FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Vicki Christner - CUNA Communications; 202-329-9950; email@example.com
Philadelphia, PA (July 27, 2016) - A forum focused on the key issues affecting the middle class and the ways middle-class voters will impact the 2016 presidential election took place at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia today. “Decoding 2016: The Middle Class Vote,” hosted by RealClearPolitics and sponsored by America's Credit Unions, which consists of CUNA, its League partners and member credit unions, featured prominent keynote speakers and panelists to discuss the topic in front of credit union members, members of the media and convention attendees.
“Credit unions serve the middle class, so we care very deeply about where they stand going into this year's election,” said Trey Hawkins, vice president of political affairs. “The 105 million credit union members across the country are mostly members of the middle class, so we're interested in what they're focused on even beyond November.”
CUNA launched its “Strong Credit Unions. Strong Middle Class.” grassroots campaign earlier this year. The campaign focuses on educating all presidential candidates on the importance of credit unions and the benefits they provide to middle and lower-income individuals.
John Anzalone, a main pollster for the Hillary Clinton campaign, kicked off the forum with Alexis Simendinger, White House correspondent for RealClearPolitics, in a one-on-one conversation. Anzalone gave insights on how the campaign - and pollsters around the country - work to define middle-class voters.
A lively panel discussion moderated by Carl Cannon, Washington Bureau Chief of RealClearPolitics, followed, featuring Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy at Third Way, alongside RealClearPolitics' Sean Trende, senior elections analyst, and A.B. Stoddard, associate editor. The panel discussed how changes in the developed world manifest themselves in the middle-class world.
Following the panel, a one-on-one conversation between Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Tom Bevan, co-founder and publisher for RealClearPolitics, closed the event with a focus on public policy's impact on the middle class. Sen. Peters discussed strengthening credit union member business lending, the top priorities of the middle class, and ways to move the country forward by making higher education more affordable and creating new jobs.
“Credit unions have done an outstanding job making sure that smaller businesses, ones that may be having difficulty with the larger financial institutions, can qualify for credit,” said Sen. Peters. “Small banks and credit unions in our community need to be strengthened.”