Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

News Now

Washington
New CUNA Chair: CUs Must Boost Advocacy Efforts
WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--Credit unions are well-known in Washington for their grassroots involvement, and they will need to get politically engaged on even a larger scale if they hope to advance their legislative goals, new Credit Union National Association Chairman Pat Wesenberg said on Tuesday.

Wesenberg, who is also president/CEO of Central City CU in Marshfield, Wis., spoke after she received the ceremonial leadership gavel from exiting CUNA Chairman Mike Mercer at CUNA's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference here.

Wesenberg, who has been involved with credit unions since she took on a "summer job" at age five, said she has learned the importance of advocacy in her life's work with credit unions.

When she first started working with credit unions as an adult, she was more concerned with day-to-day operations. "But in time, I came to learn that political advocacy is critically important. There's a real value to knowing who your legislators are, and interacting with them on a regular basis, not just in Washington, but back at home," she said.

Despite the intensity of bank attacks on credit union priorities, credit unions can overtake them, she said. She noted that CUNA, the Wisconsin Credit Union League and credit unions in that state pulled together to repel attempted bank attacks on the credit union tax status, and said credit unions and cooperatives can work together and lobby together to achieve shared goals.

"The opportunities for credit unions have never been greater. People today are making a beeline to the personal service, the value, and the sense of trust we offer." These claims are backed up by increased membership and lending numbers, she noted. At the same time, banks "have never been held in such low regard in the public eye," she said.

However, community banks can also work with credit unions and find common ground. "They know we've got enormous public support and trust, and they know how wonderful credit unions can be when we all work together behind a shared political agenda.

"Our moment is now, working together we can advance our political agenda. That is why we're here, and that will be one of my top goals as your new CUNA board chairman," Wesenberg said.


RSS print
News Now LiveWire
Leagues have until Friday, April 25, to enter into @CUNA 's Blockbuster Awards. The original deadline was April 18. http://t.co/rnJYm76N8U
11 hours ago
Found out how members are saving at the ballpark with the help of their #creditunions tomorrow in #NewsNow #CUNA
14 hours ago
First annual meeting of @Cornerstone_CUL under way: http://t.co/Xp710hzRC3
15 hours ago
.@fileneresearch says #creditunions can educate young adults in the ways of retirement planning #NewsNow #CUNA http://t.co/vXToTtBVA2
15 hours ago
.@Cornerstone_CUL #credit unions lead the way in 1st QTR auto sales http://t.co/ZiSsE5HIFP
15 hours ago