Spokane Chapter Paying the Way to Credit Union Day at the Capitol

How important is it for Spokane-area credit unions to attend Credit Union Day at the Capitol?

“The future of credit unions depends on the effectiveness of our advocacy,” says Gayle Furness, the vice president of finance for United Health Services Credit Union. And so Furness and other leaders of the Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions aren’t leaving anything to chance.

They’ve offered to pay the way to Olympia for one person from each of the chapter’s 18 member credit unions. And so far, Furness says, nine credit unions have taken them up on it. Cheney Federal, Global, Numerica, PrimeSource, Safeway Federal, Spokane City, Spokane Media Federal, STCU and United Health Services all will now have representatives at the Capitol on Feb. 6.

The chapter is covering the cost of roundtrip plane tickets, and for a van to take advocates to and from the airport. Total cost so far: about $3,000, Furness says.

“Credit unions continue to provide the best alternatives for consumers to conduct their financial business. We provide excellent service to our members, and we provide stability to the financial industry,” says Furness, who is also the Spokane Chapter’s treasurer. “To preserve the credit union tax status, reduce regulatory burdens and enhance the credit union charter, it is imperative to understand and get involved in political advocacy in favor of credit unions.”

The timing of this year’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol – which will include a legislative briefing, a chance to “hike the Hill” and a hands-on Financial Reality Fair for students – couldn’t be better. As the Washington Legislature continues to struggle with budget shortfalls, lawmakers’ attention remains focused on tax reform. That makes it imperative, says Mark Minickiello, the NWCUA’s vice president for legislative affairs, that every legislator understands the difference between credit unions and banks, and why the credit union tax exemption is so important.

“If our state legislators don’t know anything about credit unions or the great things we do for our members and our communities, then they assume we are just like banks,” Minickiello says. “That’s why our goal is to have every legislator meet with a credit union representative from their district.”

Registration for Credit Union Day at the Capitol is free, and the day’s 10 a.m. start and 4 p.m. finish mean no overnight hotel stay is necessary and the time commitment is minimal – perfect if you just happen to be flying in for the day.

“To keep our movement alive, we need to continue to work together to educate, inform and maintain a favorable legislative and regulatory environment,” Furness says. “Participating in Credit Union Day at the Capitol is an excellent way to let lawmakers know that we are different because of our cooperative principals, and that we play a vital role in the financial services industry. That is why attending CU Day at the Capitol is so important to our Spokane Chapter.”

There’s still time for Spokane-area credit unions to take advantage of the chapter’s offer. For details, contact Gayle Furness at gfurness@uhscu.org or 509.344.1309. To register for Credit Union Day at the Capitol, go here.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, Events, Federal.