Graciela Aponte-Diaz is the director of California policy, based in Oakland, where she works with stakeholders in California to develop and implement strategies for advancing CRL’s goals for strong consumer protection and responsible lending policies in the state.
Graciela first joined CRL in 2012, where she pioneered some of the most successful strategies in engaging the voices of payday borrowers in advocacy for stronger protections at the state and federal level. In 2015, Graciela served on the Executive Staff of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, CRL’s sister organization. She worked on the development of a small dollar loan designed to help low-income immigrants apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
Before joining CRL, Graciela was the senior legislative analyst for the Wealth-Building Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). While at NCLR, she helped successfully restore federal funds for housing counseling; fought for improvements to President Obama’s foreclosure prevention program; testified before Congress on housing policy; and fought for a strong financial reform bill which resulted in the creation of a new federal agency tasked with protecting consumers.
Graciela began her career working directly with community members as a housing counselor and as a community liaison to a Congressional Representative in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Graciela received her bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland.