Decriminalizing Poverty and Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap

Through ground-up policy advocacy, EBCLC works to prevent wealth-stripping by state agencies and private corporations. We’ve secured many strong statewide protections for low-income consumers, and work through the California Low-Income Consumer Coalition to ensure that consumers have a voice in Sacramento. Our groundbreaking bank levy reform legislation, SB-616, passed in October 2019, and sets aside $1,866 in each Californian’s bank account that can’t be taken by a debt collector. 

EBCLC is also a steering member of the Debt Free Justice California coalition, a statewide movement with the goal of eliminating the unjust fines and fees that saddle Californians with debilitating debt. In 2018, we released a report, convened stakeholders and authored an ordinance to make Alameda County the nation’s second municipality to abolish criminal justice system fees and discharge the existing debt of almost 100,000 people.  In 2020, we elevated this victory to the statewide level by passing the Families Over Fees Act, which eliminated 23 criminal administrative fees and discharged over $16 billion in existing debt.


Current projects:

Recent and Past wins:


For more information, contact Co-Deputy Director Jay Kim,

Learn more about all of EBCLC’s Policy Initiatives…

All Policy Work | Targeting Redlining | Decriminalizing Poverty | Expanding Economic Opportunity| Protecting Youth of Color | Centering Health

Share This: