Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs staff honored with top volunteer award from national consumer literacy program, LifeSmarts

May 19, 2020

Theresa Kong Kee, Gloryana Akapo named 2020 LifeSmarts State Coordinators of the Year 

Contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—LifeSmarts, a national teen consumer literacy and scholarship program, has named two Hawaii government officials its 2020 Coordinators of the Year: Theresa Kong Kee, Investor Education Specialist, and Gloryana Akapo, Securities Multi-Media Education Specialist with the Office of the Securities Commissioner, both with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Kong Kee has served as Hawaii State LifeSmarts Coordinator for 7 years; Akapo joined her as co-coordinator two years ago.

LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League (NCL). LifeSmarts is coordinated by NCL at the national level and by volunteers who serve as State Coordinators across the country.

“Working together, Theresa and Gloryana run a very successful and competitive LifeSmarts program for students and educators in Hawaii,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They have developed a state LifeSmarts website that includes many resources for educators. They actively promote LifeSmarts through social media to provide resources to their coaches, and they have continued to be especially active during the pandemic.”

LifeSmarts State Coordinators implement the national consumer education program at the local level, bringing to bear their knowledge of best practices for students and educators in their state. State Coordinators promote the program, advise educators, and run online and live state competitions to advance consumer education for the students in their states.

Staff within the Office of the Securities Commissioner in the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has served in the State Coordinator role since 2013.

“Theresa and Gloryana work so hard for their state, and it shows; Hawaii’s LifeSmarts program is truly exceptional, when it comes to administration, partnerships, and—most importantly—student participation and success,” said Hertzberg. “The Hawaii LifeSmarts program is robust, and student teams have done very well at the national level. Hawaii is also home to the second largest Junior Varsity (middle school) program in the nation. We are thrilled to honor them this year and congratulate them for a job very well done.”

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About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

More tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond

By Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director

COVID has changed the way we live and has brought with it some drastic changes, like social distancing.

While we don’t want to live like this any longer than we have to, there are new habits that will not only help us get through this challenging time, but can stay with us as helpful tools in our everyday lives.

  1. Maintain hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  2. Wear face coverings. Even in pre-COVID times, it has been common practice in other countries to wear face masks to protect oneself from those sick with a cold or flu and to protect others when you are sick.
  3. Establish routines. It’s important for your mental, emotional, and physical health to maintain healthy eating habits and to get adequate sleep.
  4. Be wise on portion size. Most of us are less active during this time and it’s easy to overeat. Drink plenty of water and buy small cans of soda rather than super-sized containers.
  5. Plan your meals. This will help you reduce the number of trips you take to the grocery store, stick to your budget, and avoid food waste. Knowing what portions are appropriate for you and your family is also helpful. Try not to overdo it with fast food consumption, which tends to be higher in fat, salt, and sugar.
  6. Stay physically, mentally active. Walk outside and get some sunshine! If that’s not an option, there are plenty of workouts on YouTube! Pilates, yoga, Zumba, and many other exercise programs are available for free if you can’t get out of the house.
  7. Keep everyone connected. We have so many options nowadays like phone calls, text, Facetime, Zoom, and more. Houseparty, for example, is a newly popularized app that allows you to play games with a group of family and friends.
  8. Get some sun! Vitamin D is important for the immune response and getting sun will increase your vitamin D reserves. Open shades and windows while sitting in sunny areas of your home. And, if possible, go outside. Just remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines (maintaining 6+ feet between yourself and others).
  9. Manage your environment. This is especially important for those of us working from home. If you have the ability, designate a work area so that you can keep your work life and personal life separate.
  10. Stay informed. Pay attention to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and check your local government website. Getting your news from a variety of sources will ensure that you’re in the know about new developments in the fight against COVID-19 internationally and locally.

COVID-19, what could it cost you?

Nissa Shaffi

By Nissa Shaffi, NCL Associate Director of Health Policy

As the nation continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, another top-of-mind concern is the cost associated with both testing and treatment for the illness. Between the boldness of certain state officials relaxing restrictions and the rapid ascension of cases, exposure to COVID-19 will inevitably rise.

The reassuring news is that the majority of Americans diagnosed will be able to recover from home. But what if you’re among the 15 percent that will need hospitalization? This subset of the population will require the most acute care, including admission into an intensive care unit and use of a ventilator. Between testing and treatment, there are a lot of factors for the consumer and patient to consider—outright costs of care, as well as cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles, out-of-network costs, and more)—we did some of the research below.

