2021 State Government Affairs Conference Recap
On January 26 - 28, over 200 Credit Union Activists participated in The League’s State Government Affairs Conference. Over the course of the three days, Activists met virtually to discuss credit union issues with 120+ state legislators, heard from the 46th Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers and Cook Political Report Analyst David Wassermann, and played virtual trivia to benefit WCULAF, Wisconsin credit unions' state level political action committee.
David Wasserman: 2020 Election & 2021 Predictions
Cook Political Report's David Wasserman shared his insights on the 2020 General Election and what influenced the results. His analysis touched on what to expect in Congress in 2021, upcoming redistricting, and what could become important for the 2022 and 2024 elections.
During legislative meetings, Activists shared powerful stories about how The Credit Union Difference made an impact in their communities over the past year and asked for continued support during the 2021- 2022 Legislative Session.
Meetings were made easier as legislators and staff often indicated they are credit union members and could already attest to how credit unions positively impacted them and their communities.
For instance, Representative Beth Meyers’s office (D-Bayfield) shared that throughout the pandemic, as constituents called with financial concerns and uncertainties, not one had an issue with their credit union. Instead, they heard gratitude for the help credit unions provided, including small interest loans or debt refinancing.
In meetings, Activists highlighted:
- www.wicreditunions.coop, a website that highlights credit unions’ impact in 2020 and stories that put people before profit, across the state. The website features videos of three REAL Solutions® stories:
- A program to help victims of domestic abuse obtain financial security.
- Keeping commitments to community when faced with the challenges of 2020.
- How credit union success and growth led to a substantial community partnership with Junior Achievement.
- How credit unions helped to keep $328.8 million in members’ pockets, thanks to better rates and fewer or lesser fees.
- The $2.58 billion in support provided to Wisconsinites during the COVID-19 pandemic, including $6.7 million in cash contributions to community partners.
Visit www.wicreditunions.coop for more!
Visit www.wicreditunions.coop for more!
Activists additionally asked legislators to support credit unions in the 2021-22 session by:
- Supporting a future effort to better achieve parity with federally chartered credit unions by modernizing, clarifying, and simplifying state law on credit unions.
- Encouraging or requiring credit unions’ participation in future policy discussions, to protect the interests of their member-owners.
- Empowering credit unions to better prevent or alert others to potential elder abuse.
Add to the Advocacy
Use the Grassroots Action Center to send a pre-written, editable email to your legislator asking them to support financial elder abuse protections.
Governor Evers & Administration Officials
The League was honored to host Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers for live remarks. The State GAC last hosted a Wisconsin Governor, then Governor Scott Walker, in 2016.
Governor Evers shared his gratefulness for credit unions’ flexibility and hard work to continue to serve members during an unprecedented year. He updated attendees on his administration’s vaccine distribution, and his continued focus on protecting the health and safety of Wisconsinites.
Office of Credit Unions Director Kim Santos shared how credit unions played a key role in pandemic relief efforts, tasked with assisting members, small businesses, and communities through special services and programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld, who served as Vice President of Lending & Payment Security at CUNA Mutual Group and as a director of a credit union prior to her current position, shared her personal appreciation for the Credit Union Movement. She shared a story of a credit union member who contributed a large inheritance to her credit union to help members struggling with food insecurity, rent, or loan payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary noted it was one example of how credit unions are ‘People Helping People.’
You can view their remarks here >>
Passcode: [email protected]
WCULAF Virtual Trivia Night
Activists dusted off their random knowledge for virtual team trivia. All contributions supported the Wisconsin Credit Union Legislative Action Fund (WCULAF), Wisconsin’s state level political action committee.
Activists raised over $1000, which will go to support credit union friendly candidates seeking-elected office.
With the guidance of the Government Affairs Committee, WCULAF provides financial support for state-level candidates, for instance those running for State Assembly, State Senate, or the Governorship. WCULAF does not support federal candidates for Congress.
Not able to attend the WCULAF Virtual Trivia Night? Please consider contributing to WCULAF by following the instructions on the Fundraising Accounts Options page of The League’s website.
Virtually, a Success!
The success of the 2021 Virtual State Government Affairs Conference relied on leaving a positive impression with legislative offices and a strong foundation for our future work with them this session.
It would not have been possible if not for YOU, sharing how your credit union lives out the Credit Union Difference and people-focused mission.
So, thank you for your participation in the State GAC. You helped make a lasting impression on Wisconsin state legislators and strengthened our advocacy and influence this legislative session!
Pictures from the 2021 State GAC can be found on The League's Facebook Page
Missed the Conference? You can still make an impact!