In-person visits with legislators are a direct and effective advocacy approach, writes Maine Credit Union League President/CEO Todd Mason in CUInsight, but the pandemic had made those visits virtual. But Mason stresses that they are just as critical and important as ever.
“Video conferences make it possible for more voices to be heard, including voices of those who are normally unable to travel to Washington, DC. Meeting virtually also enables credit unions to involve a much broader range of employees, which is a great way for credit unions to engage team members who are interested in advocacy,” Mason wrote. “Plus, few can articulate the credit union difference like staff who are on the front lines helping members every day. In an election year, it’s especially important for lawmakers to see a large number as well as a wide range of people – voters! – passionate about credit union issues.
Video visits, like in-person visits, still give credit unions the chance to tell the movement’s story to members of Congress. Mason says the Maine League still coordinates with CUNA and other Leagues to ensure credit union priorities don’t “become background noise” and to ensure credit union leaders are “present,” even if through a computer screen.
“The ability of Hike the Hills to bring credit unions and credit union members together with their elected officials is critical – and has newfound potential with virtual Hikes,” he wrote. “With elections just weeks away, I urge you to get in touch with your league and get involved, especially now that you can ‘visit D.C.’ from your (home) office! Virtually or in person, your voice on Capitol Hill matters tremendously and is instrumental for the credit union movement’s continued success.”