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Mayor Keller Launches Consumer Financial Protection Initiative

$125,000 Cities for Financial Empowerment grant enables City to fill the gaps in consumer protection

August 20, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque launched a new Consumer Financial Protection Initiative. The initiative will enable the City to create and implement regulatory and enforcement strategies to help fill the gaps in protecting consumers in Albuquerque. National nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, in partnership with seed funders W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, awarded a grant of $125,000 over two years for the project. 

“There are some important consumer protection efforts in our state, and this project is going to allow the City to help fill in the gaps to help Burqueños fight back against predatory lending and consumer fraud,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “Having empowered residents is a key to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and building an equitable community and economy. We’ll be helping folks protect themselves, know their rights, and understand their choices. We appreciate Cities for Financial Empowerment for supporting this work to enhance the daily lives of people from all walks of life.”

“Local leaders are uniquely poised to recognize consumer financial protection issues that are plaguing residents – and then use the powers of local government to do something about it,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Keller to support the City of Albuquerque’s work at the front lines of protecting and empowering vulnerable consumers.”

The new initiative will focus on the creation of a consumer protection bureau at the City of Albuquerque that will develop a system for intake and screening of consumer’s complaints about business practices, a public outreach program targeting consumer protection issues and a public enforcement strategy to address consumer risk and violations.

Leading this effort at the City is Karen Meyers, former Deputy Enforcement Director for Policy and Strategy in the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Protection Bureau. Prior to joining the CFPB in 2015, she served as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Consumer Protection Division for the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General from 2007-2014. Before moving to the public sector, Karen was a plaintiff’s civil litigation attorney and also served as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque in New Mexico from 1984 – 1997.  She graduated from Northeastern University Law School in 1978.