WASHINGTON (9/27/13)--Credit union advocates from 10 states are preparing to again bring their positive message to Capitol Hill early next month, and these early October visits will coincide with an Oct. 2 national virtual rally in support of the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign.
League and credit union representatives from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Ohio will join together in Washington between the first and third of the month.
John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League, told News Now his group's hike "comes at a critical time." The Maine delegation of around 20 members will focus on highlighting the importance and value of the credit union tax exemption, and speak with members of Congress in greater depth on this issue. The group will deliver the message "that the structure and cooperative principles of the credit union tax exemption is as relevant today as it was back in the 1930s when Congress first granted it," Murphy said.
David Adams, CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates, told News Now his group will feature "25 credit union leaders in Washington thanking our congressional delegation for their unanimous support of the credit union industry and our tax exemption, and asking them to provide credit unions and their members with a voice and a strong defense as tax reform efforts move forward."
The Missouri credit union group, which will feature a mix of 13 credit union staff members and volunteers, "will be able to explain why the credit union tax status is important for consumers in the district and how removing it would hurt the people back home," Missouri Credit Union Association Senior Vice President, Advocacy Amy McLard said.
She also noted the Missouri credit union visit comes at a key time: "We also have the Missouri Bankers Association coming to Washington at the same time as our visit, so it will be very timely to have these conversations with lawmakers and be able to directly refute banker inaccuracies about the credit union tax status when meeting with our delegation," McLard added.
Credit union representatives back in Missouri will also do their part while their compatriots are in Washington. McLard said MCUA developed a social media calendar and distributed "Don't Tax My Credit Union" signs to every credit union branch in the state, and will have credit union members statewide "making calls, sending messages, taking photos and videos with the signs and sharing them all with lawmakers the week of Hike the Hill." Her group is also excited to be on hand as the Oct. 2 national virtual rally is held.
CUNA is expecting tens of thousands of supporters to be in virtual attendance for the rally, and an accompanying physical rally at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C., between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. (ET). The credit union house event will be live streamed at www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org.
Rally participants will be encouraged to use the various Take Action tools at www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to show their support via tweets, pictures, vine videos, and e-mails to their members of Congress, all with the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag. (See Sept. 24 News Now item: Oct. 2 Is Virtual Rally On 'Don't Tax My CU'.) Advocates will also be asked to use the "Tweet Congress" tool on the site to tweet their lawmakers--and ask that lawmakers tweet back with a response showing their support of credit unions.
CUNA's Don't Tax My Credit Union initiative urges lawmakers as part of any final tax reform plan to preserve the federal tax exemption credit unions receive as not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives. To date, the campaign has generated over 900,000 messages to members of Congress--15,000 of which have come via social media.