Through research, education and advocacy, we seek to:
Eliminate unfair discrimination in the availability, price, benefits and quality of basic goods and services, and support their equitable distribution in communities.
Eliminate community disenfranchisement resulting from the lack of affordable goods and services.
Assist other advocacy and community groups across the nation who are working for economic justice.
The Center for Economic Justice addresses the root causes of poverty.
Since 1996, CEJ has represented the interests of low-income and minority consumers as a class on economic justice issues, primarily the availability, affordability, and accessibility of insurance, credit, and utilities.
In a system where political and economic inequality is institutionalized and exacerbated through the action of regulatory agencies, CEJ targets the issue directly. Regulatory agencies determine charges for many basic necessities—and the rules of access to those necessities. We have found that administrative advocacy allows for the most dramatic and sustainable results.
Insurance is necessary to participate in our society and to pull individuals and communities out of financial hardship. Consumers may not operate a car or obtain a car loan without auto insurance. Consumers unable to purchase homeowners insurance are unable to obtain a loan to purchase a home. And the lack of health insurance means that one illness can deplete savings, render families penniless, and condemn families to poverty. Denying insurance to citizens and small businesses in economically underdeveloped areas contributes to the problems of inadequate economic opportunity and social decay that plague these areas.
Insurance is necessary in the fight against inequality.
Regulated industries spend enormous amounts of money and resources to affect the outcome of agency decisions. They lobby decision-makers, hire multiple law firms to litigate their issues, and offer the only future employment opportunity for most regulators and agency staff members.
Regulated industries spare no expense in bringing their economic and political power to bear on agency decisions.
Consumers have virtually no representation. The amount of money at stake for individual consumers does not justify the expense of participating in the proceeding. This imbalance of power is even more acute for socially and economically marginalized populations. Although agency decision-makers feel political pressure not to harm the general body of consumers, they feel no political pressure from low-income consumers.