With Priority Legislation Advancing, Oregon’s Grassroots Army Gears up for Credit Union Day at the Capitol

As a CEO who testified in support of an NWCUA bill, advocate Larry Ellifritz talks about the importance of your voice in Salem.

2/19/2019

Brochure and Oregon Credit Union Day scarf

Advocates will wear their signature scarves and fan out through the Capitol, sharing positive messages with legislators Feb. 20.

When passionate credit union advocates fan out across the capitol building in Salem for the Northwest Credit Union Association’s 2019 Oregon Credit Union Day at the Capitol Feb. 20, they’ll have no shortage of important news to share with their legislators. More than two million Oregonians—those lawmakers’ constituents—are credit union members.

Three priority bills, developed in collaboration with the NWCUA’s member credit unions, are advancing through the legislature. Legislation updating the Oregon Credit Union Act, HB 2426, passed in the House of Representatives earlier this month, and is now headed for the Senate. The other priority bills passed out of the House Committee on Business and Labor Feb. 18. HB 2411 allows financial institutions to swipe drivers’ licenses to populate account information and HB 2425 allows e-signatures on final mortgage closing documents. Those measures now head for a vote on the House floor.

Larry Ellifritz, President and CEO of Portland-based Consolidated Credit Union, testified in support of the legislation, and encourages advocates not to be shy about bringing their message to Salem. As the busy leader of a $231 million asset-sized credit union serving 15,000 members, and a business helping members of 35 other credit unions across four states to obtain home loans, Ellifritz could have begged off. But he drove through a snow storm in the Gorge to appear before the committee.

“If we don’t take an interest in our business in the state legislature, then who will?” Ellifritz asked. “If you don’t advocate it becomes real easy to get lost in the crowd. You want to have credit unions on legislators’ minds, you want them to think good things of us.”

Prior to personal meetings with their legislators, advocates will hear from special guests including House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-44), House Republican Leader Carl Wilson (R-3), and Senate Democratic Leader Ginny Burdick (D-18).

Credit unions’ $1.8 billion impact on the economy was recently documented in an independent analysis by ECONorthwest, and those reports will be shared with the legislature. Credit unions will also share their individual  impacts and services with legislators.

The agenda for the 2019 Oregon Credit Union Day at the Capitol can be found online.