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CUs' Hill Visits Fruitful Despite Shutdown
WASHINGTON (10/4/13)--While the government shutdown continued to make news from coast to coast, credit union advocates from 10 states were undeterred in their advocacy efforts, taking to Capitol Hill to again spread the good news about credit unions and urge the continuation of their tax status.

State credit union league and credit union representatives from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Ohio joined the Don't Tax My Credit Union fight by hiking Capitol Hill this week, backing the Credit union National Association's own Wednesday online efforts. (See related story: Newest 'Don't Tax' Rally Draws 9,000 CU advocates to Websites.)

More than two dozen credit union advocates traveled as part of a Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and Affiliates group, meeting with someone from nearly every legislator's office. "All of the congressional staff and lawmakers we talked to understood our issues and were engaged in the conversation," league President Dave Adams said, noting that both staff and lawmakers were engaged in the discussion of credit union issues, despite the turmoil over the government shutdown that is dominating most conversations in Washington right now. "It's obvious they have heard the credit union message loud and clear," he added.
All 16 members of the Michigan congressional delegation have said they support credit unions, with some specifically saying they would not vote for a bill that changed the credit union tax status.

Click to view larger image Ohio Credit Union League Director of Public Affairs Patrick Harris poses with his group's leave-behind lunchbox, packed with credit union fact sheets and Buckeyes candy, in front of that state's official flower, the Scarlet Carnation.  The flower is part of a series of state flowers displayed in Credit Union House on Capitol Hill. (CUNA photo)
The Ohio Credit Union League and credit unions from that state took a unique approach to their visits, bringing along steel lunch boxes as leave-behinds for members of Congress. The lunch boxes, which are packed with credit union fact sheets and Buckeyes candy from that state, are meant to give legislators food for thought and respond to banks that claim credit unions are "eating their lunch." An accompanying tag notes that "credit unions aren't eating anyone's lunch. They're simply a banking alternative for 2.7 million Ohioans who choose a not-for-profit financial co-op to serve their families' needs."

The Missouri credit union group has also reported positive results from their meetings. Shannon Payne, a Poplar Bluff FCU board member, said she is sending a simple message to her legislative representatives. "We don't want to be taxed...we're for the community."

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