Creating Influence
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Congress: What Credit Unions Can Do to Shape the Issues

Congress adjourned last week on November 21st for the Thanksgiving recess, and when they return in December there are a variety of issues for credit unions that are still in play. These range from robocall legislation to BSA reform, removing financial services to the cannabis-related industry, and data security, to name a few. With many more issues still yet to come! Federal advocacy is a full-time effort in Washington, D.C., for credit unions, with a large federal lobbying force with CUNA, other federal lobbyists for the industry, and League federal advocacy team members consistently engaging with the members of Congress and their key staff to help shape the issues. But what can you do to help shape the issues for your credit union and the members you serve? Here are a few quick, easy steps:

  • Join the Hike the Hill efforts (two during the year) to help engage members of Congress on the issues that matter to credit unions. There was a strong group from Georgia that recently traveled to do this, and you can take advantage of the next opportunity at the CUNA GAC in 2020.
  • Build personal connections in the district. Invite your federal legislators to your credit union events and your chapter meetings, engage at civic meetings, make regular phone calls and initiate personal contact.
  • Get to know what’s important to federal legislators to help facilitate connections and communication. Sign up for the newsletters, follow them on social media, and attend their in-district events.
  • Engage your branch team! Branches are the face of the credit union for any legislator in the district, and branch managers are on the pulse of what’s happening in the micro-climate of the area.

Credit unions play a HUGE part in the advocacy success in Washington, D.C., and the industry in Georgia does a terrific job connecting, with several credit unions attacking their advocacy strategy on not just the federal but the state level as well, in a holistic manner. If you’d like an advocacy strategy template for your credit union, please let us know and we will be happy to share!

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