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HISTORY OF THE CONSUMER RIGHTS MOVEMENT

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GARLAND DEMPSEY, CEPA FOUNDER LED & INSPIRED CONSUMERS






On February 6, 1966, fifteen people assembled at a meeting held in the North Philadelphia headquarters of the Congress of Racial Equality(CORE). They agreed to establish a consumer organzation, adopted the name of CONSUMER EDUCATION AND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION (CEPA), APPROVED AN 8-Point program of consumer education and protection and elected Garland Dempsey as their first chairperson.



Before 1965, there was hardly any help available to consumers. Ralph Nader had not appeared on the scene, there was no Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Bureau, no Small Claims courts,and no legislative or media attention to consumer issues.
Several attempts to start a consumer organization failed. One of the first people who considered the idea was Garland Dempsey.



In December, 1965, Mr and Mrs. Henry Outlaw, neighbors of Garland Dempsey in North Philadelphia received a refund of $787.00 from a finance company. Mr. Dempsey helped file a complaint on their behalf about a swindle in the refinancing of a loan. The Gallman case got nationwide attenion and resulted in Congress passing The Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968. This landmark piece of legislation which later became " The Truth in Lending Act" was the first of a series of consumer credit protection laws written to protect consumers rights.

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GARLAND DEMPSEY, 1981, SPEAKING AT CEPA'S 15TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: TO RIGHT: FLORENCE RICE, HERBERT DENENBERG, MAX WEINER, RALPH NADER.

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GARLAND DEMPSEY WITH DELAGATION IN STATE CAPITAL URGING RETENTION OF HERB DENENBERG ON PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

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