This year, our fierce, 360-degree advocacy agenda aims to do nothing less than revolutionize the operating environment for credit unions.
We want to reduce regulatory burden, expand and protect credit union powers, enhance payment security, and preserve the credit union tax status. These are ambitious goals—bold goals—and they all begin at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
GAC is the premier event for political impact in the credit union industry, gathering thousands of industry leaders to remind legislators and regulators why credit unions are Americans’ best financial partners.
Our Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation is working, thanks to your engagement. You’re contacting your elected representatives in Congress and encouraging your members to do the same.
Many times in the past year when CUNA’s advocacy experts embedded on Capitol Hill issued the call to action, you responded. You made your voices heard precisely when they were needed most, providing the crucial push just as legislators and regulators were about to cast a vote or make a rule change.
GAC is an opportunity for us to build on this momentum.
Soon, thousands of people from credit unions large and small, representing every state and congressional district of the country, will pour into the nation’s capital, all with the same goal: tell the credit union story to national policymakers.
This will be my fourth GAC, and I look forward to it every year. Attending provides many perks.
You get to hear from the best minds in media, politics, and business, gain access to a vast floor of best-in-class vendors, and participate in the most exciting and consequential event in the credit union movement.
But what makes GAC unique is the energy. At GAC, you will network with forward-thinking credit union people from across the country, making the kind of invaluable connections that will serve you throughout your career—all while working toward a common cause.
It’s invigorating to be surrounded by so many people who, like you, are committed to revolutionizing the credit union operating environment and ensuring all Americans enjoy continued access to the best and most affordable financial services available.
This is why GAC culminates with Hike the Hill, where you’ll ascend Capitol Hill to meet senators and representatives from every state and congressional district.
Together, we’ll channel the unmatched energy of GAC where it can do the most good for credit unions: by demonstrating the strength and passion of the credit union industry in our nation’s halls of power.
With one voice, we’ll tell policymakers that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should fix burdensome rules and slow the pace of new rules, that the Federal Credit Union Act needs to be modernized, that merchants must be subject to stronger data security requirements, and that our credit union tax status is untouchable.
In the past 12 months, we’ve repelled bank attacks at the state level, won compensation for credit unions in the Home Depot data breach case, closed the NCUA Corporate Stabilization Fund so credit unions receive a check instead of writing one, defeated the CFPB’s one-size-fits-all arbitration rule, kept NCUA independent, and preserved credit unions’ tax status despite the best efforts of banks to the contrary.
At GAC, we’ll celebrate our big wins—there’s a reason the respected National Journal considers CUNA the most effective advocacy organization in the financial sector.
But we’re not looking back. We’re going to build on this momentum. We’re going to keep pushing forward.
We have much work left to be done on behalf of credit unions, and I know that, just like me, you’re excited to do it.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO of CUNA.