Credit Union Advocates Send More than a Million Digital Messages Congress Can’t Miss

More than 875,397 congressional representatives and their Twitter followers saw the “Don’t Tax Tuesday” online blitz supporting the credit union tax model, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

The one-day tweet-a-thon was organized by CUNA and supported by trade associations including the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

“Don’t Tax Tuesday” targeted members of the U.S. Senate in particular. The Senate Committee on Finance leadership asked senate colleagues to submit proposals for tax reform legislation by Friday, July 26. The Committee is taking a “blank sheet” approach assuming there are no tax exemptions and inviting organizations to justify their way back into the tax code. The credit union corporate tax exemption has repeatedly been upheld since the Federal Credit Union Act was signed in 1934, providing consumers with a cooperative, member-driven alternative to profit-driven banks.

Friday’s deadline will likely only serve to get the conversation started, and credit union advocates have been called on to support a sustained message campaign to their senate and congressional representatives. In late May, CUNA launched the “Don’t Tax my Credit Union” website as a resource directly connecting consumers to their elected officials.

Between “Don’t Tax Tuesday” and the website, congress has received over a million messages from credit union members. More than 500,000 messages had been sent through the site nationwide by earlier this week. Nearly 23,000 of those messages came directly from Northwest credit union members, noted Jennifer Wagner, the NWCUA’s vice president of legislative advocacy. Washington advocates have sent 10,459 messages through the site and Oregon advocates have contributed 12,479 contacts.

“Our campaign to protect our tax status is just picking up steam,” said Wagner. “Congress is about to start the August recess, and that is also a good time for us to have our voices heard. This is important to the future of credit unions and their four million members in this region.”

Since the campaign began, Oregon Community Credit Union staff and members have sent more than 2,410 messages to congress, leading the Northwest effort. OSU Federal members had logged more than 1,700 contacts by July 22 with Advantis and Unitus credit union members also weighing in heavily to the Oregon federal delegation. In Washington, determined GESA members led the pack, sending 1,080 messages to Congress. The credit union’s homepage features a highly visible, static image of the Don’t Tax my Credit Union graphic and compels visitors to pay attention before clicking through to see other credit union features. Sound, BECU, Red Canoe and Numerica members are major contributors to the effort.

The NWCUA’s Truth Speaks website includes information for consumers such as an economic study by ECONorthwest Economists Dr. Randall Pozdena and Dr. Michael Wilkerson. The report debunks bankers’ claims that the tax exemption gives credit unions an unfair competitive advantage. The Truth Speaks site also offers animated videos and social media resources.

The NWCUA’s secure Truth Speaks website for credit union staff includes turnkey resources to help their members understand the credit union value proposition, as well as messages for congress.

 

Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA, Federal, NWCUA.