The advocacy mission never rests, GoWest Credit Union Association Senior Vice President of Advocacy Ryan Fitzgerald wrote in CUInsight, and the summer recess isn't exception, but presents prime opportunities for more personalized contact with lawmakers.
"While much of what happens on the advocacy front is in the halls of Congress, in meeting rooms, and in rounds of communication and compromise, there are ways to deepen relationships and impact decisions in alternative settings as well. Taking advantage of those creates greater credibility as well as vastly increasing member touchpoints with decision makers," he wrote.
"At GoWest Credit Union Association, we take a 360-degree approach to advocacy. Across our six-state footprint, credit union advocates actively engage with policymakers throughout the year. Whether its lawmakers, regulators, or other critical decision makers, we are creating interactions through fundraising events, special gatherings, ribbon-cuttings/grand openings, conferences, and even smaller Hike the Hill-type gatherings to amplify the credit union voice in the conversation," he added.
He pointed out recent engagement events GoWest coordinated with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., NCUA Board Member Rodney Hood, a ribbon cutting event with Colorado State Rep. Mary Young, and more.
"While these different types of events and meetings can require extra lift to accomplish, in the end, it is very much worth the effort. Being intentional and unafraid to veer off the “beaten path” can open up new avenues of communication, build and deepen relationships, and ultimately, accomplish advocacy goals that protect our members and the millions of people who choose credit unions as their financial services providers," Fitzgerald wrote.