MADISON, Wis. (11/5/15)--Credit union representatives found success during this week’s elections for city and state positions--an important part of local credit union advocacy.
“Local offices serve as the bench for higher offices like statewide and congressional seats,” said Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs. “It’s important that credit union leaders step up in their local communities and run for office, so we can ensure the credit union perspective gets a fair hearing from state houses to Capitol Hill.”
Beth Gilbert, an employee at Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) City Employees FCU, was elected to the Wilkes-Barres City Council (Life is a Highway Nov. 4). Gilbert also is a member of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s (PCUA) Young Professionals Network.
"The association has a strong Young Professionals Network, many of whom have been active in political advocacy," said PCUA President/CEO Patrick Conway. "I would like to personally congratulate Beth Gilbert, a member of our Young Professionals Network, on her election to the Wilkes-Barre City Council."
PCUA also reported that Bob Lucas, board member of Mercer County Community FCU, Hermitage, Pa., was elected to the Sharon (Pa.) City Council. Lucas also has served as the mayor of Sharon.
“Volunteers are a critical part of the success of the credit union movement,” Conway said. “We’d also like to congratulate Bob Lucas on his election to City Council.”
In Missouri, a former credit union CEO was elected to the Missouri General Assembly in a special election. Rory Rowland (D) will represent House District 29. He is the former president/CEO of City CU, Independence, Mo., and Raytown-Lee’s Summit Community CU, Raytown, Mo.
Rowland is very familiar with credit unions having worked in the industry for a number of years, noted David Kent, director of state legislative affairs, Missouri Credit Union Association (Missouri Difference Nov. 4). "He understands our philosophy, which is a big positive when talking with lawmakers,” Kent said. “He ran a successful campaign, and we congratulate him on his win."
Amy McLard, MCUA senior vice president of advocacy; John Thomas, senior vice president of regulatory compliance; and Kent met with Rowland prior to the election.