Lets ensure that Forced Arbitration does not fall off the radar!

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As previously announced, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on the Arbitration Fairness Act next Thursday October 13th at 2pm in Dirksen 226.  Democratic witnesses include NACA Member Paul Bland, Minnesota AG Lori Swanson and consumer witness, Dr. Deborah Pierce. Republican Witnesses will include: Christopher Drahozel (click here to see his take on Concepcion and the Arbitration Fairness Act) and Victor Schwartz.

For the past few months NACA and its consumer advocate allies Public Citizen, NELA and AAJ has been working closely with Senator Franken’s staff to ensure that Forced Arbitration does not fall off the radar.  In particularly, we have helped with locating and vetting the consumer witness scheduled to appear at this hearing. 

Although the current political climate is not ideal, this hearing presents an incredible opportunity to try ramp up the pressure on Congress and let them know exactly what’s at stake here.  Leading up to the hearing NACA will be circulating an organizational sign-on letter (earlier version attached) which was previously signed onto by over 50 organizations and its own individual sign on letter.  Additionally, we are calling each member office to encourage members to attend.  Here’s how you can help:

1. ATTEND – if you are local and will be in the DC area, please come out to the hearing. Already a few NACA members have responded that they will attend and bring clients with them.

2. Take 5 minutes – Call a judiciary committee member and tell them why the Arbitration Fairness Act needs to become law.  Let them know that forced arbitration is unfair and undemocratic and that you expect to see them at the hearing on this critical issue.   Use the attached talking points to assist you.

a. We particularly need help in the following states - Vermont, Wisconsin, California, New York Illinois, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Delaware, Connecticut (states with Democratic Committee members).  Though no Democrats on the committee have opposed the bill, a few are reluctant to sign on in support!

b. We won’t win this with just Democratic support alone – republican members need to hear why Forced Arbitration harms consumers and employees.  If you have a connection to a senator in one of these states - Iowa, Utah, Arizona, Alabama, S. Carolina, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma – call or email!

3. Take another 5 minutes and tell a colleague or client to do the same!

Thanks sincerely for all that you do every day on behalf of consumers!

Written by Delicia Reynolds, Legislative Director, National Association of Consumer Advocates