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Special Edition of Capitol Eyes: 2022 CUNA GAC Recap

Cap Eyes 4.30.20
Mar 10, 2022
By Tom Harrington
  • Advocacy

2022 CUNA Government Affairs Conference Recap

Last week, over 50 Activists joined leaders from across the country in Washington D.C. to advocate as part of the 2022 CUNA’s Government Affairs Conference. The week featured thought provoking speakers, the annual CULAC Sweepstakes to raise funds to support friendly candidates, and importantly, visits with Wisconsin members of Congress.

Advocating on Capitol Hill

In meetings with legislators and staff from every Wisconsin office, Activists showcased The Movement’s impact in 2021. That includes helping Wisconsin’s 3.5 million members save over $431 million in the form of better rates and fewer fees, putting people first before profit to improve members' financial well-being.

Legislators received the 2021 Scorecard, a summary of credit unions’ policy priorities, and a more detailed policy briefing book.

Specifically, the group requested:

  • Reforms to the CFPB leadership
  • Modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act (including updating member expulsion policies and field of membership expansions to underserved areas)
  • Protecting small businesses’ access to private-sector financing (preventing SBA direct lending)

Photos from CUNA GAC >>

Wisconsin Receptions

Thanks to the generous support of our system partners, Wisconsin attendees were treated to two receptions for cocktails, camaraderie, and to participate in the annual CULAC Sweepstakes.

Corporate Central Credit Union
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
CUNA Mutual Group

CULAC Sweepstakes - To Support Friendly Candidates for Congress

CULAC, credit unions’ federal political action committee (PAC), supports credit union friendly candidates who are running for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

Wisconsin attendees raised over $9,000 during this year’s CULAC Sweepstakes – the sixth most nationwide! 

Congratulations to Steve Koenen, President/CEO of Altra Federal Credit Union, who won one of the 50 prizes up for grabs. Kudos to the following credit unions, who represent our top donors!

  • Altra Federal Credit Union 
  • Royal Credit Union
  • Community First Credit Union
  • Sentry Credit Union

Breakout Sessions and Speakers

CUNA GAC offered noteworthy speakers from around the country, specific to the Credit Union Movement and relevant to current events happening around the world.

Wisconsin Speakers
The breakout session, “The Future of Grassroots and Communicating with Legislators” featured Royal Credit Union’s Jennifer McHugh. She spoke about the value of telling your credit union’s story to legislators and encouraged inviting legislators for branch visits. McHugh also touched on the mutual benefit of bringing in-school branch student employees to meetings with legislators. 

In a mediated discussion with CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, Wisconsin native and former Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump, Reince Preibus, joined former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Mack McLarty, to share their experiences working in the White House.

More on the Chief of Staff Discussion >>

Credit Union System Committee Meetings

In conjunction with CUNA GAC, CUNA’s Advocacy Committee and the CULAC’s Board of Trustees met while in Washington D.C.

Wisconsin CULAC Trustee, Lori Horstman of Altra Federal Credit Union, participated in a discussion on strategies to fundraise for the 2022 election cycle and best practices for the 2022 CULAC Sweepstakes.

League staff also participated in various committee meetings with league colleagues from across the country to collaborate on topics including the Credit Union House in D.C., state advocacy and policy issues, political advocacy, consistent messaging for visits on Capitol Hill, small credit unions, credit union foundations and diversity, equity, and inclusion.


About The Author

Tom Harrington is the Political & Grassroots Specialist for The Wisconsin Credit Union League.