Credit unions meet with a variety of legislators each year, at times to combat a specific issue or lobby for proactive change. But the adage of those that “only come around when you want something” could not be more powerful when it comes to legislators … it’s important to engage with them when you aren’t pushing issues as well. That is in essence how political capital is built! And the past week held two prime examples of this repeat interaction and why it’s important:
- On June 25th GCUA met with State Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) to discuss the previous session, the upcoming elections, and the path for potential bills in 2020. And to catch up, as it’s become an annual tradition (starting back in 2017) for good reason. Rep. Bruce is an active member of a committee where several of the bills that impact credit unions: The House Judiciary Committee. This committee regularly tackles issues such as lending operations, foreclosures, and operations. GCUA has made it a point to keep a positive open door with Rep. Bruce, and he has been a good asset to credit unions in helping understand perspectives on bills. Relationships are built on time and consistency, and we appreciate his openness with the industry.
- On June 26th Chris Leggett, CEO of LGE Community CU, engaged in a political event for State Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta). Sen. Beach is running for higher office in 2020 as one of the Republican challengers for the 6th Congressional District seat. LGE Community CU has created a positive relationship with Sen. Beach in the district, and was involved from when credit unions first sat down with Sen. Beach in 2015 to discuss a potential state legislative mandate on credit and debit cards. And while everything and anything can happen in a Congressional race (much less in the highly competitive 6th district), it’s important for the industry to have connections with individuals on both sides of the political aisle!
We encourage all credit unions to reach out to their legislators, invite them to your credit union events, or just send them a message thanking them for their time serving on both the state and federal level. Each interaction helps grow the awareness and influence for the industry!