It has never been more important for credit unions to improve members’ financial well-being and advance the communities they serve, CUNA Chief Advocacy Office Ryan Donovan wrote in CUInsight Friday.
“To ensure that credit unions remain in a position to serve their members going forward, we must remain actively engaged in the public policy process by aligning our interests with the priorities being discussed by policymakers,” Donovan writes. “In 2021, we will be on advocacy offense and defense.”
Donovan said the change in leadership at agencies like NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could mean rolling back regulatory relief enacted in the past few years.
“Fortunately, the best defense against them is the work you do every day to shore up your members’ financial well-being, and you’re in the best position to tell that story,” Donovan wrote. “Maybe you’ve helped with a short term no-interest loan for a dad trying to buy a computer that his kids need for virtual learning, or perhaps you worked overnight to fast track a PPP loan for a local veteran-owned business. Lawmakers need to hear about the family you helped stay in their home, or the essential worker who you helped get their car repaired.
“Every single one of those instances, no matter how small or “run of the mill” they seem, makes a difference. When policymakers hear from you about how you’ve saved one of their constituents, it helps move the needle and effect real change.,” he added.