Advancing Economic Security & Community Prosperity
Meet our new Data Portal & Fact Book

On February 23, Janice Guzon and Horacio Mendez led a presentation highlighting the new capacities of our online data portal. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic reception that both its online and print versions have received.

Our website now hosts a video of the presentation, which details both how to use the new and improved interface and also key 2019 findings about bank vs. non-bank lenders.
Happy birthday, Predatory Loan Prevention Act

Governor JB Pritzker signed the Predatory Loan Prevention Act (PLPA) into law March 23, 2021. Since then, borrowers have saved millions by avoiding triple-digit interest rates and fees.

To celebrate and showcase the positive impact, we’re having a Twitterstorm at 1pm CT today. Please join us by using our social media toolkit to post to your organization’s social media or your personal page.

Please use #StopTheDebtTrap and #PLPAbday, and check those hashtags for posts from Woodstock and our partners to retweet.
Protect the PLPA: Providing consumer alternatives

With the start of a new year, we decided to look back on the impact of the 36% interest rate cap set by the Predatory Loan Prevention Act (PLPA) on Illinoisans in 2021. Overall, we're seeing borrowers pay less in fees and affordable lenders move to Illinois.
Protect the PLPA, Part 2:
Crear Riqueza en la Comunidad
The consumer education resources of WeProsperIL, created by Woodstock Institute, New America Chicago and Chicago Urban League, are now available in Spanish so Hispanic and Latino/a people can more easily utilize and benefit from the site’s strategies to help cut expenses, boost income and find safe and affordable loans.
Support tax relief for Illinois families
Expanding Illinois’ Earned Income Credit and creating a statewide Child Tax Credit would give over 4.8 million Illinoisans a refund of at least $600 (or more!) at tax time.

Giving more credit to no-, low-, and middle-income families is not simply the right thing to do in this moment of crisis, but is also a smart economic choice for our state, as the proposed additional credit costs only a mere one percent of the State’s total budget and would create over one billion dollars in local and state economic benefits. 

Our partners at Economic Security for Illinois, the Children’s Home & Aid Ahlquist Center for Policy, Practice and Innovation provided a petition to communicate with legislators. Tell your state representatives and senators to support these bills to help households across the state.
Woodstock Institute Economic Justice Awards 2022 Save the Date
Save the date! Join us Tuesday,
June 7 for our Economic Justice Awards
We’re excited to see you in person!

Please join us June 7, 2022, 5:30-7:30 pm, at the University Club to celebrate our efforts to create a just society where low-income people and communities of color have increasing opportunities to build wealth.

We’re excited to acknowledge this year’s honorees for their contributions to racial equity and consumer financial protection: Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch will receive our Economic Justice Award, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Public Policy Director Sarah Brune will receive our Advocate of the Year Award.

We also want to celebrate YOU and your support of Woodstock Institute! We will have hors d’oeuvres, drinks, desserts, live jazz, and plenty of time for networking.

Watch for more details, including event registration and sponsorship opportunities at or contact Development Director Barbara Lacker-Ware at with questions.
Economic justice in the news

Chicago Crusader (3/4) Illinois lawmakers must create legal balance between owners, renters of storage units:  Paul Kantwill describes the Illinois Self Storage Facility Act, which would allow the owners of self-storage locker facilities to avoid the required public auction notice when a renter’s belongings have been confiscated and will be auctioned, making an industry-friendly law even more so. (Also ran in newspapers throughout Illinois, including Springfield Journal-RegisterRead the op ed

Chicago Sun-Times (2/7) Chicago-based lender stymied by state cap on interest rates: Consumer advocates suspect Opportunity Financial, or OppFi, is fighting back against the limit of 36% on loan interest, but the company isn’t discussing its lobbying aims. Read article

WTTW (3/4) Firsthand: Segregation: Many Black and Brown Chicagoans have found their goals more challenging to achieve because of a painful reality that has insinuated itself into so many aspects of their everyday lives: segregation born of racism. How are these divisions affecting residents and the housing, education, healthcare, and the economy in one of America’s most segregated cities? And what can be done to break down these barriers? Several residents are highlighted through interviews. View series

Take Note
Position available: Save the Post Office Campaigner
The Take on Wall Street campaign is coordinating The Save The Post Office Coalition of over 300 organizations to protect and expand the U.S. Postal Service. Pay range is : $60,000 - $80,000 commensurate with experience. Get the job description

Save the date: Housing Matters
Housing Action Illinois will celebrate their 35th anniversary at their Housing Matters Conference October 20-21 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Bloomington.

Thank you for reading!