Testing

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant Plans: Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, all comprehensive health plans (individual, employer-sponsored, or ACA marketplace plans), must cover testing for COVID-19 at 100 percent.
  • Medicare & Medicaid: Testing is covered at 100 percent for Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Uninsured: Testing will be covered at 100 percent by Medicaid, as mandated by the CARES Act.
  • Non-ACA-Compliant Plans: Testing coverage may vary for consumers with non-ACA-compliant plans (i.e., short-term plans), as these plans are not subject to the protections found in the ACA.

Apart from non-ACA plans, there’s testing done in an emergency room, urgent care, or physician’s office, and all that should be covered. In addition, the health plan cannot impose prior authorization or cost-sharing restrictions (i.e., copays, deductibles, coinsurance) on the patient. Of course, access to testing is currently limited to those with symptoms or those working in health care facilities or other consumer-facing businesses. There are still strict criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[1]

Treatment

Newly passed emergency bills do not address coverage of treatment. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment for someone insured on an employer-based health plan could run upwards of $10,000, provided that there are no complications. For patients that require more acute care, costs could reach $20,000.

ACA-Compliant Plans: Health plans are not required to fully cover the cost of positive tests. A majority of the treatments for COVID-19 under ACA-compliant plans will qualify as essential health benefits, and as such will be covered. However, every state defines its own criteria for essential health benefits, and it is possible that some treatments will not be covered, based on where you live. Furthermore, coverage may vary depending on the type of group health plan you have (large vs. small).

Cost-sharing will also likely be imposed. Marketplace plans are required to cap maximum out-of-pocket costs for services covered in-network. In 2020, the maximum out-of-pocket cap is $8,150, meaning that if your care is deemed medically necessary, your out-of-pocket costs should not exceed that amount. Some plans have offered to cover patient-cost sharing for out-of-network care for COVID-19 in the absence of in-network availability. As an emergency course of action, several health plans have waived out-of-pocket costs like copays and coinsurance associated with treatment for COVID-19. To see where your health plan stands, click here.

Medicare and Medicaid: Medicare Part A (hospital stays) and Part B (doctor’s visits) will continue to charge copays and deductibles. The deductible for a 60-day hospital stay under Part A is $1,408. For Part B, the annual deductible is approximately $200. Cost-sharing related to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans will depend on your individual plan.

Uninsured: The Trump Administration has announced that part of the $100 billion of the $2 trillion appropriated for COVID-19-related relief in the CARES Act will be dedicated to reimbursing providers who treat uninsured patients. Provisions within the law include treatment for primary diagnosis of COVID-19 in a variety of settings, both emergency and non-emergency transportation, and post-acute care. Services that will be excluded from coverage include hospice and outpatient prescription drugs.

While further guidance is pending, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has clarified the following: “as a condition of receiving funds under this program, providers will be forbidden from balance billing the uninsured for the cost of their care.” This caveat reinforces that providers would get reimbursed at Medicare rates for delivery of uncompensated care and cannot balance bill the difference between Medicare reimbursement and the hospital’s charges.

In addition to the above, the law prohibits hospitals from charging patients beyond what they would pay in-network or what Medicare pays. The mandate against surprise billing serves to protect patients covered by government programs, employer-based plans, and self-purchased insurance.

Also, the growing loss of employer-based health coverage has prompted several states to extend their special enrollment periods to accommodate newly unemployed/uninsured patients during the pandemic. To see if you qualify for a special enrollment period, click here.

Non-ACA-Compliant Plans: Off-marketplace plans are not regulated by the ACA, and this could affect coverage for COVID-19-related treatment, where there is a possibility that treatment may not be covered outright. Examples of non-ACA plans include short-term health, fixed indemnity, and critical illness plans. These plans do not qualify for minimum essential coverage and are insufficient on their own, in our view.

Understanding insurance benefits can be daunting under ideal circumstances, let alone during a global health crisis. Consumers need enhanced accessibility and coverage now more than ever and NCL commends health plans for acting promptly to waive various cost-sharing measures. NCL urges Congress to continue to fortify and provide clear guidance for consumer protections, to ensure that they are not left stranded without vital care. Consumers, please know that there are COVID-19-related resources available to you—for more information, click here.

[1] To find a drive-thru testing site near you, click here.

2020 Champion LifeSmarts student teams announced by National Consumers League

April 28, 2020

Student competitors best in states in national consumer literacy education / scholarship program

Contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the 2020 Champion student teams that took first place in their states’ LifeSmarts 2019-2020 competitions and have earned a place at the next National LifeSmarts Championship. LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a 26-year-old program sponsored by NCL.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 National LifeSmarts Championship was cancelled, but NCL is celebrating the teams of students who came in first in their states and would have competed for the 2020 national title. Due to the students’ success this year, all state champion and special Wild Card teams have qualified to compete at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship, which will be held in Cincinnati April 17-20, 2021.

