Our Mission

The mission of the AFCPE Government Relations Task Force is to encourage AFCPE members to be a strong voice for positive impact on state and federal policy issues that affect our clients, our communities, and the broader financial services business sector.  

Understanding that the private and public sectors need to work together in order to create an environment that is fair, just, and void of predatory practices, the Task Force seeks to empower members with resources and information to advance these efforts. We approach our work without a partisan lens, but rather with an understanding that differences of opinion, if conveyed in a respectful and thoughtful manner, can lead to learning, inclusion, and eventually better outcomes.

The AFCPE Government Relations Task Force believes that taking stands on appropriate policy matters, such as consumer protection, abusive lending practices, and data privacy, are important ways in which we serve our clients and our cause. We must not only serve our communities; we should advocate for our communities because we are passionate about our work and the pursuit of a fair and equitable financial environment.

Advocacy Toolkit for AFCPE Members

This toolkit was designed to provide valuable resources to help you identify issues that are impacting consumers and provide guidance on effective approaches to advocacy.

We ask that every AFCPE member take some time to go through the toolkit and utilize the available resources. 

Click the links below to access:

In the United States, there are many layers of government. Begin your search by using this one-stop tool: Find elected officials

There are other federal, state, and local websites that also provide this information – but it could take some effort to find the information you need, depending upon your location.

  1. Who are your elected federal representatives? Find your member
  1. Who are your elected local and state representatives?

Locating this information will vary by city and state, but here is an example for an individual who lives (as an example) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Mayor, City Council, Boards & Commissions, and City Manager – Local

Washtenaw County – Local 

State of Michigan – Local

– Find your senator

There are many national organizations that pursue advocacy efforts as part of their organizational mission.  Their missions are as varied as the people who run the organizations, but a review of their websites will provide visitors with an abundance of articles, videos, and data to help bring more awareness to the various issues.

AFCPE members should be aware that advocacy happens at all levels, and while the news might report primarily on movements happening at the national level, much of the most important advocacy work begins at the grassroots level in individual communities.

The following organizations are well-known for their robust advocacy efforts:

Prosperity Now

National Consumer Law Center

Consumer Federation of America

Identity Theft Resource Center

Financial Planning Association

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)


Bipartisan Policy Center

Congress is the lawmaking branch of the federal government.

  1. A bill is a proposal for a new law or a change to an existing law. The idea for a bill can come from a sitting member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives or be proposed during their election campaign. Bills can also be petitioned by people or citizen groups who recommend a new or amended law to a member of Congress that represents them.
  2. Once a bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee whose members will research, discuss, and make changes to the bill.
  3. The bill is then put before that chamber to be voted on.
  4. If the bill passes one body of Congress, it goes to the other body to go through a similar process of research, discussion, changes, and voting.
  5. Once both bodies vote to accept a bill, they must work out any differences between the two versions. Then both chambers vote on the same version of the bill. If it passes, they present it to the president.
  6. The president then considers the bill. The president can approve the bill and sign it into law. Or the president can refuse to approve a bill. This is called a veto.
  7. If the president chooses to veto a bill, in most cases Congress can vote to override that veto and the bill becomes a law. But if the president does not sign off on a bill and it remains unsigned when Congress is no longer in session, the bill will be vetoed by default. This action is called a pocket veto, and it cannot be overridden by Congress.

Want a summary? Check out this helpful infographic.

Advocacy Definition

The word “advocate” comes from the Latin word advocatus, which means “one called to aid” or “a pleader on one’s behalf.” Advocacy is any action that pleads, supports, defends, or speaks for other people or on behalf of a cause

In the AFCPE community, you will find our members advocating for clients, communities, and policies that help people achieve financial well-being through equitable laws.

Advocacy includes a wide variety of actions (like running educational events, communicating with elected and appointed officials, volunteering at organizations, or using your professional platform) to work for the interests of others or in defense of a specific cause.

Can the AFCPE community really make a difference?

Absolutely! One voice can start the conversation, while many voices will start to make real change. 

Consider that for more than 30 years, the Accredited Financial Counselor® certification has set the standard for the highest level of knowledge, skill, and integrity in the field of personal finance. AFC® certified professionals work all over the world in many different fields like nonprofits, academia, military, and private practice, helping individuals and families learn to take control of their finances.  In 2024, check-out these numbers:

  • 3200+ AFC® Certified Professionals Worldwide – Educators, researchers, and practitioners working in private practice, government, military, nonprofit, banks/credit unions, academia, & more.
  • 1500+ AFC® Candidates – Students, professionals, career changers, and volunteers from all backgrounds learning how to help others manage their money so they can improve their lives.
  • 1800+ Devoted AFCPE® Members – a diverse and integrated professional community for people seeking connections, education, and growth in the ever-changing personal finance profession.

Our work is challenging, life-changing, and definitely not routine. But what’s even more difficult is trying to do our jobs and help people succeed financially while also navigating through an environment that is often filled with policies that are outdated, confusing, or even predatory.

We encourage everyone in the AFCPE community to find the time and make the effort to use advocacy to help make a better future.

Where Can I Start?​

Post on the AFCPE Member Exchange!

Share your thoughts, observations, concerns, etc. about issues you feel are important to the AFCPE community. The Exchange is a great way to build partnerships, start dialogue, and encourage others in the AFCPE community to get involved in advocacy efforts.   

Advocacy in Action – Consumer Finances

Advocacy is a process whereby engaged individuals like AFC’s make their opinions and voices heard on issues that impact our work and specifically the lives of our clients. Advocacy happens at the local, state, and national level. It also means helping policymakers find specific solutions to persistent problems – identifying the issue is one thing, but even more important is proposing potential alternatives to the status quo.

As members of the AFCPE community, consider all the areas in which regulation and legislation impact our work and our clients:

  • Fair lending
  • Consumer data privacy
  • Credit reporting
  • Fees
  • Disclosures
  • Predatory lending
  • Identity theft and fraud prevention
  • Elder financial abuse
  • Retirement (Social Security, Medicare, SSI, etc.)
  • Student loans
  • Investing
  • Public benefit asset limits
  • Fair debt collection
  • Tax policy
  • Caring for family members

Examples of Advocacy

  • Telling an elected representative how a specific federal housing program has benefitted (or harmed) your clients.
  • Educating a lawmaker about the effects of creditor policies on your clients.
  • Asking for a meeting with Congressional staff so that he/she may better understand your role with helping people gain financial stability, your credentials, and your first-hand experience with the issue.
  • Sharing specific examples and data about the impact that financial fraud has on people, especially the elderly.

Writing letters is still a tried-and-true advocacy method. It allows people to raise awareness, clearly articulate their stance on an issue, and present solutions. Effective advocacy writing contains several ingredients, including a clear “ask,” essential facts, and a respectful approach.

In addition, other forms of communication such as telephone calls, emails, and participating in live events such as a local congressional town hall meeting might prove just as effective.

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