I was working at Patelco Credit Union and assisted in the coordination of informing members of our issues and gathering signatures.
Member support was overwhelming, and the only issue was how on earth were we going to get all of those letters and sheets of signatures to our elected officials. The internet was not widely used at that time—I know it is surprising to most.
At that time I had been in the credit union movement for approximately 15 years. It was so exciting to see credit unions uniting around the country in reaction to the Supreme Court decision that lead to the introduction of H.R. 1151, even though the ruling only impacted federally chartered credit unions.
Almost without exception, all credit unions were all in.
I was lucky to have been invited to attend the rally in Washington, D.C., where thousands of credit union employees and members assembled on the steps of the Capitol. What a great moment for the credit union movement!
While credit union participation in advocacy had been active for some time before H.R. 1151, this event heightened the awareness of why it was so vital for credit union to engage their members.
This single event gave way to significant growth in advocacy participation, and 20 years later we can see the effect—given the awareness and respect for credit unions with lawmakers at the national and state levels (and dare I say, local government as well).
DIANA DYKSTRA is president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union League.