“We are so proud of these students from across the country, who beat out thousands of other teens in order to take their state titles,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “We look forward to coming together next spring to finish out the competition and determine the 2020 National Champion team.”

LifeSmarts is an education and scholarship program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It competitively tests high school students’ consumer and personal finance knowledge. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA, 4-H, and FCCLA.

Long-time Indiana-based coach Diane Slaven, an instructor from Franklin County High School, was named the 2020 LifeSmarts Coach of the Year. In the words of the students who nominated Slaven:

Coach Diane Slaven and team in 2019“Mrs. Slaven sees LifeSmarts as an organization that teaches students things that they will need in their lives, that they aren’t necessarily exposed to in school. That is the reason why she is so invested and has given back to LifeSmarts as a coach for so many years. Mrs. Slaven is dedicated to the success of each student, not only in LifeSmarts but in our lives as well. Mrs. Slaven has led many teams to National Competitions throughout the years and has not failed to highly motivate and prepare each team. I think this says a lot about how caring and dedicated she is. She juggles the duties of LifeSmarts along with being department head of the business department. This year Mrs. Slaven is retiring, and is so deserving of this great honor due to everything she has given to us, and LifeSmarts throughout the years.”

In the 26 years that LifeSmarts has been educating high school and middle school teens on consumer issues, it has grown dramatically, with more than 3 million consumer questions answered at LifeSmarts.org in the online competition during the 2019-2020 program year.

“NCL’s LifeSmarts program is allowing us to rear a generation of consumer-savvy teenagers who often outsmart their parents on issues related to avoiding fraud, credit and debt, and complicated healthcare decisions,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at lisah@nclnet.org.

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About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

Lessons from pandemic life: we all need the option of paper notice

Jim Haigh leads education and development efforts at Keep Me Posted North America, an advocacy organization focused on the mission of consumer choice in essential communications.

It was only last year that a whopping 86 percent of U.S. consumers expressed the desire of having a choice for how they receive important information from the companies they do business with. For critical correspondence such as bills and statements, the overwhelming majority want the option of paper or electronic delivery, and the ability to control their preferences.

But as consumers trapped in the digital divide have pleaded for communications choices and relief from punishing paper fees, more and more companies have prioritized digital-first approaches to conducting business including how they send legal notice of account, tacking on new charges along the way. It might have been easy for some demographics and geographic regions to overlook this important issue, having taken for granted the luxury, convenience and complacency of a digital world where everything always just works amazing in a click. 

But the calamities we are all seeing and experiencing—as new realities unfold have changed all of that. With government and company websites crashing, servers overloading, networks slowing, transactions halted, records quarantined, Americans—and the world—are waking up daily to a new appreciation of the need to have paper options. Failsafe analog backups, like physical bank records or medical histories, become a necessity as untold millions try to apply for emergency aid and assistance, complete their tax filings or take care of their health. Or cast their vote and complete the Census.

The digital divide has always been here, but too often hiding in plain sight. As schools across the country attempted to roll out remote learning, the widespread lack of access to affordable connectivity spanned from rural to urban to everywhere in between. The same widespread gaps true of home computers, tablets, and devices able to run the latest applications or function across important websites. The nation watched as people stood unsafely in lines to get paper forms because digital options foreclosed. With stores closed or stay-at-home ordered to populations, suddenly even basic supplies overlooked like ink, toner, batteries for devices and broken devices waiting for repair, all combine to give everyone an unwelcome taste of the great digital divide we all share.

Now that so many of us are on the same page, it’s a perfect time to highlight the efforts of the Keep Me Posted North America campaign to restore and sustain consumers’ choice in how they receive important information—on paper or electronically—from their service providers. National Consumers League is an active member of the non-profit KMP coalition of consumer groups, charities and businesses, and champions their mission and efforts to ensure that every consumer in North America has the option of both paper and digital communications—free of charge—from the companies they routinely do business with.

KMP’s advocacy, resources, and tools are crucial for all consumers to have the facts and a strong, united voice. It is up to all of us to build grassroots support and influence service providers directly. Together, we are making a difference.

