Credit unions have an advocacy team dedicated to lobbying and growing influence for the industry, but they are just one of hundreds of other industry advocates working to help protect and advance the issues important to their respective interests. In Georgia alone there are more than 900 registered lobbyists! As such, from an advocacy perspective it is powerful when a legislator knows the positive impact of the industry and the credit union has a personal connection with an elected official – being the proverbial face of credit unions in the district! This does not happen overnight, but is based on years of regular engagement and growing connections, and the past two weeks held several examples of this effort:
- On October 18th (as well as the week prior!) Brian Akin, CEO of North Georgia CU, represented all credit unions at an in-district political event for State Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer). Rep. Erwin is the freshman state representative who was not able to complete his first session in 2019 due to several multiple elections at the start this year (as the elections were being contested, and he secured the seat outright in April). Our thanks to the credit unions in the area for making a positive connection with Rep. Erwin early, and to North Georgia CU for engaging with him twice in the past two weeks!
- On October 28th Pat Conn, CEO of United 1st FCU, along with Managers Jack Yarbrough and Tommy Cannon, represented all credit unions at the in-district political event for State Rep. James Burchett (R-Waycross), State Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park), and State Rep. Steven Sainz (R-Woodbine). This group event in Waycross provided the opportunity to engage legislators with various stages of connections to credit unions; relationship building is a consistent process and effort for the industry. Burchett was just elected in March of this year, Rep. Sainz was elected in 2019, and Rep. Corbett was elected in 2014 – and now serves as the Chairman of the Motor Vehicle Committee (where he has been extremely helpful to credit unions). United 1st FCU also met with Rep. Sainz back in August of this year, so this group event provided another window to connect. Our thanks to all who attended to grow the relationships with these three legislators!
- On October 29th part of the Advocacy Team for LSCU sat down with Clint Dixon, candidate for state Senate District 45, to share what makes the industry unique, and the issues that credit unions tackle at the state Capitol. Our thanks to Dixon for reaching out to credit unions to grow his understanding of our issues!