Creating Influence

Growing Grassroots: Understanding the Issues, Connecting with Legislators

In the short weeks after the state session adjourned, credit unions have been focused on growing grassroots strength through expanding the understanding of the issues that matter to credit unions and increasing the connections with elected leaders. Being engaged in this matter is what makes the difference in legislation at both a state and federal level and is seen throughout the year with Hike the Hill meetings in Washington, D.C., in-district meetings with legislators, working with campaigns, and sharing information on the issues that impact the industry. Just in the past two weeks:

  • On April 18th the Coastal Empire Chapter had a rundown of the top five positive issues passed in the state Legislature from a credit union perspective, and the top five defensive victories for the industry. Our thanks to the credit unions for their focus on what the industry does to help shape the bills that impact how you serve your members!
  • On April 25th the Augusta Chapter held a state-issues wrap-up meeting, with several local officials in attendance, including State Rep. Brian Prince (D-Augusta). Credit unions were provided an overview of the positive issues pursued for the industry, and the bills addressed that could have been detrimental to operations. Our thanks to the Chapter for being involved in the process and growing grassroots!
  • On April 29th GCUA sat down with State Sen. Michael Rhett (D-Marietta) to discuss the session activity and the political dynamics in the Senate, as well as what issues may be pursued in 2020. Sen. Rhett sits on two committees of key interest to credit unions: Senate Finance (where tax issues are debated) and Senate Judiciary (which consistently addresses lending issues each year). Building relationships with legislators is an all-year activity, and our thanks to Sen. Rhett for having an open door for our issues!

Stay tuned for opportunities to engage legislators, and if your credit union or chapter wishes to have a short advocacy overview for a meeting, please let us know at your convenience. It’s a quick and easy way to provide a vitamin boost of A (Advocacy!). A big part of being effective in advocacy is having a broad understanding across the industry about the issues that impact credit unions, and what credit unions can do to shape them.

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