goes to Washington!
On May 10th, Georgia Watch joined consumer advocates from around the country in Washington, D.C. for the first-ever Consumer Lobby Day hosted by National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, U.S. PIRG, and others. We visited the offices of Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-4th), John Lewis (D-5th), Barry Loudermilk (R-11th), and David Scott (D-13th). We also visited the offices of Senators David Perdue (R) an d Johnny  Isakson (R). With serious threats looming in Congress to the independent structure and funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we were in D.C. to let our elected officials know how much the CFPB has done to protect Georgia consumers. We also called on Congress to preserve existing consumer protection rules for payday lending, arbitration, and prepaid cards. YOU CAN TAKE ACTION NOW by urging your Congressmen to vote "no" on the CHOICE Act before it comes up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives next week.  You can find more information about this harmful legislation here, and you can find out how to call or email your member of Congress here.
Empowering Communities Across the State
Throughout the month of May, Georgia Watch Manager of Education and Empowerment, Trey Cason conducted financial literacy train-the-trainer workshops with community partners from across the state. These trainings are designed to empower and equip service providers, nonprofits and other community organizations with t he tools necessary to educate their communities and clients on the basics of banking and personal financial management. Georgia Watch is thrilled with the level of interest that this project has received; our goal was to engage 60-90 community partners and we have already trained 115 with two trainings to go! Thank you to all of our partners who have helped make this project a big success!
Beware the Contract Fine Print 
Typical contracts for cell phones, banking services, apartments - even employment - often contain arbitration clauses that r equire parties to forfeit their right to go to court to resolve a dispute. Arbitration clauses often hide in contracts' fine print and force consumers to waive their rights to sue in court, participate in class action lawsuits, or appeal decisions. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that takes place outside of the judicial system and renders binding decisions that often favor businesses, not consumers. If the arbitration process gets it wrong, there is no recourse for a harmed consumer.  So, what is being done to protect consumers?
In the News