OGDEN, Utah (1/26/15)--Goldenwest CU, Ogden, Utah, with $1 billion in assets, has initiated a member advocacy group that offers its members an opportunity to provide lawmakers with a consumer's-eye view of the difference credit unions make in the financial lives of their members.
The idea sprung from Goldenwest CU Vice President of Marketing Diana Windley's service on the Utah Credit Union Association's Legislative Affairs Committee. As part of that commitment, Windley met with the members of the state's Congressional delegation to advocate for credit unions.
"It's good when people within the industry advocate for credit unions, but it can be more powerful when the constituents who are really benefiting from the service they receive from a credit union contact their legislators," Windley told News Now. "Those everyday members are the ones who are benefiting from the difference between a bank and a credit union. Giving those members an opportunity to have a voice with their senators and representatives can really make a difference."
Windley said Goldenwest is currently preparing members for the future when a strong voice is particularly needed. "We are in close contact with our state association," Windley said. "[Utah Credit Union Association President/CEO] Scott Simpson is our leader, and he very much has his finger on the pulse on what is going on. He will let us know when this type of resource is necessary. We don't think it's 'if' we need to be ready, but 'when' we need to be ready. Scott is very realistic. He knows we need to prepared."
Windley said Goldenwest CU would also like to use the advocacy group at the local level. Utah's political process begins every two years in neighborhood caucuses throughout the state where members of each precinct vote for delegates to represent them at county and state party conventions. Delegates then attend the conventions to vote for candidates who will then face each other in the public general election.
"We encourage credit union members and employees to be active in their neighborhood, county and state caucuses because we want credit unions to have a voice," Windley said. "We also value our advocacy at a local level."