WASHINGTON (9/5/13, UPDATED 2:42 p.m. ET)--With Congress returning to Washington early next week, the Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues have refocused their national grassroots efforts on tax reform.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) remain committed to comprehensive tax reform, having spent the August recess touring the country in support of tax reform, and hoping to have legislation drafted by late September. In response CUNA has planned a number of initiatives in September to keep the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message before Congress.
Building on the success of the first #DontTaxTuesday campaign, CUNA members will welcome back Congress on Sept. 10 with another #DontTaxTuesday promotion. The campaign will include a large social media push, in which credit union members and advocates nationwide will Tweet their lawmakers or post on their Facebook page a "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message. Advocates wishing to participate should visit www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org starting on Sept. 10, where they will be able to post directly to their lawmaker's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
At a rally today at Credit Union House on Capitol Hill, John Bratsakis, CEO of Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association, encouraged assembled credit unions to add their voices to the Don't Tax My Credit Union message and generate thousands of contacts next week. Round 2 of the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign provides yet another opportunity to engage credit union staff, volunteers and members, and to let Congress and Washington know that a tax on credit unions is a tax on 96 million members, Bratsakis said.
Credit unions are "of our members, by our members, we're governed by our members, and we exist to serve our members," he emphasized. Representatives from HEW FCU, Alexandria, Va., Money One FCU, Largo, Md., and PAHO/WHO FCU, Washington, D.C., were among the more than 60 individuals at the rally.
The latest advocacy push will also engage Latino and Spanish-speaking credit union members with "No Le Cobren Impuestos a mi Credit Union," the Spanish-language version of the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign, which will be available online soon. Included will be a Spanish-language toolkit, video message, action center, and special materials for the toolkit.
CUNA has also helped organize a massive in-person Hike the Hill presence in Washington, with 20 leagues representing 28 states carrying the Don't Tax My Credit Union message to Capitol Hill in September and October.
Coupled with online advertising targeted at likely credit union member activists, the renewed effort is expected to generate many new contacts to federal lawmakers and their staffs. It will also build support for CUNA's National Virtual Rally, planned for Wednesday, Oct. 2. Rather than rallying supporters at the National Mall--like so many campaigns do--this movement will rally tens of thousands of credit union members nationwide online. Emphasis will be placed on social media and a renewed www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to encourage and generate new contacts.