MBL Banner Takes Message to Washington Politicians and Local Democratic Party

Serving members is the paramount duty of credit unions. After being unable to meet the needs of members seeking business loans, a Tacoma credit union decided to get active in the MBL fight.

MBL PosterIf someone who you were trying to convince to support an idea had to travel through your credit union lobby in order to get to work, how far would you go to get your message across? One Tacoma credit union is in just this situation as important elected leaders, the Pierce County Democratic Party headquarters and three unions are housed in the same building.

IBEW #76 Federal Credit Union, founded in 1957 by a group of Local 76 Electricians to serve the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 76 members and their families, got creative with their opportunity this week when manager and CEO Sheila Augustine hung a banner asking Sens. Cantwell and Murray to support S. 2231, legislation that would raise the member business lending (MBL) cap for credit unions from 12.5 percent of assets to 27.25 percent.

“We don’t currently offer any MBLs, but what an opportunity to get our message out,” Augustine said. “Our branch is in the building housing the local Democratic Party, the Pierce County Labor Council and several unions. When the politicians go on their Neighbor-to-Neighbor walks in this area, they start here. This is their power center.”

Augustine noted that both Washington senators, Gov. Christine Gregoire and gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee have all visited recently.

The banner Augustine hung asks the Senators to please support S. 2231 and states, “It’s about Jobs.”

For her newfound passion of raising the MBL cap, Augustine tells a story about her inability to serve two members who approached her for small business loans.

“IBEW #76 FCU doesn’t currently offer MBLs, but this fight has opened my eyes and my board’s eyes to the possibility that offering them to union members represents a possible road to future growth,” she said. “So many union electricians are out of work a small-dollar MBL would help them start their own business so they would have a chance to succeed.”

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:
Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel