For Immediate Release: July 6, 2023
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Wake of Unjust Supreme Court Ruling Blocking President Biden’s Debt Relief Plan, New Nonprofit Launches to Hold Right-Wing Officials Accountable for Robbing Borrowers of Economic Relief
Organization aims to educate constituents in key districts, raise awareness on efforts by elected officials to keep them drowning in student debt
July 6, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to deny 40 million people life-changing relief by blocking President Biden’s student debt relief plan, today, a new nonprofit organization, Protect Borrowers Action, launched with the mission of unlocking the power of people with student debt to hold their officials accountable.
Protect Borrowers Action will educate, activate, and mobilize people to hold right-wing officials accountable for stripping away debt relief from 40 million borrowers—including hundreds of thousands of their own constituents.
Protect Borrowers Action will highlight 13 Members of Congress who worked to block student debt relief, making sure these officials hear loud and clear from the very constituents they fought tirelessly to keep drowning in debt. Earlier this year, these members joined more than 150 other House Republicans, signing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging them to strike down President Biden’s debt relief program. Weeks later, they voted not once, but twice, to block student debt relief from the very workers and families they were elected to represent.
Not only are these Members of Congress shamefully working to undermine the economic security of their own constituents, they are actively advancing policies that are unpopular and wildly out of step with the majority of Americans who continue to support student debt relief, across party, age, race, and educational background.
Protect Borrowers Action is led by the same advocates and strategists who helped build the movement to deliver transformative student debt relief for millions of Americans and bring an end to the student loan debt crisis. For nearly a decade, PBA’s leadership team helped lead a diverse and intergenerational coalition of advocates, including the largest labor unions and civil rights groups, that moved student debt to the center of American politics and drove President Biden to announce his historic debt relief plan.
“Working people burdened with student debt are mad as hell over the hypocrisy of treating conservative billionaires one way and those striving for the middle class another,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, which is supporting this effort. “Right-wing politicians need to hear loud and clear that when they put the interests of conservative billionaires above the financial welfare of their own constituents, they will be held accountable. Protect Borrowers Action will educate and empower voters with the knowledge necessary to do just that. Gone are the days where politicians get a pass for being complicit in the student debt crisis plaguing our communities.”
CALLING OUT 13 RIGHT-WING OFFICIALS WHO FOUGHT TO BLOCK DEBT RELIEF
Protect Borrowers Action will educate and mobilize Americans with student debt across 13 key Congressional districts. Today, PBA released 13 fact sheets highlighting the price their constituents paid when these officials denied them student debt relief.
ANNOUNCING THE PROTECT BORROWERS ACTION TEAM
PBA will be directed by the advocates and strategists who lead the fight to end the student debt crisis. PBA will partner with The Win Company to produce ads for the project and SocialSphere, the firm led by pollster John Della Volpe, who also runs the Harvard Institute of Politics youth polls and served as a pollster on the Biden 2020 campaign.
PBA’s leadership team is:
Aissa Canchola Banez, who will serve as Political Director for Protect Borrowers Action. She brings more than a decade of experience in Congress, Executive Agencies and advocacy spaces working to enact policies that center working families and create a more just and equitable economy that works for all people. She most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley where she helped to make student loan debt cancellation a reality. She also currently serves as Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy at the Student Borrower Protection Center.
Mike Pierce, who will serve as Executive Director for Protect Borrowers Action. He is an attorney, advocate, and former senior regulator who has spent more than a decade fighting for student loan borrowers’ rights and working to tackle the student loan debt crisis. He previously worked on Capitol Hill and at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mike also serves as Executive Director and co-founder of the Student Borrower Protection Center.
Claire Stein-Ross, who will serve as Senior Advisor for Protect Borrowers Action. Before launching her own consulting firm to work with political and non-profit organizations, she served as Operations Director for the DCCC’s independent expenditure in 2018, managing budgets and processes for the largest congressional battlefield in a decade and the IE’s first in-house digital program. She previously worked on Capitol Hill, in campaign fundraising, and as a pollster. Claire also serves as Senior Advisor for Operations and Strategy at the Student Borrower Protection Center.
Persis Yu, who will serve as the Deputy Executive Director and Managing Counsel for Protect Borrowers Action. Persis is a widely recognized expert on consumer protection and student loan issues and is regularly featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. She has also testified before Congress on multiple occasions regarding the impact of student loan debt on borrowers and the need for reform in the student loan system. She also serves as Deputy Executive Director and Managing Counsel at the Student Borrower Protect Center.
About Protect Borrowers Action
Protect Borrowers Action educates, activates, and mobilizes Americans with student debt to hold right-wing officials accountable for their efforts to deny borrowers life-changing relief and keep them drowning in student debt. PBA is a fiscally sponsored project of Fund for a Better Future, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization.
Learn more at borrowersaction.org.