Updated: March 2019

38th anniversary fundraiser (2009)

Celebrating consumer advocacy and activism

By Michelle De Mooy

Consumer Action held a fundraising event in June to celebrate its close to 40 years of tireless work on behalf of consumers. Held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco, the party raised $54,805, a new level of support for the event. (See a list of 2009 donors and educational partners.)

Consumer Action’s supporters and members spent the evening mingling with long-time activists, consumer reporters, staff members and award recipients.

In accordance with tradition, Consumer Action presented its yearly Consumer Excellence Award in three categories: Community, Advocacy, and Media.

The awards pay tribute to community-based activists or organizations, media outlets, and lawmakers who have demonstrated a strong commitment to important consumer issues.

In a year that saw the collapse of the U.S. economy, these individuals and organizations waged crucial battles on behalf of consumers.

Consumer Action believes this year’s award recipients showed exceptional energy and focus in their work.


The 2009 Consumer Excellence Award for Outstanding Advocacy was awarded to the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. In the last year, CRL has worked to protect consumers from unfair subprime mortgage loans, payday loans, tax refund loans, and other lending scams. The organization investigates and reports on all aspects of predatory lending, and is regularly called upon to testify before Congress. Its Oakland, California, office is involved in advocacy at the state level.

Consumer Action gave out two awards for Outstanding Community Service this year. One was given to San Francisco’s Chinatown Service Center for its longstanding efforts to provide education, health and human services to Asian and other immigrant and refugee communities. The mission of the organization is to enhance this population’s ability to contribute to the social, economic and cultural fabric of the United States.

The second award went to Healthy San Francisco, a unique program designed to make health care services accessible and affordable to uninsured residents of the city. The program, born from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s pledge to provide universal health care to all city residents, offers a primary source for medical care and a primary physician for participants. Healthy San Francisco is operated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

David Lazarus, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, was honored with Consumer Action’s Outstanding Consumer Journalism award. Lazarus is a long-time champion for consumer rights, and is currently a business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Lazarus consistently challenges businesses to do right by consumers, writing provocative and compelling pieces that bring unfair practices to the public eye. Before joining the paper in 2007, he was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and a nightly talk radio host for San Francisco KGO Radio.

2009 Corporate Donors

Platinum Circle:
Capital One | TracFone

Gold Circle:
Assurant Health Foundation | Jim Adler, Intelius

Silver Circle:
AT&T California | Copy Copies, Inc. | The Hastings Group | Humana | Microsoft | Verizon

Union Bank

American Express | Consumer Attorneys Public Interest Foundation | Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP | Jack Gillis, Certified Automotive Parts Association | Southern California Edison | Southern California Gas Co. | The Sturdevant Law Firm

CUNA Mutual Group

2009 Individual and Community Donors

Silver Circle:
Norman Bock | Neil Gendel | Arthur D. Levy

James S. Beck | Jim Conran, Consumers First, Inc. | Robert S. Green, Green Welling, P.C.

Arnie Berghoff | Paul Bland, Public Justice | Trish Butler, Sage Communications | Raymond Chan | Marsha Cohen | Consumer Union | Linda Golodner | Dain Hansen | John Jensen | Irene Leech | Lisa Yep Salinas | Steven Solomon | Patricia Sturdevant

Asian Pacific American Community Center | Chris Bjorklund | Senny Boone | Steven Brook | Yamin Chai | Winnie Chu | Consumer Credit Management Services, Inc. | Robert Friese | Ellis & Jennifer Gans | John Geesman, GreenEnergyWar.com | Pastor Herrera, Jr. | Sue C. Hestor | Erwang Mao | Martin Mattes, Nossaman LLP | National Endowment for Financial Education | Anthony Ng, Chinese Newcomers Service Center | Darin Ow-Wing, Community Education Services | United Policyholders | Annie Sylesdara Tinsley







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