WASHINGTON (12/10/09)--In his most recent monthly K Street Insider column in The Hill, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica writes that while “ambitious plans and initiatives can fall victim to tight budgets,” especially in times like these, “those of us on K Street still must plan for better times,” no matter how long the recession may last. Mica said that while there was some apprehension that the financial crisis could reduce the amount of lobbying activity undertaken by credit union executives, CUNA found that its members “remained engaged” and “continue to make the time and absorb the costs necessary to maintain a regular, active presence on Capitol Hill.” A clear example of this engagement is the heavy credit union participation in this week’s National Hike the Hill, during which over 600 representatives from state credit union leagues and associated credit unions are visiting with House and Senate legislators and their staffs. CUNA also resisted the urge to cut some funding for its yearly legislative conference, and has seen an uptick in registration compared to last year. Overall, Mica said, “sometimes there is a gamble,” and CUNA has had to make some tough budgetary decisions. However, “planning for growth, even when the going seems tough, is a must,” and “all trade association and lobbying firm heads should have several fiscal models in place.” These models, Mica suggested, “should include a best-case scenario with concrete plans included and a worst-case scenario with drastic budget cuts projected.” “Yes, you may be cutting now, but next year, even next month, your services, skills and organization could be more in demand than ever before,” Mica concluded.