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CUNA gives planning insight in advocacy article
WASHINGTON (12/7/11)--The 2012 House calendar, and its newly added feature of at least one "constituent work week" per month, is creating issues for associations that bring out-of-town advocates to Washington, CEO Update noted in a Dec. 2 article. However, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan told the publication that CUNA avoids these issues by scheduling fly-ins when House members are extremely likely to be in their D.C. offices.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released that chamber's 2012 calendar on Oct. 27, a date that is well past when most associations have scheduled meetings and booked hotels for the year.

CEO Update said that groups that have now learned that the House will be out during a week they have scheduled members to come for Capitol Hill visits must decide whether to keep their scheduled meetings to pursue meeting with lawmakers in U.S. Senate, which will be in session, reschedule the meeting to when lawmakers in both houses of Congress will be in Washington,  or cancel them altogether.

Donovan said CUNA has generally avoided a scheduling problem by planning fly-ins for "more predictable" weeks, like those that are directly after a holiday break—such as days following the July 4 break, or in September between Labor Day and the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

CUNA has traditionally avoided traveling conflicts by scheduling its premier Governmental Affairs Conference on the week following Presidents Day. However, this year, due to outside circumstances, CUNA's GAC will be held March 18-22 at the Washington Convention Center. Luckily, the House calendar has cooperated and the House will be in session and the traditional Capitol Hills visits, which are an integral part of the GAC, are in good shape to proceed in force.

CUNA's GAC is the credit union movement's premier political event and its largest national conference, each year providing more than 4,000 credit union executives and board members an opportunity to hear influential leaders from the U.S. Congress, the administration and federal regulatory agencies.

American Idol star Taylor Hicks will perform at the 2012 GAC opening concert, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, journalistic duo Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and political pundit Charlie Cook have signed on as keynote speakers for the 2012 GAC.

Additional speakers and session topics will be announced in the weeks to come. For more information and to register use the resource link below or go to gac.cuna.org.


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