Since 2000, Martin has taken a leadership role in fighting abusive financial practices targeted at poor families, including predatory home loans, payday lending, and abusive checking and credit card fees. Martin and Self-Help have received awards, among others, from the MacArthur Foundation, Credit Union National Association, NCLC, Annie Casey Foundation, National Association of Realtors, and the Raleigh News and Observer.
Mike provides overall direction for the organization and directs the federal policy team. He is a seasoned civil rights and consumer protection litigator. Mike was the principal drafter of the North Carolina acts regulating predatory mortgage loans, mortgage brokers and lenders. He has authored numerous papers and testified before Congress and numerous state legislatures.
Debbie provides day-to-day leadership for all CRL branches, assists the CEO and President in strategic decision-making, coordinates the annual operations plan and budget, and oversees CRL fundraising and Board relations. In 2002, Debbie assisted local organizations and lawmakers in drafting and advocating for legislative remedies to address exorbitant fees on subprime mortgages in New Jersey and played a critical role in negotiating the New Jersey Home Ownership Security Act. She also advised the sponsors of the Massachusetts Predatory Home Loan Practices Act of 2004, and worked with lead organizations in the state of Massachusetts to support enactment of the legislation.
Nikitra directs outreach and educational efforts to national and locally based organizations, and provides technical assistance to policymakers on state and federal anti-predatory lending initiatives. Nikitra originally joined the CRL as a policy associate after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School Of Law. While in law school, Ms. Bailey interned at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. Ms. Bailey is also a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Bailey has published several articles on the impact of abusive lending practices on communities of color.
Keith’s work focuses on eliminating abusive lending practices at the state and national level. Prior to joining Self-Help, he worked for 21 years in banking and insurance serving as Vice President and Treasurer of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company. In 1998, Dollars & Sense Magazine voted him Best and Brightest in Finance.
Gary Kalman oversees the federal legislative affairs of CRL. Prior to joining CRL, Mr. Kalman directed the federal legislative office for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. In 2009, Mr. Kalman was a founder and Executive Committee member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 250 national, state and local organizations that, in the wake of the economic crisis, led the effort to reform our nation’s financial services sector. He has testified before Congress and he and his work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fox News, MSNBC and elsewhere. Mr. Kalman has also served as a political campaign and organizational consultant and as an instructor at LaSalle University where he lectured on nonprofit advocacy and development.
Uriah coordinates CRL's overall state work, including strategic planning, administration, developing state policy objectives and most importantly managing CRL's support of state-based groups and policy-makers seeking to address abusive financial practices. Uriah has worked at CRL for seven years, during which time, he has coordinated CRL's resources in support of several successful state legislative and ballot efforts as well as multiple reports on predatory lending practices. Prior to coming to CRL, Uriah worked at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center in Dayton, OH helping provide direct services to victims of predatory mortgage lending and coordinating investigations into complaints of predatory lending. The investigations resulted in dozens of class-action and individual lawsuits against now well known predatory lenders.
Chris has been with CRL since 2002, and is primarily responsible for directing CRL’s North Carolina policy work. Chris also works with lawmakers and advocates in other states on consumer lending legislation. He received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and received his B.A. with honors from Alma College in Alma, Michigan. Prior to joining the Center, Chris worked for five years on Capitol Hill, most recently as Appropriations Associate and Counsel to U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York.
Paul opened the California office in spring 2006 and directs state policy and outreach efforts. Prior to joining CRL, Paul was a public policy consultant focused on housing and community development, welfare reform, and other anti-poverty issues. Prior to 1999, Paul was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development from 1994 to 1998.
Ellen leads CRL's communications activities, including its online presence and advocacy, press and new media efforts, publications, and other projects. She joined CRL in 2003, after serving as Communications Director for the Center for Community Self-Help, CRL’s affiliate organization. Prior to joining Self-Help & CRL, Ellen worked at General Electric, spending 12 years in GE’s mortgage business. Her last position there was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning. Ellen also has been Board President for a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and is the co-founder of the “Just Money” project, which explored ways for faith-based organizations to promote equitable financial services. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications on the financial services industry, including Insights in Mortgage Finance Today, The Plastic Safety Net: The Reality Behind Debt in America, and Losing Ground: Subprime Foreclosures and Their Cost to Homeowners.
Bill is responsible for advancing a policy research agenda into the abusive lending practices. In addition to his work at CRL, he teaches cost-benefit analysis to public policy students in Carnegie Mellon University’s DC MPP program. Bill is the former Director of the Homelessness Research Institute, where he directed both the research and communications functions of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. He is a graduate of Duke University and holds both a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University and a MSW from Catholic University. Prior to applying his analytical skills to the social advancement of vulnerable populations, Bill worked in the areas of transportation and land-use planning and helped to found the Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.