This is a history of how T-CAPP came about. T-CAPP grew out of the Church and Society Committee of Forest Lake United Methodist Church (FLUM). In early 2014, this committee decided to make people aware of the pitfalls of predatory lending and to seek legislation to cap interest rates in Alabama. By word of mouth we grew to about 40 people from other faith-based communities and organizations. We decided to set our goal to seek legislation to cap lending rates of short-term lenders at 36% APR in Alabama. Martha Rogers suggested we call ourselves Tuscaloosa Citizens Against Predatory Practices (T-CAPP).
T-CAPP planned a rally for August 11, 2014, at Calvary Baptist Church. Willie Fort suggested that Beebe McKinley, Chair of T-CAPP, speak to the Hope Initiative group which meets at Calvary Baptist. Our ideas were well accepted at this meeting, and Councilor Harrison Taylor invited Beebe to make a five-minute presentation at the City Council.
A Steering committee was formed composed of Beebe McKinley, T-CAPP Chair, Martha Rogers, Alabama Employees Retirement Association, Ruthie Sherrill, University Presbyterian, Julie Sittason, First United Methodist, Willie Fort, Tuscaloosa Housing Authority. We wanted one from each group represented, so others were added.
T-CAPP formed committees in preparation for the rally:
- Faith-based liaison committee who approached the faith-based communities, inviting them to come to the Rally, Gene Smith, Chair
- Legislative research committee who studied data from the internet so we would know what we were talking about. Jennifer McKinley, Chair
- Program committee headed by Ruthie Sherrill, who worked to bring about our VERY SUCCESSFUL Rally
- Legislative committee who would invite legislative guests to the rally. Marvin McKinley, Chair
- Picketing committee – Leader to be announced
- Publicity committee, headed by Martha Rogers
- Print media – Martha Rogers and Nancy Campbell – Martha was able to secure the help of Frances Tucker, a professional who sent out press releases, got the press to the Rally, and made appointments with Kip Tyner and Jade Gibson for the appearances mentioned below
- Social media – Sheila Hayes set up a Facebook page
Beebe McKinley appeared on Jade Gibson’s Community Calendar
- Percy Mills and Beebe appeared on Kip Tyner’s TV show
- Beebe has given talks to the Blue River Democrats, the Tuscaloosa City Council, Hope Initiative, The West Alabama Labor Council and several social clubs. She was interviewed by honor students at the U. of A. who are making a documentary that may be used by the public schools as an online course in Alabama history
- Martha Rogers and Annette Dudgeon spoke to several social organizations
- Martha enrolled T-CAPP in the Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama group, and she and Beebe have attended several meetings and are working closely with the group
- T-CAPP works closely with Alabama Arise, a group that seeks justice through legislation for the under-represented