Please join with KMP in urging banks, utilities, telecommunications, and all recurring service providers to take action proactively to benefit customers now during the pandemic and beyond by adopting the Keep Me Posted Best Practices for communications choice in essential customer communications. Together we ask that they fully treat bills and statements as true notice of account. In so doing, they will transparently provide a range of paper and digital options, honor preferences, seek consent for changes, and pose no barriers for customers needing to switch back or forth from digital to paper notice—without any additional fees charged for either form of delivery. 

Let’s all help companies understand the bargain: for less than seventy cents per account per month, customers will have the unfettered access to all the account information they need, how they need it, in whatever form they need it at their moment in this crisis we all share in together. And furthermore, empowering consumers with that flexibility of seamless access and delivery of paper and electronic account information will probably pay dividends as a sound investment—in customer retention, and measurable savings in customer service down the road.

About Keep Me Posted North America

Keep Me Posted advocates for the right of every consumer in North America to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information—on paper or electronically—from their service providers. KMP is a coalition of consumer groups, charities, and businesses that are committed to protecting consumer access to paper-based communications at no extra charge. These consumers include older adults, the disabled, low-income households without computers, printers or broadband service, and people in rural areas where unreliable internet access is common.

For more information on how to support KMP or to become a member, visit our website at keepmepostedna.org, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

 

McKinley Tech High School Wins 2019 National Consumers League’s Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition

March 3, 2020

Students will represent the District in the 26th Annual National LifeSmarts Championship in April

Contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC— LifeSmarts announced today that McKinley Tech High School’s Phoenixes Team was named the winner of the 2020 Washington, DC LifeSmarts Competition. The competition, hosted by the University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law, and the National Consumers League (NCL), tested local high school teams, comprised of teens in grades 9-12, about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities. McKinley Tech Phoenixes will represent Washington, DC at the 26th annual National LifeSmarts Championship in April in Crystal City, VA. Comcast, a sponsor of the competition, awarded the team a $5,000 scholarship for travel expenses. 

“We were very excited to host the competition for DC once again this year. Students learn valuable skills and become savvy consumers by showcasing their knowledge in LifeSmarts competitions,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director.

During the competition held Friday, February 21, local high school teams from Columbia Heights Educational Campus; McKinley Technical High School; and the UPO Power Program competed individually and in buzzer-style matches, answering questions about consumer issues that impact everyday life.

“LifeSmarts asks relevant, tough questions. Many adults don’t know the answers. LifeSmarts prepares young people to be stronger, more assertive participants in our economy. I’m proud of our DC LifeSmarts students,” said Bill Cocke, the Washington DC LifeSmarts Coordinator.

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators implement the program locally. For more information and to register a team, visit: LifeSmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323. The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. NCL’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information about NCL, visit nclnet.org.

 

Florence Kelley is smiling down upon Congress this week

NCL’s Florence Kelley, the towering reformer who headed the League from its first days in 1899 until her death in 1932, is surely smiling upon the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

In her time, Kelley worked tirelessly to pass federal anti-lynching laws in the United States. She was a powerful voice for racial justice and was raised in a fiercely abolitionist Quaker family. But she ran into enormous opposition and was continually angered and frustrated by the inability to get the federal proposal – the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill – through Congress.  This legislation was first introduced in 1918 by Representative Leonidas C. Dyer, a Republican from St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States House of Representatives; the Act made lynching a federal crime. The Dyer Act did pass the U.S. House of Representatives in 1922, but was halted in the Senate by a filibuster by white supremacist Southern Democrats. In fact, since 1918, there have been 200 attempts to pass federal anti-lynching bills in the U.S. Senate.

But this week something historic took place. In a rare show of bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the federal Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act (H.R. 35), by a landslide 410 – 4 margin, named after 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955. I’ve been to the Courthouse where his murderers were acquitted and have seen the tiny grocery store in Money, MS where he was accused of his crime: whistling at a white woman. It took nearly 100 years to fully turn around public opinion and gain overwhelming support for the idea that lynching should be—must be—recognized as a federal crime. Something Kelley always knew and supported.

The Senate has already passed its version Justice for Victims of Lynching Act (S. 488). In fact, the Senate bill passed by unanimous consent in December 2018 and again in February 2019, but because the House and Senate bills still have different titles and numbers, additional action is needed in the Senate before the legislation can go to the President’s desk. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reports that he expects President Trump to sign the bill into law shortly thereafter.    

Lynching plagued and terrorized mainly African Americans – but also Native Americans, Jews, Asians, and many others for so many decades. It’s a form of vigilante “justice” in which victims are kidnapped and executed in public, often by hanging, as punishment for suspected crimes or as a warning to others. According to the NAACP, there were 4,472 lynchings between 1882 and 1968, most of them involving blacks killed at the hands of white mobs. The House bill describes lynching as “a pernicious and pervasive tool that was used to interfere with multiple aspects of life — including the exercise of Federally protected rights,” and prohibits “conspiracies to violate each of these rights.” 

We owe a debt of gratitude to the House sponsor Representative Bobby Rush (D-Il) and Senate sponsors Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) for their leadership.

As Senator Booker noted, “Today brings us one step closer to finally reconciling a dark chapter in our nation’s history.” “Lynchings were used to terrorize, marginalize, and oppress black communities – to kill human beings in order to sow fear and keep black communities in a perpetual state of racial subjugation. If we do not reckon with this dark past, we cannot move forward. But today we are moving forward. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Rush, the House has sent a clear, indisputable message that lynching will not be tolerated. It has brought us closer to reckoning with our nation’s history of racialized violence. Now the Senate must again pass this bill to ensure that it finally becomes law.”

At the National Consumers League and in honor of our first leader Florence Kelley, we applaud that justice is finally done with the passage of the nation’s first law making lynching a federal crime.

Florence Kelley and women’s suffrage at the National Archives

Today the National Consumers League staff is visiting the exhibit at the National Archives entitled Rightfully Hers: American Women and the VoteAs many are aware, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. In 1920, American democracy dramatically expanded when the newly ratified 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited the states from denying the vote on the basis of sex.  

As the exhibit notes, “The U.S. Constitution as drafted in 1787 did not specify eligibility requirements for voting. It left that power to the states. Subsequent constitutional amendments and Federal laws have gradually restricted states’ power to decide who votes. But before 1920, the only constitutional restriction prohibited states from barring voters on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude. States’ power to determine voter eligibility made the struggle for women’s voting rights a piecemeal process.” So the 19th Amendment was critically important because we no longer had to rely on states to grant women the right to vote. It became mandatory.

The National Consumers League, led by the towering reformer Florence Kelley, was a leading voice for women’s suffrage long before ratification of the 19th Amendment. In February 1898, Kelley wrote a paper entitled “The Working Woman’s Need of the Ballot,” which was read at hearings on “the philosophy of the [women’s suffrage] movement.

As Kathryn Kish Sklar points out in her biography of Kelley – Florence Kelley and the Nation’s Workconducted by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Women’s Suffrage: “No one needs all the powers of the fullest citizenship more urgently than the wage-earning woman …. Since she was “cut off from the protection awarded to her sisters abroad” but had no power “to defend her interests at the polls.” Kelley argued this impaired her standing in the community and lowered “her value as a human being and consequently as a worker.”

Florence Kelley and her fellow Progressive Era reformers led the fight for women’s suffrage in speeches, reports, and testimony before Congress. We thank them for their bravery and refusal to back down in the face of brutal opposition from many forces and we celebrate with them this 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment as we enjoy and take in all that this exhibit has to offer. Thanks to the National Archives and our dear friend Professor Robyn Muncy of the University of Maryland, who co-curated the exhibit with the Archives’ Corinne Porter.

New National Consumers League podcast We Can Do This! explores current, historic socioeconomic reform in America

January 16, 2020

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering worker and consumer advocacy organization, has launched a podcast called We Can Do This!, produced by District Productive and hosted by NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg and other members of NCL policy staff. 

In We Can Do This!, NCL and justice-minded, expert guests explore current socioeconomic issues at the heart of American political and cultural battles before a backdrop of the historic and ongoing advocacy and activism that help pave the way for meaningful policy reform. 

We Can Do This! episodes span the breadth of NCL’s wide mission and issues, including; healthcare, data and privacy, food and nutrition, labor, finance, and other topics. 

A first batch of episodes featuring individuals who are helping to shape the nation’s social and economic reforms have been released:   

E1-2: Crashing through the glass ceiling with two dynamos of women’s rights law—parts 1-2 

With Judith Lichtman, president emeritus and senior advisor of the National Partnership for Women and Families and Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center 

E3: Ending the scourge of child labor 

With Kailash Satyarthi, anti-child labor crusader and Nobel Laureate 

E4: Measles, it ain’t over until it’s over 

With Dr. Linda Fu, general pediatrician at Children’s National Health System 

E5: Sorry, fair pay and a safe workplace aren’t on the menu 

With Diana Ramirez, federal senior policy advocate at Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC United) 

These five episodes are available now on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, and the remainder of the 11-episode series will be released in early 2020. 

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About the National Consumers League (NCL)

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.