Northwest Credit Unions Represented at CSG West’s 70th Annual Meeting

NWCUA attended the 2017 conference of Western lawmakers, demonstrating credit unions’ leadership on the international, regional, and local levels.

9/5/17

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu tells her story at the Women in Politics session at the CSG West Annual Meeting.

Hosted in Tacoma, Washington, the CSG West Annual Meeting put the Northwest in the limelight this August, giving policymakers the opportunity to experience our region’s innovative culture. Your Northwest Credit Union Association was also in attendance, positioning our member credit unions as thought leaders on the macro and local levels.

The Council of State Governments brings together lawmakers from Western states — including Idaho, Oregon, and Washington — to discuss best practices related to regional and international tax policy and economic development. This exchange of ideas about big-picture issues helps policymakers come up with common solutions to the shared challenges impacting their states.

International Insights

The conference’s North America Summit provided lawmakers from Canada, Mexico, and the Western United States with the opportunity to discuss important issues facing our continent. This year, the discussion centered around the renegotiation of NAFTA.

In addition, the International Program featured Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He offered his perspective on the state of Sino-American relations and the enormous importance of individual state relations to the United States and China.

“This conference was focused heavily on economic development and trade, an especially important topic for the Pacific Northwest, one of the fastest-growing regions in America,” said NWCUA’s Grassroots Advocacy Manager Will Hagen, who represented your Association at this year’s conference.

Through these sessions, your Association gained a deeper understanding of how these macro-level debates affect the Northwest economy, and illustrated Northwest credit unions’ roles on the international stage.

“Credit unions are already involved in supporting a vibrant international economy in the region in countless ways, including by helping members make the most of the prosperity that’s come to the region through international trade,” Hagen explained.

Showcasing the Credit Union Difference

The conference was not only an opportunity to demonstrate credit union involvement in international policy conversations, but also to illustrate credit unions’ local activism.

“CSG West is a very social environment, giving our Association the opportunity to meet one-on-one with local legislators and discuss the issues that are important to them on a district level,” said Paula Sardinas, NWCUA’s Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Washington. “At this conference, we have the ability to be a listening ear and gain a greater understanding of what impacts these policymakers’ constituencies, while forming positive relationships that influence how they view credit unions.”

Our engagement in these locally focused conversations is a prime example of the credit union difference. “Credit unions’ community impact isn’t just hype — we show it by having a presence in community policy, down to the county level,” Sardinas explained. “We attend conferences like this to learn more about what our members care about, and what issues are affecting them. This sends an important message to policymakers that we’re local, and that we’re eager to understand how to better serve our members in every district.”