...because of the importance of advocacy
Part two in a
series about the value of League membership
The League and its members’ shared goal
is to represent the interests of more than two million Wisconsin
consumers who want to retain the right to belong to a not-for-profit,
member-owned financial institution that benefits them in a number of
Together, Credit Union Activists cultivate
pro-credit union allies in their communities - with media and in
government - as part of a statewide public relations and advocacy
campaign called "1 with The League."
Your League membership is essential in that
Activists receive support from The League, including publications, communication
materials and training opportunities that promote involvement
in credit union activism. In 2011 we:
- Preserved credit unions’ federal and state income
- Made more than 16,000 contacts through email and in
person to lawmakers, administration officials, and regulators on issues
including but not limited to member business lending,
interchange, health savings accounts, vacant land reports,
foreclosures, incidental powers, concealed carry of weapons,
redistricting, the Mortgage Loan Originator Council, abandoned vehicles,
a centralized agricultural lien system, credit card marketing practices,
charitable contributions, the Credit Union Review Board and deposit concentration
limits for banks.
- Held in-person meetings with key regulators.
Activists participated in League-facilitated roundtable
discussions with the DFI and OCU. Credit Union Activists
also met with leaders from NCUA – including Chairwoman Debbie
- Organized personal meetings with state and federal
legislators at the State GAC, CUNA GAC, Hike the Hill in D.C., the
Gubernatorial Inauguration - and hosted individual lawmakers at meetings
held at credit unions.
- Expanded credit unions’ involvement in
Solutions, which helps demonstrate the Credit Union
Difference and in turn the value of preserving credit unions’
income tax exemption.
- Circulated the REAL
Solutions Scorecard for Wisconsin Credit
Unions. This report details how credit
unions deliver value to their 2.2 million member-owners and their
communities. These powerful and practical examples protect credit unions
from additional costly regulation and taxation by showing the realities
of the Credit Union Difference.
- Used Credit Union House across
from the State Capitol as a high profile command center for
grassroots initiatives. It is a central point for educational seminars,
legislative briefings, fundraisers, meet and greets and committee
meetings. Credit Union House also symbolizes that credit unions matter
to their member-owners and are here to stay.
- Connected with lawmakers at meet and greets, fundraisers,
chapter legislative nights, in-school branch openings, regular branch
openings, credit union office tours and at local public
service, benevolent and business events.
- Generated earned media opportunities for pro-credit union
- Provided free advocacy and media relations training to
Wisconsin and international credit union leaders at chapter
meetings, the State GAC, Hike the Hill, Credit Union House and through
the Activist Arsenal, League Facebook page and Media Relations Facebook
- Delayed the implementation of another state government data
match program by the Department of Health Services which, if
implemented as initially proposed, would have increased credit union
liability, reputation risk and costs.
- Provided on-demand video testimonials for government
officials to show services credit unions provide to member-owners and
- Offered professional networking opportunities for
Activists and Young Professionals at the State and CUNA GAC and
with the Ohio League at this year’s Hike the Hill in D.C.
- Expanded access to advocacy events through
- Utilized social media to share and respond to action alerts
easily and quickly.
"The credit union world is complex. So is
government," said Tom Liebe, The League’s VP of Government
Affairs. "From existing compliance burdens to new rules and regulations,
the government plays a massive role in how your credit union operates
minute-to-minute and how you’re ultimately able to meet all of
your members’ needs. Those complexities can be made better or
worse depending on our level of engagement and the presentation of our
unified voice. Few things can or ever will be as important to your
credit union as your involvement in government relations."
Watch League News for more about what we have accomplished together in
2011 as a united League. The League's homepage links to all of the articles
in our series.