Make the Credit Union Difference Shine Brightly in the 117th Congress

With key leadership changes and newly elected representatives, advocates should message how credit unions look out for members’ financial well-being and support local communities.

1/5/2021

The 117th Congress gaveled into session Jan. 3 with 66 new members of the House and Senate, and two Senate seats in Georgia still to be determined by a runoff election Jan. 5.

Credit union advocates have great value proposition stories to share with all House and Senate members, regardless of whether they are veterans of public service, or freshmen. Elected officials are consumers themselves, and they all have constituents.

Key Messages: Access, Financial Well-Being, and Community Support

“There is a reason 133 million Americans have chosen credit unions as their financial services partners,” said Samantha Beeler, NWCUA Vice President, Advocacy. “Their not-for-profit, cooperative structure holds them accountable to members, keeps their focus on being competitive in the marketplace so they’re providing value to members, and it drives their passion for supporting communities.”

Telling the credit union story to Congress will help to gain support of legislative priorities this session including:

  • Consumer access to not-for-profit for all, cooperative credit unions
  • Modernization of the charter and flexibility allowing credit unions to best support their members’ financial well-being and their communities’ resiliency.

In outreach to Congress this year through virtual meetings, phone calls, and emails, advocates will be armed with data to support their stories. Later this month, the highly regarded economic firm ECONorthwest will release the latest analysis of the positive, $10.9 billion impact Northwest credit unions had on the economy last year. In addition, NWCUA’s Community Impact Report for each state will document credit unions’ financial education, volunteerism, charitable contributions, special lending, and other services. The report will also demonstrate Northwest credit unions’ service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including $945 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans funded for more than 21,000 business in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Specific member stories, such as those told in NWCUA’s SBA Lending Success Stories online resource page, are examples of your work that will be shared with the 117th Congress.

Key Virtual Meetings Dates for Advocates

Advocates can reach out to their elected representatives anytime. Collectively, there will also be plenty of opportunities to share the credit union story at the state and federal level. Mark your calendar for virtual “Day at the Capitol” meetings scheduled early this year in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and for the CUNA Governmental Affairs conference.

  • CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, March 2-4

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