WASHINGTON (7/22/13, UPDATED 2:24 p.m. ET)--Credit unions and their members are urged to ignite their advocacy efforts tomorrow on "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday" and light up the social media world to get their message across, says today's edition of "Inside Exchange," the Credit Union National Association's video dialogue on the credit union movement's hottest topics.
Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs, tells viewers that social media is the "new frontier" on Capitol Hill for reaching lawmakers, and its smart use goes far to bolster the effort to support the credit union tax status as policymakers considered tax reform measures.
"Every Senate office has a Twitter presence and 90% of House members have a presence on Twitter," Hawkins says. And unlike traditional communications through mail or email or phone massages that often are monitored by a lawmaker's staff, most senators and House members monitor their own Twitter or Facebook accounts.
"With social media, your message goes straight to your target," Hawkins says.
CUNA and the state credit union leagues have set tomorrow--July 23--as "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday"--a day to maximize the power of social media to make a single-day punch for credit unions in advance of a Senate deadline for tax reform recommendations.
July 26--this Friday--is the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to Finance Committee leaders, who will then begin to build legislation to create a comprehensive proposal for a new U.S. tax code.
Already credit union advocates have sent more than 440,000 "Don't Tax My Credit Union" messages to Congress through the CUNA system alone--and not counting social media contact.
"Tomorrow is a terrific opportunity to get everyone to send one tweet or make one Facebook post--or one more tweet or Facebook post for those who have already done so--to really make an imnpact: To tell their senators and House members that a tax on credit unions is a tax on their 96 million member-owners," Hawkins says.
Hawkins suggest a tweet can be as simple as "Please #DontTaxMyCU @ (Twitter handle of your senator here) #DontTaxTuesday." He notes credit unions and individuals can participate by tweeting to their senators and congressmen using the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag, or posting on Facebook by including the senator or representative in a post by typing the "@" sign and then typing the lawmaker's name.