Credit Unions’ Financial Education Outreach in Spotlight Feb. 7

The credit union difference takes center stage in Olympia, Wash., on Feb. 7.

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol seeks to set an attendance record this year, as experienced advocates and first-timers alike are invited to “make a difference passing bills that benefit credit unions, and blocking those that don’t.”

The NWCUA and grassroots supporters from credit unions across Washington will pitch a tent on the Capitol grounds and embark on a day of advocacy, both by meeting directly with lawmakers and by facilitating a live, interactive demonstration of the voluntary financial education outreach credit unions routinely provide.

The Financial Reality Fair hosts classrooms from Shelton and South Kitsap High Schools in the GA Auditorium located across from the Capitol. Legislators will be invited to watch the students learn to budget within their means as they visit mock merchants selling necessities, such as housing, as well as those offering luxuries and entertainment. Credit union volunteers will act as merchants for the exercise.

The Reality Fair is a new event at Credit Union Day at the Capitol and is made possible by funding from the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF). Financial education outreach by credit unions often fills voids left by lax educational requirements, making this particular Reality Fair especially timely.

It comes on the day the House Education Committee holds a hearing on House Bill 1173, which seeks to strengthen Washington’s financial education resources. The bill already has four sponsors, including Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, the committee’s chair.

The legislation provides additional clout for the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP), which was mandated by legislation in 2009 and consists of educators, financial services regulators and professionals from banks and credit unions. The FEPPP’s primary goal is to help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to become self supporting. H.B. 1173 looks to put more teeth into Washington’s requirements for those students, including mandating that schools make financial education classes available to high school students for credit.

Registration is still open for advocates to attend Credit Union Day at the Capitol, as well as for volunteers to help at the Financial Reality Fair. Help spread the word by joining the event on Facebook and sharing it with friends and colleagues.


For more information about the Washington Credit Union Day at the Capitol, 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


To volunteer for the Financial Reality Fair or to learn more, contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor:

Posted in Around the NW, Events.