This week, credit union advocates from Alabama, Florida and Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C., for our annual Hike the Hill, discussing credit union concerns with NCUA Board Member Todd Harper as well as policymakers on Capitol Hill.
On Wednesday, Oct. 23, more than 60 credit union advocates began their day early and spent the entire day taking the credit union message to our elected officials from all three states. On behalf of the LSCU staff and all LSCU credit unions we appreciate everyone that traveled to DC to share their stories and share our message.
“It’s important for credit unions to come to the Hill to meet with members of congress and their staff,” said Jared Ross, LSCU’s executive vice president, advocacy. “While the League keeps a constant presence in DC, hearing from their constituents always makes a difference to lawmakers. Credit unions need to be the ones telling the true credit union story, or banks will tell their own version.”
There was added significance for this year’s Hike as bankers associations around the country, and the Florida Bankers Association in particular, have gotten more aggressive in trying to fight the tax status or credit unions. With this threat continuing to escalate, credit union representatives needed to be on the Hill ensuring that our story is being told … and heard. The LSCU advocacy team learned from quite a few offices that the Florida Bankers also were on the Hill this week, so the timing of these visits was important.
Credit unions discussed the tax status of credit unions, the National Defense Authorization Act, the SAFE Banking Act and cybersecurity issues.
According to Jared, “We found a lot of support on our issues on the Hill and will continue to keep in touch with our lawmakers as we return home.”
Jared and Cindy Connelly, LSCU’s executive vice president of government influence, provided a Federal issues briefing on Oct. 22 to prepare credit unions for critical topics to discuss with their representatives.
“The personal investment made by LSCU credit union leaders to attend the annual Hill Hike not only provides a powerful illustration of cooperation but emphasizes to our respective delegations the importance of the issues to our industry that the participants discussed with our elected officials,” said Cindy. “The annual fall trip provides credit unions an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with our congressional delegations.”
Cindy said participants were pleased that elected officials and their staffs listened to how policy decisions can positively influence the lives of credit union members and their constituents, and that they pledged to continue to have open dialogue with all credit union advocates.
“We had one of the most successful Hike the Hills in recent history,” said Jason Cochran, LSCU’s senior director, governmental affairs. Meeting with all of Alabama’s delegation, member after member reiterated his or her support for the credit union tax exemption and other priorities in Washington, D.C. Thank you to all of the credit unions that participated because this type of success would not be possible without their involvement.”
Look for a follow-up next week in LSCU Today on the issues discussed during Hike the Hill.