About 85 North Carolina credit union staff and volunteers arrived in Washington, DC for the annual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference this week. The conference comes as Congress is taking up legislation impacting credit unions on a variety of fronts.
NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh offered special thanks to the people who made the trip to Washington. "With bills on member business lending, supplemental capital and examination reform in various stages of the legislative process, it's important that credit unions be here to share their perspectives with lawmakers."
He added that bankers planned to visit with lawmakers on Tuesday, one day before credit union Hill visits. "About a thousand bankers are going to try and tell Congress how credit unions ought to be run, and we have more than 4,000 advocates visiting the next day. I know our groups will do a great job of explaining to Congress the common sense solutions that will help credit unions thrive."
Radebaugh took center stage at the GAC on Monday morning, discussing the recently announced Rooftop Garden project at Levine Children's Hospital that North and South Carolina credit unions were engaged in as part of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. CUNA CEO Bill Cheney and League of Southeastern Credit Unions CEO Patrick LaPine, who discussed a similar project in Tampa in conjunction with the Republican National Convention, joined Radebaugh on stage.
Monday's events included an all-star series of speakers, including Hill leaders who are supportive of credit unions. The day was capped off by an engaging presentation by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who wowed the advocates in attendance from NC. "I was really impressed with Condoleezza Rice," said Sandy Glasson of Coastal FCU. Rice talked about her years of service during the Bush Administration, including the harrowing events surrounding 9/11.
Tuesday's agenda includes a slate of very special guest speakers, including Political Analyst Charlie Cook, who will offer a glimpse into the 2012 election cycle. Later in the day, educational sessions will touch on topics including the economic forecast for 2012, Social Media strategies for advocacy, and other issues.
Wednesday's events on the Hill kick off with meetings with Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr in the morning, followed by meetings in the afternoon with the rest of the NC Congressional Delegation. The day wraps up with a Congressional Reception. "It will be a full day with a lot of meetings with our elected leaders," remarked NCCUL SVP of Association Services, Dan Schline. "With so many important issues on the table for credit unions, we look forward to sharing our perspectives."