Oregon Credit Union Day at the Capitol Successfully Messages Structure, Value and Impact

A large and unified grassroots army messaged legislators about the cooperative structure, economic value and community impact credit unions bring to Oregonians.

The credit union grassroots army was hard to miss in Salem March 31. Legislators saw a sea of blue scarves and heard unified messaging about the credit union difference as nearly 200 advocates visited representatives, senators and legislative staff. Even with a key education funding bill being debated in the House, representatives left the floor and stepped into the rotunda to meet with their constituents.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol is a rich Oregon tradition. The Northwest Credit Union Association sponsors the event. Advocates are well prepared with direction from Pamela Leavitt, NWCUA policy advisor for Oregon State advocacy and grassroots.

Key message points: the cooperative structure of credit unions delivered $1.9 billion in economic value to Oregon last year and drove immeasurable community impact. The advocates were armed with the Credit Union Economic Impact Report, an analysis performed by the independent firm ECONorthwest. Credit union membership, advocates told legislators, is now 1.63 million strong in Oregon.

Not only did the advocates visit legislative offices; key leadership came to address the larger group meetings including Governor Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. Receiving a warm welcome was Rep. John Davis, (R, district 26) sponsor of the prize-linked savings legislation.

A Colorful Day Filled with Memorable Quotes

  • “I want credit unions to thrive.”  -Senate President Peter Courtney
  • “Pam Leavitt is the most liked lobbyist in Salem.” -Representative Mike McLane, R, district 55.
  • “We believe and we know that congress and the state legislature passed the Credit Union Act to balance the credit structure. When consumers have the cooperative choice, it’s a win.” -Troy Stang, president/CEO, Northwest Credit Union Association
  • “Wow. It looks like you had a total economic impact on the state of $1.9 billion – almost $2 billion, so congratulations.” -Governor Kate Brown
  • “Credit unions, I believe, played a really pivotal role during the recession, to help people get through some difficult times.”  -House Speaker Tina Kotek

Watch Video Highlights

Oregon Governor Kate Brown congratulates credit unions on their impact, and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek addresses credit union advocates.


Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.