DNC forum talks changes, hopes of middle class for election

July 27, 2016

Legislators, pollsters and other politicos spoke on what this year’s election means for the middle class at a forum sponsored by America’s Credit Unions at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday. Trey Hawkins, CUNA’s vice president of political affairs, opened up the forum with remarks on how credit unions remain focused on ensuring a strong middle class.

“Credit unions serve the middle class, so we care very deeply about where they stand going into this year’s election,” Hawkins said. “The 105 million credit union members across the country are mostly members of the middle class, so we’re interested in what they’re focused on even beyond November.”

Hosted by RealClearPolitics, the forum invited various DNC stakeholders and journalists to share their analysis on the state of the middle class heading into November.

The forum kicked off with a keynote interview with John Anzalone, the head pollster for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Anzalone gave insights on how the campaign (and pollsters around the country) work to define middle class voters.



Next up was a discussion between Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy at think tank Third Way, as well as A.B. Stoddard and Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics. The group talked about how changes in the developed world manifest themselves in the middle class world.



The forum concluded with an interview with Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). Peters called small business the “engine of growth” for the economy and that growth is being impeded by a lack of capital.

“Credit unions have done an outstanding job making sure that smaller businesses, ones that may be having difficulty with the larger financial institutions, can qualify for credit,” he said. “Small banks and credit unions in our community need to be strengthened.”



America’s Credit Unions and RealClearPolitics hosted a similar forum at the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland.

CUNA’s “Strong Credit Unions. Strong Middle Class.” grassroots campaign, launched earlier this year, is still going strong. It focuses on educating all presidential candidates on the importance of credit unions and the benefits they provide to middle- and lower-income individuals.

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