Credit Union Advocates Share CU Story with Oregon Legislature

A grassroots army of more than 230 messaged credit unions’ $2.2 billion economic impact.

The credit union movement had the Oregon Legislature’s undivided attention Thursday when advocates fanned out to meet with their Representatives and Senators during the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol.

The Oregon Credit Union Advocacy Army was 230 strong.

It was hard to miss the advocacy army—a group including front line employees, lending officers, C-suite leaders, and board members.

“It was impressive to have this huge turnout of grassroots advocates,” said Pamela Leavitt, the NWCUA’s Policy Advisor for Advocacy and Grassroots issues. “Legislators value hearing directly from their constituents—from the very people who work in branches in their districts, from board members who serve, from the people offering financial education. Then it becomes so clear to them why two million Oregonians are credit union members.”

Leavitt has been a champion of Oregon credit unions’ advocacy endeavors for 23 years.

“I am excited that it sends a strong message to our legislators about our cooperative spirit, where all credit unions come together on behalf of our two million members,” said Mandy Jones, CEO of Eugene-based Oregon Community Credit Union. Jones has attended at least 15 Oregon Credit Union Day at the Capitol events. “Our message of impact that credit unions have on Oregonians is impressive, and well received by legislators,” she added.

Beaver State lawmakers’ relationships with credit unions are well-established, due to long term collaboration between the credit unions, their Governmental Affairs Committee, and the state-specific focus of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) advocacy team.  Elections bring new representation, however, so advocates are always ready.

Noting that every elected official’s office would be visited, NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang called CU Day at the Capitol a tangible opportunity to connect with all legislators, to influence policy advancement on behalf of the state’s 2 million consumers who are credit union members.

“Our jobs as advocates is to make sure everyone on this capitol complex understands why credit unions are the best financial services choice for consumers, and that credit unions are fulfilling exactly what they were created to do,” said Stang.

The Credit Union Member Experience tells employee and member stories.

Advocates discussed credit unions’ impressive $2.2 billion economic impact—driven by the direct benefits that only cooperative credit unions can deliver to members, jobs, and other supply chain spending.

The stories of employees who volunteer to teach financial language, and members who started businesses with the help of their credit union, were borne out in the Member Experience display. Traditional favorites including official “Legislator Cookies” and donuts brought legislators and Capitol visitors alike to see the Experience.

Visit the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Facebook page to see photos. Tweet your experience and use the hashtag, #ORcreditunions @nwcua.