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August Advocacy Efforts – What You Can Do

There’s still time to take action regarding advocacy efforts during the Congressional August work period, and meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives back home in Missouri. Lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. on September 8. That gives credit union advocates many opportunities to discuss credit union issues and concerns with lawmakers and staff.

The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) is organizing legislative meetings for credit union advocates around the state. A meeting with U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-District 4) took place on August 18 in Harrisonville. In attendance were leaders from CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Community Financial Credit Union and MCUA. Meetings with U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-District 5) and Billy Long (R-District 7) are scheduled for August 24 and 25. Click here for more details and to register.

A few of the bills and issues credit unions can address with lawmakers include:

Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961 and H.R. 2205) includes key provisions to address data security concerns, including data protection and consumer notification standards; a mandated federal notification requirement for merchants that is comparable to credit unions; a federal standard for data security; and gives credit unions the ability to inform members about information about a breach, including where it occurred.  

Regulatory Reform - The House Financial Institutions Committee just passed four bills that address a wide variety of regulatory relief concerns. These are H.R. 766, H.R. 1210, H.R. 1941 and H.R. 3192. Two more bills are expected to come up with the committee in September – H.R. 2287 and H.R. 2473, which was introduced by Missouri U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-District 1). Another bill of interest is H.R. 2769. 

A briefing sheet outlining these and other bills and issues is available on the MCUA website.

In addition to in-district visits arranged by MCUA, credit union advocates are encouraged to engage with lawmakers in other ways:

  • Attend a legislator’s town hall or coffee that takes place in the district.
  • Invite lawmakers to visit your credit union. If you have an event, extend the invitation. 
  • Write members of Congress and urge them to support bills/issues that affect your credit union and your members. Use as a resource for data security outreach. For other issues, MCUA’s Center for Legislative Action is a great place to start.
  • If you are active on social media, there are opportunities there as well. Follow and reach out to lawmakers on Twitter and Facebook. Click here for MCUA's social media handout

These contacts and outreach go a long way in building relationships with your federal lawmakers and their staff – and help them better understand what is going on with their constituents (which includes you and your members).

After your outreach efforts to lawmakers, always make time to follow up. A note, email, even a tweet thanking a lawmaker for his/her efforts on an issue or to meet with credit union representatives is a great way to demonstrate that you are paying attention to what they do. 

And while we are focused on the August in-district work period – it’s also time to look ahead to the fall when lawmakers return to Congress. If you can, make plans to attend Missouri-Kansas Hike the Hill on October 20-22, in Washington, D.C. Click here for more details.

Your efforts to make the credit union voice heard is invaluable and an important part of credit union advocacy. Every person who supports credit unions can make a difference – staff, board and members. The MCUA Advocacy staff is here to help you with these efforts. Contact Amy McLard or David Kent with questions.