WASHINGTON (2/4/13)--Preserving the tax status of credit unions is the Credit Union National Association's top priority, and CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins said maintaining that status will be the main goal of credit union grassroots and political advocacy efforts in 2013.
"CUNA's Political Affairs team is prepared to back up tax status advocacy efforts at both the federal and state levels," Hawkins said.
Hawkins noted that the member-owned, member-directed credit union model has offered working families a more affordable and trusted alternative to traditional banking for over a century. "Credit union members who understand and appreciate that difference are ready and willing to oppose any threat to their credit union's cooperative structure and the value it provides," he said.
"The best defense is a good offense, and we encourage credit unions to remind their members of the credit union difference at every opportunity," Hawkins added.
In addition to issue advocacy aimed at countering federal tax threats in Congress, Political Affairs staff will also provide strategic assistance to credit union leagues facing tax status attacks in state legislatures. Political Affairs will also expand their advocacy outreach efforts in social media channels, Hawkins added.
"CUNA Political Affairs will also continue its work to promote general grassroots and political involvement by credit unions, from increased Action Alert responses, promoting Hike the Hill attendance and Project Zip Code use," Hawkins said.
The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) had a record setting year in 2012, raising more than $2 million to support credit union-friendly candidates, and CULAC aims to maintain its growth momentum going into the next electoral cycle. CULAC's goal is to have more resources for its independent expenditures and candidate contributions going forward, Hawkins added.
"Credit union supporters nationwide are still fired up and ready to support credit union candidates," he said.