56th Annual Consumer Assembly
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Courtyard Marriott Washington, Downtown – 901 L St, NW

8:00am-8:45am ET
Breakfast Dialogue: How Systemic Racism Impacts Consumer Protection Advocacy

Systemic racism and inequity impact how we advocate for core consumer protection issues, given that consumers of color have been treated differently, targeted by predatory practices, and systemically excluded from growth opportunities across marketplaces. CFA members have led campaigns and advocacy efforts to address an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, advocate for fair lending, and combat housing discrimination. We will discuss these efforts, the elements of each strategy, and how we can work as organizations individually and collectively to tackle these serious problems.


Beverly Brown Ruggia, Financial Justice Program Director
New Jersey Citizen Action


Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Policy and Communication
Woodstock Institute

Melvin Henley, Coalition Manager
Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM)

Will Stephens, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Public Advocacy Division
Office of Attorney General for the District of Columbia

8:45am-8:50am ET
Welcome & Introduction

Susan Weinstock, CEO
Consumer Federation of America

8:50am – 9:10am ET
Keynote Address: The Dual Threat of Monopolies and Privatization

Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)
United States House of Representatives
Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus

9:10am – 9:30am ET
Keynote Address: Protecting the Next Generation

Attorney General Josh Stein
State of North Carolina

9:30am – 10:30am ET
Danger Zone: Protecting Young People from Targeted Ads, Harmful Content, and Discrimination Online

Children’s advocates, and now the Biden Administration, are sounding the alarm about how young people are being surveilled online for targeted advertising, lured into addictive content that harms their physical and mental health, and subjected to discriminatory algorithmic decision-making that limits what they see when they search for jobs and other opportunities. Law enforcement agencies have also noticed and are starting to take action. What more needs to be done to protect young people from these and other online hazards?


Susan Grant
Consumer Federation of America


Haley Hinkle, Policy Counsel

Katharina Kopp, Deputy Director and Director for Policy
Center for Digital Democracy

Roxana Marachi, PhD, Professor of Education
San José State University

Jennifer Rimm, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Consumer Protection
DC Office of the Attorney General

10:45am – 11:15am ET
Keynote Address: Forgotten No More – Shining a Light on the Struggles of Overlooked Consumers and Communities

Zixta Martinez, Deputy Director
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

11:15am – 12:15pm ET
Climate Change Policy and Consumer Protection

This cross-cutting panel will identify consumer protection concerns that need to be incorporated into the development of climate change policy. Moderated by climate and energy reporter and research analyst Amena Saiyid, consumer advocates will explore the intersection of climate policy and topics such as financial services, housing, and energy. Broadly, the panelists will discuss what’s at stake for consumers and the role consumer advocates must play to ensure that consumers do not shoulder a disproportionate share of the costs, compared with industry, of transitioning toward a carbon neutral economy.


Amena Saiyid, Senior Climate & Energy Journalist
Net-Zero Business Daily by S&P Global Commodity Insights


M. Isabelle Chaudry, Senior Policy Analyst
The Center for Progressive Reform

Mel Hall-Crawford, Senior Advisor and former Director of Energy Programs
Consumer Federation of America

Mike Litt, Consumer Campaign Director

Alex Martin, Senior Policy Analyst for Climate and Finance
Americans for Financial Reform

1:00pm – 2:00pm ET
Moderated Conversation: Inflation, Competition, and Consumer Impacts

Inflation has been on the rise, which means the prices for consumer goods and services have been increasing. Evidence suggests, however, that some companies are increasing prices for goods and services at rates that are outpacing the rate of inflation. This moderated discussion will focus on the impacts of inflation on consumers, how companies’ pricing practices in the current market environment may be exacerbating the impacts of inflation on consumers, why competitive dynamics may be contributing to such pricing practices, and potential policy responses to address these concerns.


Micah Hauptman, Director of Investor Protection
Consumer Federation of America


Lindsay Owens, Executive Director
The Groundwork Collaborative

Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director
White House National Economic Council

2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
When Wall Street Buys Up Main Street: How Private Equity’s Spending Spree on Single-Family Homes Is Altering the Housing Market for Consumers

In 2021, one out of every five lower-priced homes that sold in the U.S., roughly 20.8%, was purchased by a private investor, along with 12.5% of high-priced homes, and 11.3% of mid-priced homes. Private equity’s increased appetite represents a steep rise in activity in the single-home purchase market. Between 2020-2021 alone, investment firms like J.P.Morgan, BlackRock, and Allianz earmarked at least $30 billion for purchasing single-family homes with the intention of renting them out. In this panel, we will examine how Wall Street’s increased interest in the single-family home market is creating serious consequences for consumers looking to both buy and rent. In particular, we will examine how private-equity’s ability to make cash-only offers in a decreased housing supply market impacts affordability for prospective buyers and the challenges that renters of private-equity owned homes have faced in their landlord-tenant relationships.


David Sanchez
Director of Research and Development
National Community Stabilization Trust


Debby Goldberg, Vice President of Housing Policy and Special Projects
National Fair Housing Alliance

Sofia Lopez
Deputy Campaign Director – Housing
Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE)

Oscar Valdés Viera, Research Manager
Americans For Financial Reform

3:00pm – 4:00pm ET
Online Purchasing: Trading Consumer Protections for Convenience?

As more and more people are purchasing products online, are they making an unwitting choice between safety, fair pricing, payment options and convenience? Are online marketplaces outside of the legal frameworks designed to protect consumers? Or is lack of compliance and an effort to evade protections at play? We will discuss critical consumer protections impacted by online marketplaces, identifying problems and potential solutions


Christine Hines, Legislative Director
National Association of Consumer Advocates


Dev Gowda, Assistant Director
Kids In Danger

Alex Harman, Director of Government Affairs, Antimonopoly and Competition Policy
Economic Security Project

Laurel Lehman, Policy Analyst
Consumer Reports

Lauren Saunders, Associate Director
National Consumer Law Center

4:00pm – 4:30pm ET
Keynote Address: CPSC at 50 – Reflecting on Our Past and Looking Forward

Alex Hoehn-Saric, Chair
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

4:30pm – 4:35pm ET
Thank you & Wrap Up

Susan Weinstock, CEO
Consumer Federation of America

Speaker and Panelist Bios

Conference Program