WASHINGTON (1/23/07)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced Wednesday that it soon will be offering four new online courses for credit union representatives interested in political advocacy. The fist two sessions will instruct credit unions on how to communicate the credit union difference to their public officials and communities and effective ways to initiate direct lobbying efforts on a grassroots level. Joann Sordellini, political communications manager for CUNA, said those initial courses will be available online to CUNA members now and will be quickly followed by two additional offerings. One of those will address campaign involvement and what credit unions can do to support credit union-friendly candidates and to get out the vote among their members. The other will explore public affairs and communications strategies and will provide how-to tips for communicating credit union issues to local public official. The courses are free and certificates will be awarded by CUNA upon successful completion of each segment. Richard Gose, CUNA senior vice president of political affairs, said, “The more educated a credit union member we have, the better it is for credit unions. “ Also in the political affairs arena, CUNA is about to launch a new round of its campaign schools, seminars that are intended to encourage credit union professionals and volunteers to run for office in any political race, from local school board to state legislature. In February, CUNA will return to Montana and conduct four sessions across the state with an expected 50 participants in each. Later in the year, CUNA will offer the schools for the first time in Ohio and New Mexico. Also for the first time, CUNA will run a demonstration campaign school at its Government Affairs Conference in Washington, scheduled from March 2-6. The abbreviated session will be presented over three days and is intended to give participants an idea of what it is like to organize a campaign.