Cooperatives Come Together With Oregon Legislators

Never mind the fact that the Oregon Legislature is not officially in session; lawmakers had an important date in Salem November 17. While meeting for their regular winter legislative days, nearly 30 legislators also accepted a coveted invitation to break bread with cooperatives.

The annual luncheon sponsored by the Northwest Credit Union Association, the Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon, the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the Oregon Telecommunications Association is a tradition that legislators look forward to. It’s an opportunity for them to celebrate cooperatives. On the menu: delicious beef, vegetables, and ice cream made by cooperatives, and more importantly, information about how millions of Oregonians benefit from cooperatives.

It is an event so noteworthy that Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation lauding cooperatives.

Pam Leavitt, NWCUA Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy & Grassroots, shared a great story of credit union memberships now being 1.8 million strong. Legislators did some evangelizing of their own; Rep. Margaret Doherty (D-District 35) told her story of joining the former Portland Teachers Credit Union—now OnPoint Community Credit Union—because it was the only institution at the time that would make her a loan. Rep. Doherty has remained a loyal member for nearly four decades.

Legislators were in good company at the lunch. Maps Credit Union, NW Priority Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union, and Oregon State Credit Union sent representatives to tell the cooperative story.

“The Oregon Coop Lunch is a special event,” said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA Senior Vice President of Advocacy. “It provides our legislators an important perspective about credit unions as cooperatives that stays with them when, weeks or months later, we arrive in their office with a legislative issue to discuss.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,


Posted in Advocacy News, Events, NWCUA.