Grassroots is King

In three months, CUs delivered more than 600,000 constituent contacts to Congress as part of the interchange fight.

March 12, 2012

Grassroots movements—instigated or supported by credit unions—had a significant impact on the battle over interchange last spring and Bank Transfer Day in the fall.

Though we didn’t prevail in the interchange battle, it wasn’t a loss for credit unions; their grassroots prowess shined.

In three months, credit unions delivered more than 600,000 constituent contacts to Congress, urging representatives to “stop, study, and start over” with the interchange fee law.

As Federal Reserve Board members announced the final rule—an improvement over the proposal—they noted the outpouring of comments by credit unions.

This fall, the movement by consumers to credit unions spawned yet another grassroots movement—Bank Transfer Day. CUNA estimates the number was at least 650,000 strong.

Lessons from these events as we head into a big political year include:

  • Grassroots is king. Let’s exercise our capabilities when necessary, so we’re ready for the next big fight.
  • Social media can (and does) make a difference. Now’s the time to get on board.
  • Consumers get it. They’re searching for fair treatment, and they’ll get it once they become credit union members.

This has been a phenomenal year for grassroots involvement. Let’s learn and build from it, because there’s so much more for us to gain.