Creating Influence

Educating Members of Congress on Credit Unions: GA Credit Unions Hike the Hill

On the heels of the damaging storms, 22 credit union advocates traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with members of Congress at Hike the Hill. This event was organized to place credit unions in direct contact with federal legislators and key staff to discuss the issues and to illustrate how credit unions help people afford life every day. These visits are instrumental in educating Georgia’s federal legislators on how credit unions are good for consumers and what credit unions do for members, and in imprinting on the minds of Congress the core beliefs of credit unions and what makes credit unions unique.

These meetings also provided a window to engage and educate Congress on the credit union income tax exemption, and how it is critical for enabling credit unions to put members first, as the tax benefit goes back to the member. The visits and message from the credit unions were ideally timed as the focus on federal tax reform is gaining momentum in Congress.

Hike the Hill 2017
Georgia credit union leaders take part in Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C.

Even without the issue of tax reform, these visits are key to the future success of all credit unions – no other industry will advocate for the ability of credit unions to operate and function to help people afford life. And credit unions ARE different in the financial marketplace – as such their legislative needs are different to be able to serve consumers (and keep up with consumer demand for new technologies, products and quality service). During the visits the dialogue naturally lent itself to driving home the importance of protecting member data, achieving some sensible regulatory relief for credit unions, pushing for the opportunity to provide additional credit to members, and finding legislative avenues to maintain the financial strength of credit unions both now and in the future.

These regular visits with members of Congress by credit unions are vital in pursuing issues for the industry and pursuing clear passage for the legislative and regulatory issues of importance. Our thanks to the hikers from Associated CU, CGR CU, Delta Community CU, Deluxe, DOCO CU, Family First CU, Georgia United CU, Georgia’s Own CU, LGE Community CU, North Georgia CU, Peach State FCU, Platinum FCU and United Methodist Connectional FCU for taking the time to travel to D.C. to educate Congress on credit unions and lay the groundwork for advocacy success.

Each Hike the Hill is different, and this year’s group was treated to a private evening tour of the U.S. Capitol by Congressman Rob Woodall (R-7)! To see the messaging shared with Congressional offices, access the legislative app which is utilized to provide staffers key information on Georgia credit unions. This app houses information on the industry, the members in the district, the positive influence credit unions have on the state, and the issues in Congress important to the industry.

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