CUNA, league, CU grassroots efforts bring victory in Texas

November 8, 2017

Texans overwhelmingly voted in favor of two credit union-backed amendments to the state’s constitution Tuesday. CUNA, the Cornerstone Credit Union League and Texas credit unions advocated strongly in favor of the amendments, one of which allows credit unions to offer prize linked savings accounts.

"Credit unions did a great job working to pass both measures," said Caroline Willard, president and CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League. "I appreciate the support of our member credit unions, league staff, CUNA and the other associations working together to pass these two amendments which will help borrowers and savers in Texas."

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said CUNA is “proud to partner with Cornerstone in this coordinated campaign to educate voters about the value that passage of these two initiatives would bring to credit union members across Texas.”

Proposition 2 allows borrowers the option to refinance a home equity loan into a conventional loan and provides access to additional options and lower rate products, rather than being limited to only refinancing into a home equity loan.

Proposition 7 allows Texas credit unions and other financial institutions to offer prize-linked savings accounts.

Leading up to Tuesday’s elections, CUNA, the Cornerstone League and credit unions used CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP) as part of a multi-channel campaign to activate members to support the initiatives.

“Supporting Propositions 2 and 7 are the most recent MAP communications we’ve forwarded members in order to generate grassroots support critical to legislative success,” said Tony C. Budet, president/CEO of University FCU, Austin, Texas. “We were delighted to partner with CUNA and Community America Credit Union [Lenexa, Kansas] to pilot the MAP program a few years ago, and look forward to continued use of that critical tool to produce desired outcomes.”

Other efforts included direct mail, digital ads and social media outreach.

These efforts were strategically directed at voters, which is particularly significant since internal polling showed Proposition 7 being defeated as recently as two months ago.

"Our credit unions responded when we asked them to help with this campaign and get the word out to their members," said Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman. "We especially appreciate the leadership of Rep. Tan Parker for passing SJR 60, Rep. Eric Johnson for passing HJR 37 in the Texas House, and Sen. Kelly Hancock who passed both resolutions through the Texas Senate. The Texas Legislature is providing more options for Texas borrowers and savers by passing these two additions to the Constitution."

Credit unions also saw a win in Utah Tuesday, with Republican John Curtis winning a special election to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R). Curtis, current mayor of Provo, took 59% of the vote to opponent Kathie Allen’s (D) 26%.