Credit Union Value Greets Lawmakers at Flagship National Conference

The Seattle Seahawks are well known for their 12th man energy and collaborative spirit. And that’s the energy the nation’s state leagues, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), CUNA Mutual Group and Washington State Credit Unions are demonstrating to ensure that America’s Credit Unions are on full display at the 2015 Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

As state legislators and their staffers descend on Seattle, Washington, in early August for the NCSL’s flagship legislative event, they will find themselves blanketed in a sea of messaging to raise the level of awareness for America’s Credit Unions and the difference they make in the lives of more than 100 million members. From the moment the legislators and staffers step off their planes at the SeaTac International Airport, credit unions will be greeting them across a variety of multimedia platforms.

Credit unions will have their messaging prominently displayed in the baggage claim areas, where 1.5 million travelers will be picking up luggage during the four-week period. Credit union messaging will also be prominent on the light rail transit that attendees will use to make their way to the convention hotel.

“It is important that state legislators appreciate the credit union value proposition,” explained Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. As a representative of this year’s host-city, Seattle, Stang is leading the charge among his fellow state league and association executives to guarantee a lasting and memorable credit union presence when the lawmakers come to town.

“Our success in delivering a strong and influential message to these state lawmakers on behalf of more than 100 million credit union members can only be made possible by our own ability to collaborate and support one another in this effort months before the first visitors ever arrive,” Stang said.

American Association of Credit Union Leagues’ Chair Tracie Kenyon, president/CEO of the Montana Credit Union Network, said that the leagues, CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group will demonstrate a strong and impressive presence at NCSL’s annual gathering, viewed by many as a bipartisan event serving the interests of both Republicans and Democrats alike.

“We’re at a time in history when regulations, legislation and the economy are all exerting undue pressure on credit unions’ ability to serve the best interests of members. Credit unions are turning to us, their leagues and CUNA, for help in easing that burden. This means we work collaboratively and make every opportunity count. NCSL’s Legislative Summit is a great opportunity for us to go to bat for our members to advance the credit union cause,” Kenyon said.

The NCSL isn’t just for networking — policy is being developed. Legislators and staff from across the country participate in NCSL’s eight standing committees and they adopt policies under its rules of procedure for consideration at the annual business meeting held during the Legislative Summit. If two-thirds of the states in attendance approve them, the policies become the backbone of NCSL’s efforts to fight unwarranted federal preemption of state laws, unfunded mandates and federal legislation that threatens state authority and autonomy.

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle noted the impact of state legislation and policies on a national level. “State lawmakers often move on to the federal level so being able to help them understand the impact of credit unions on a local level will help us garner their support in Congress,” said Nussle. “It’s also common for laws and policies on the state level to be a testing ground for federal policy. Having a vibrant and innovative state legislative framework helps all credit unions, regardless of charter type.”

In addition to the credit union posters and banners that will adorn SeaTac International Airport, state lawmakers can expect to see hosts of volunteers sporting green tee-shirts with America’s Credit Unions emblazoned on the sleeve, along with colorful welcome pennants strung along the avenues of Seattle.

The 2015 NCSL Legislative Summit kicks off on August 3 and runs through August 6. NCSL comes to Chicago in 2016 and Boston in 2017. America’s Credit Unions will be there.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA.