Oregon Legislative Update: Credit Union Advocates on the Move

With the election less than a week away, credit union advocates in Oregon have been busy delivering final PAC checks and meeting with candidates and legislators around the state to discuss what credit unions are all about.

“By demonstrating our interest in campaigns and elections, credit union people can make sure that candidates gain an appreciation of the political abilities of the credit union movement, and learn more about our issues and structure,” said Pam Leavitt, contract lobbyist and policy advisor for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “Even in races where you have supported the candidate who lost the election, you still have won, because credit union people will have established a reputation of being actively involved in the political process. We must be seen as an active, viable, and important constituency.”

Here is some of the most recent activity:

  • Kathie Philp and Janet Buckalew along with Kevin Dearing from Klamath Public Employees Federal Credit Union meeting with Senator Whitsett and his wife Gail Whitsett who is running for the Oregon House.
  • Oregonians Credit Union hosted a meeting with the new Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum. Rivermark Community Credit Union and OnPoint Community Credit Union were also represented.
  • Tom Griffith of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union met with Rep. Michael Dembrow.
  • Char Shinn of Oregonians Credit Union delivered support to candidate Jeff Reardon in Clackamas County.
  • Grants Pass staff of Oregon First credit union delivered a check to Rep. Wally Hicks.
  • NWCUA staff has attended several events in the past couple weeks, including events for State Senators and House members.
  • Diann Owen of Clackamas Federal Credit Union met with a candidates running in her area to discuss credit unions.
  • Old West met with several Senators and House members in Eastern Oregon.
  • Mid Oregon Federal Credit Union met with two Oregon House members in the past week – Rep. John Huffman and Rep. Gene Whisnant.
  • Rouge Federal Credit Union delivered several PAC checks in the Southern Oregon area.
  • TLC Federal Credit Union met with Rep. Debbie Boone and candidate David Gomberg.
  • Spokane Media Federal Credit Union President and CEO Debie Keesee published an op-ed in The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based publication considered a must-read for lawmakers, outlining credit unions’ need for supplemental capital. Keesee’s piece was published in the afternoon on Thursday, Oct. 18. Read the full article here.
  • Valley Credit Union’s Stephen Pagenstecher and his wife hosted Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, a democrat representing Oregon’s House District 46, which encompasses parts of northeast and southeast Portland. Keny-Guyer spent nearly an hour discussing issues with community members and was presented with a PAC check.
  • The Southwest Chapter of Credit Unions hosted 15 candidates for office at its annual legislative dinner on Oct. 1. For more details, read this full report.
  • Oregon credit unions hosted a Town Hall with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici at First Tech Federal Credit Union on Sept. 25. For more details, read this full report.
  • Ten credit union advocates in Oregon’s Lane County spent a day meeting with candidates and legislators on Sept. 24. For more details, read this full report.

NWCUA Candidate Support

NWCUA policy is to support the election of individuals who support the credit union movement, on a non-partisan basis.

The Association recognizes that at any time, there are numerous worthy candidates for public office. Given that the Association is only able to devote finite resources to supporting candidates, maximizing the value received for the support given is crucial. Therefore, candidates are evaluated and priority is given to the candidate in a particular race who will be best able to effectively promote credit union goals and priorities.

Contributions to candidates are based upon a number of factors, including credit union experience, connection to a local credit union, past support of credit union issues, members of a key committee, likelihood of being placed on a key committee, leadership position, as well as electability and polling. The types of support given to candidates vary depending upon that candidate’s record, his or her interest in and influence over credit union issues, and the Association’s available resources.


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
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW, Federal, NWCUA.