When we call the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) the credit union movement’s premier advocacy event, we mean it.
It’s a unique, once-a-year opportunity to bring the credit union difference to every building on Capitol Hill as we tell the stories and share the data about why credit unions need to be able to do more.
This year’s CUNA GAC comes at a pivotal time for our movement. The economy may get worse before it gets better, and government actions taken in response to inflation might make credit less affordable.
At the same time, we have divided control of Congress, with both parties stating they plan to stand fast against any major legislation from the other side.
We’ve spent years positioning ourselves for success with credit union champions on both sides of the aisle, which sets us up to make real progress on commonsense, bipartisan solutions. We did it last year, enacting an update to governance procedures and moving forward on meeting requirement and field-of-membership modernization.
CUNA GAC is where we tell our stories face to face, and where we back them up with data showing how changes could improve consumers’ financial well-being.
As a member of Congress I took hundreds of meetings, and I can still tell you the stories that stick with me today. We all have those stories that come with doing what you do every day in your communities.
It’s a pivotal moment for Financial Well-being for All, which started out on the CUNA GAC stage in 2020. We’ve made some great progress, and we have big things coming up this year.
Our investment and research into new and bigger sources of consumer data is yielding some exciting results that will shape the way we talk about ourselves going forward.
We’ve instinctually known that credit union members fare better than nonmembers, but now we’ve got the numbers to back up our claims like never before.
Not only does the data show credit union members fare better in basic measures of financial health, but our deep dive into billions of consumer transactions is painting an even more complete picture of what the credit union difference means in terms of thousands of dollars directly to consumers.
We are seeing improved access to legislative offices, making it a perfect time to be at the GAC.
For those who have attended before but are on the fence about coming this year: Your members can’t afford for you to sit this one out. Millions of people stand to benefit from the policies we’re advocating for, and we need to be face-to-face, boots on the ground, on Capitol Hill.
If you haven’t attended GAC, this is your chance for a front-row look into how we shape the future of our movement.
Whether you’re a young professional, a newcomer to the credit union movement, or a longtime employee who hasn’t participated in advocacy before, credit union members need you.
JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO at Credit Union National Association.
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