David Kent, Heartland Credit Union Association's legislative and political affairs director for Missouri, recently was named one of the top 100 lobbyists by Missouri Times magazine.
The magazine focuses on Missouri's legislative system.
"Kent is a very well-liked and well-respected lobbyist who is a fixture in the rotunda, monitoring a myriad of legislation affecting the credit unions. Very well thought of, he is someone you see working the halls of the Capitol as much as anyone in lobbying," the magazine noted in its list of 100 most influential lobbyists, government consultants, and association directors.
"While advocacy always has been and always will be about strength of relationships, term-limits have made this more challenging," Kent said (Spotlight April 12). “By the time we’ve built trust and developed a bond, lawmakers are termed-out. We are consistently building new relationships with lawmakers and educating them about credit unions.”
He said attending legislative events and in-district meetings can make a difference because lawmakers listen to their constituents far more than they do anyone else. "The single biggest impact credit union staff/volunteers can make with advocacy is developing a relationship with their lawmakers," said Kent. "Having a direct line of communication with your lawmaker(s)–like a personal cell phone number–is an invaluable asset."
CUNA encourages credit union to set up visits with legislators over Congress' spring recess.