Creating Influence

Year in Review: Grassroots Efforts of Credit Unions

In looking back on 2018, the year brought competitive (and at times, intense) local, federal and statewide elections, heightened political activity around the country, and ads … so many campaign ads. But 2018 also brought a year of strong, successful legislative and political activity by credit unions in the state. Credit union influence is developed by building relationships with elected leaders, sharing perspective on bills, and putting a local in-district face on the industry – something that happens continually and strategically. And in 2018, credit unions saw the positive outcomes of this effort with:

These positive strides did not happen by accident, but rather by the implementation of an advocacy strategy that engages credit union people with their legislators, leadership from PAC Trustees, the Advocacy Policy Committee, and the State Law Review Task force that met during the year as well. It takes the industry sharing what is important and why any change (or not changing an issue) is vital to serving members today and into the future. And these efforts were seen in credit union involvement of 526 credit union people connecting with legislators in some manner this year:

132 people representing 27 credit unions met with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., at three separate Hike the Hill events:

In addition, there were 65 credit union advocates who attended the 10th annual state GAC to hear firsthand insight into the political inner workings from federal and state legislators, as well perspective from as policy, press and regulatory leaders.

Connecting with legislators happens beyond Washington, D.C., or the state Capitol in Atlanta; it happens at home in the districts. And more than 140 credit union people from 20 credit unions connected with 14 legislators at in-district Hike at Home meetings:

Included in the above are two separate legislative nights at chapters, and in total there were seven separate advocacy-focused chapter meetings in the year: Augusta, Chattahoochee Valley, Augusta (Legislative Night), Coastal Empire, Mountain Empire, South Georgia, and Chattahoochee Valley (Legislative Night)

And of course, in 2018 there were the news-dominating elections. Credit unions made their mark on the elections by encouraging their members, staff and board to vote, but they were also engaged in providing physical coordinated assistance as an industry. In all there were 163 advocates representing 14 credit unions and GCUA staff that provided physical assistance in seven races in the primary and general elections:

And from a political “PAC” perspective, there was just as heavy activity throughout 2018. Credit unions supported 14 federal races and 127 state races in this year’s elections. GCUA attended over 180 political events throughout this year alone, and was delighted to have 10 credit unions engage in the district at both political events, local chamber events and legislative councils:

In addition, there were countless interactions between legislators and credit unions at hearings, legislative receptions, town halls, civic meetings and credit union annual meetings. Why is all of this activity important to you and what you do? Legislators can make the difference in any bill, and their understanding of credit unions (and how they feel about the industry) can drastically impact the direction of legislation. Our thanks to all the credit unions that engage in this effort regularly, whether at Hike the Hill, Hikes at Home, engaging in campaign activities, inviting legislators to visit branches for tours, and engaging personally to create a relationship with a legislator. What you do engaging with legislators today matters!

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