Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Consumer Caucus retreat July 14 - please RSVP


Together and individually, we worked hard during the last General Assembly session to protect Maryland consumers from predatory lending, debt settlement schemes, foreclosures, higher auto insurance rates, and increased utilities. Many of us worked to strengthen enforcement measures and promote greater transparency for consumers in mandatory arbitration clauses, enforcement of consumer protection violations, and in product safety. 

Overall, we achieved some important victories, but also faced serious setbacks in our efforts. This election year, we can better achieve our collective goals by working strategically during the summer and fall to lay the groundwork for the 2011 Session. MCRC and Maryland PIRG would like to invite you to strategize about how to build upon the 2010 session and take advantage of the electoral cycle. 

Please join us for the 2010 Maryland Consumer Caucus retreat on Wednesday, July 14 at the University of Baltimore Business Center (room TBD) from 9:00am-3:00pm. Light lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

As we did last year, we would like to suggest the Consumer Caucus select three priority issues for the session. We do not ask that every group work on all three issues but that each group agrees that at least one of the issues selected will be one of their organization’s priorities for the 2011 session and that the organization will devote staff resources to working on the issue. 

To facilitate this process, we are asking Consumer Caucus members to write up their proposal for the priority issue and send it to us prior to the meeting. Please include the following: 

· What the issue is and why it is important to Maryland consumers

· What the policy solution is for this issue

· Any thoughts you have regarding strategy for passing it in Annapolis

· What opponents might say about the issue and how to deflect their messages 

· What we need in order to win on this issue (research, grassroots, grasstops, etc., and who could provide those). 

We will also be sending out a survey as we did last year to collect and synthesize our assessment of last session, issues for next session, suggestions for the caucus and more. 

Please let us know if you can make the July 14th retreat by filling out this survey: to help us to gather information on your priorities and assist us in determining the final agenda for the meeting.

We are excited and look forward to working with you! 


Johanna Neumann
State Director
Maryland PIRG

Marceline White
Executive Director
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition


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