Don’t Forget These Important Upcoming Chapter Events!
Don’t forget these important upcoming legislative nights:
Thursday, September 27 – North Central Chapter – Devils Lake, ND
Monday, October 1 – Maurie C. Byrne Chapter – Grand Forks, ND
Tuesday, October 2 – Red River Chapter – Fargo, ND
Tuesday, October 16 – Central Chapter – Huron, SD
Thursday, October 18 – Old West Chapter – Sturgis, SD
Thursday, October 18 – Sioux Valley Chapter – Sioux Falls, SD
By Robbie Thompson, CUAD President/CEO
Over the next few weeks, many of our Chapters will be hosting “Legislative Nights.” These Legislative events are an important part the credit union industry’s state legislative advocacy effort. Our Chapter Legislative Nights provide a great opportunity for credit union staff and volunteers to personally meet with elected officials and candidates. It also allows industry leaders to tell our story: to educate legislators about the tremendous value credit unions provide to their members; how credit unions serve people and their communities; to hear from and learn about legislators and candidates; and for credit union advocates to share crucial and timely information about the industry’s legislative priorities.
Over the last several election cycles, these Credit Union Legislative Nights have grown in scope and participation as more chapters are utilizing these venues to greet and educate our legislative leaders and candidates. The fact that these events continue to grow is a great indication that we are succeeding in reaching out to lawmakers and expanding our grass roots network. And, we need to continue to see growth this arena. Therefore, we are encouraging every credit union to send and sponsor as many staff and volunteers to these events as possible. A good turn-out and strong numbers at these events will help continue to demonstrate our role and interest in the political process.
Also, our Legislative Chapter Nights are another part of your industry’s overall State legislative advocacy efforts. What happens at the state legislative sessions in Pierre and Bismarck does impact credit unions and our members. Even in South Dakota, where there is not a state credit union act, legislation involving issues such as real estate, collections, employment, and UCC can directly impact your credit unions and members. Issues like taxes, budget, environment, and expenditures can directly impact the communities and consumers we serve. Over the last few years, our industry has done much to increase credit unions’ relevance in the state political advocacy arena. By implementing and participating in a Chapter Legislative Night, we are accomplishing these objectives:
· Growing our annual legislative socials in Pierre and Bismarck into a must attend events for legislators.
· Increasing payroll deduction participation and overall PAC contributions. Due to the generous contributions of so many, this year our State PACs have awarded about 20% more than in any recent election year. Our goal is to have one of the top giving PACs in North and South Dakota.
· Personal distribution of PAC checks by credit union staff and often even at the credit union. This allows for more personal contact and opportunities to build stronger relationships with legislators.
· Participating in more political party fundraisers that occur while the legislators are not in session.
· Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of our GAC Committees and internal and external lobbyists.
· We are in the process of implementing legislative liaisons at every credit union that will ultimately help CUAD pass on important and timely information to staff and volunteers. These front line legislative point-of-contacts will share information about relationships and potential connections the credit union and/or staff and volunteers may have with legislators or staff.
All of these efforts, including a great showing by our credit unions at the Legislative Nights this fall will help us better position our industry with our respective our State Legislatures. We strongly encourage your participation and to have a maximum in attendance at each and every Legislative Night. Thank you for continued support!