One takeaway from last fall’s presidential election—that people’s voices matter—stands out as a huge positive for credit unions’ advocacy efforts, says CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.
“Regardless of your political leanings—whether you were watching what was happening with the movement embodied by Donald Trump or the movement embodied by Bernie Sanders—there was an atmosphere that people are really making a difference this year, like never before,” Nussle tells CUNA News Podcast.
That’s a welcome development to Nussle, because CUNA and the leagues’ “secret sauce” for advocacy strategy is their ability to mobilize grassroots support for legislative measures that enhance credit unions’ ability to serve their more than 100 million members.
How can credit union advocates best use that collective voice to effect change?
“We've got to tell our story about the credit union difference,” Nussle says.
When conversing with elected officials—during Hike the Hill activities at the upcoming CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) and in your districts—humanize traditional talking points by telling real-life stories about how your credit union impacts members’ daily lives, Nussle urges.
Those stories, and why they matter to the economy and the communities credit unions serve, really resonate with legislators and policymakers, he says. And be sure to explain the effects of the regulatory barriers that hamper credit unions’ ability to serve legislators’ constituents.