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Activists protest to lower payday loan interest rates, raise the minimum wage

Tim Lloyd
St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of a failed effort to place initiatives on the November ballot in Missouri that would cap interest rates on payday loans and raise the minimum wage rallied in St. Louis today.

From priests to teenagers, around 100 people marched around a payday loan shop on Grand Ave.

Jamala Rogers is with Jobs for Justice and helped collect signatures for the ballot initiatives.

“This is not the last time that we’re going to do the ballot initiative,” Rogers said.  “Because we think it’s a righteous cause, we think it’s a just issue and we know that we have Missourians on our side.”

Father Richard Creason of Holy Trinity in Hyde Park was part of a religious coalition that supported the ballot initiatives.  

“I suspect, in my own opinion, that it’s going to be a legislative effort in the state of Missouri to carry these petitions to our elected officials and say create laws that are just,” Creason said.   

Organizers said they had a total of 350,000 signatures, but last month Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said many were invalid.

When they filed a lawsuit to validate signatures, activists said lawyers for the payday loan industry worked to stymie their effort.

Organizers would have had to prove signatures were valid by September 21. 

Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.