Credit unions from all over Florida headed to Tallahassee this week for the Florida Advocacy Conference. The conference began with a Florida Advocacy Policy Committee meeting followed by a small gathering of credit union leaders with Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Patronis held a very candid conversation with the group about how important credit unions are to their communities, specifically referencing the great things done in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Day 1 of the event then kicked into high gear with a league update from CEO Patrick La Pine. The Florida advocacy team followed with an overview on key legislative issues for credit unions before taking their stories directly to policy makers. Attendees met with more than 50 lawmakers at the Capitol, including Senate President Bill Galvano, Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson, Speaker of the House Designate Chris Sprowls and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“This successful event brought together our credit union leaders with lawmakers and other key policymakers, and we shared meaningful conversations about important issues, including unfounded bank attacks on credit unions,” said Jared Ross, LSCU president and advocacy expert. “Having these conversations in person elevates important credit union issues in the eyes of these decision makers, and we gained some important ground at this conference.”
After meetings at the Capitol, a legislative reception was held at the Governor’s Club.
Day 2 of the event began with a presentation from CUNA’s Richard Gose, who discussed combating bank attacks on credit unions. Gose shared results of a poll conducted late last year in Florida, showing that consumers strongly support credit unions. Marian Johnson of the Florida Chamber gave a 2020 Florida election outlook. Marian’s expertise on elections is second to none, and she encouraged credit unions to get involved in elections and support those who support us. Cathi Kim from Inclusiv spoke about the Southern Equity Fund and the impact this new initiative can have in our communities.
The event wrapped up after Ben Brinkley, Credit Union Bureau Chief with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and Joe Ostrowidzki from the National Credit Union Administration provided a regulatory update to keep credit union professionals abreast of important compliance issues.
This was another excellent grassroots advocacy event and the team is already preparing for next year’s conference.
Alabama credit union leaders should be sure to register for the Alabama Advocacy Conference, March 3-4, in Montgomery. Click here for details.