Electing Credit Union-Supportive Candidates to Congress Should be Part of Credit Unions’ Culture

Northwest CULAC Trustees walk their talk when it comes to raising funds and educating elected officials.

7/23/2019 

CULAC 723 Logo

Electing federal officials who understand and support not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions ensures a brighter financial future for millions of consumers on Main Street who are members. One of the most effective strategies is fundraising for the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), a political action committee any credit union employee or member may contribute to. 

July is officially CULAC Month, and credit unions are going “CULAC Crazy” with fun activities to raise money.  

Northwest credit unions have a track record of meeting or beating their individual goals. Each state has a trustee to help raise awareness.  

“Contributing to CULAC is an investment in the Credit Union Movement,” said Connie Miller, CEO of Boise-based Icon Credit Union, and the Gem State’s CULAC Trustee. “It gives us the opportunity to educate our elected officials about credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative structure, and the value that this brings to members and all of society.” 

It also gives credit union employees the opportunity to participate in a very important cause, Miller noted. Her credit union has a variety of activities planned this month and will make matching contributions to the charities of contributing employees’ choice. 

Washington’s State Trustee recommends having a point person on the staff lead the efforts encouraging peers to participate.  

“The Executive Team at Fibre Federal and TLC Credit Union has been weaving advocacy efforts into our corporate culture for 10 years,” said Christopher Bradberry, President and CEO.  

Two years ago, the Longview-based operation upped its game by appointing a Community Development and Governmental Affairs Manager tasked with raising awareness about the importance of grassroots participation by employees. 

“Fibre Federal/TLC is now hitting its CULAC fair share goals for the first time driven by employee fundraising and payroll deductions,” Bradberry said. 

Employees of Albany, Oregon-based Central Willamette Credit Union are so well educated about the importance of CULAC, that it’s a matter of pride for them to contribute. 

“Active participation in CULAC is critical for the long-term viability of the Credit Union Movement,” said Stacie Wyss-Schoenborn, President and CEO, and Oregon’s CULAC State Trustee. “Contributions allow us to educate and support candidates who believe in the principles of credit unions.” 

Editor’s note: If you would like to share your credit union’s CULAC Month success story, or if you have questions about CULAC, reach out to Jordan Beyer at NWCUA, by emailing [email protected].