Members of the Minnesota Credit Union Network meet with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., during visits to Capitol Hill. (MnCUN photo)

Leagues, credit unions advance priorities during D.C. visits

September 28, 2022

Five Leagues representing 11 states were in Washington, D.C. last week to talk credit union priorities with policymakers. Visits included meetings with legislators and regulators, as well as briefings from CUNA staff.

The CrossState Credit Union Association facilitated meetings between credit union executives from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and policymakers, including NCUA and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) leaders, as well as House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.

“It was great to be back in person in Washington, DC, to inform our elected officials and regulators about the issues important to credit unions,” said Patrick Conway, president/CEO of CrossState Credit Union Association. “I want to thank all the credit union leaders who took the time to come to Washington, D.C., and talk about the great work credit unions do in communities throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”   

CrossState piloted a new component to hill visits—in collaboration the Cooperative Credit Union Association—allowing members of the media to interview credit union leaders and presenters live at Credit Union House. 

The GoWest Credit Union Association led a delegation of credit union leaders to Capitol Hill, including 10 young professionals from the six states the Association represents.

“Bringing the group of young professionals to Capitol Hill was both invigorating and inspiring,” said Jennifer Wagner, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer for GoWest. “The energy and enthusiasm of up-and-coming credit union leaders, along with their commitment to advocacy, helps fuel the vision for what credit unions can accomplish in the future.

The group conducted 34 meetings over their two days in the city.

“I feel much more confident about how to engage in advocating for credit unions, and much more knowledgeable about the issues that are really important for us to stay on top of, so credit unions can continue for future generations,” said Dawn Lepore, associate vice president of consumer banking operations at Vantage West Credit Union.

The Illinois Credit Union League shared stories, reinforced by data, about the credit union difference. They met with NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman and agency staff, as well as members of their Congressional delegation.

The Minnesota Credit Union Network met with members of their Congressional delegation and attended the Sept. 22 NCUA board meeting.

The West Virginia Credit Union League and their member credit unions spent a day meeting with their senators and representatives.

“I believe our Hike the Hill visits last week were productive and necessary to communicate our legislative priorities and concerns to our congressional delegation,” said Rich Schaffer, West Virginia League president/CEO. “Hike the Hill also gives us an opportunity remind the lawmakers and their staff what credit unions are doing for their constituents, and why we do it. “Since there are numerous key pieces of legislation being considered, working with CUNA legislative staff in advance insures that our message was coordinated and timely.”