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5 Tips for Credit Union Advocates Attending GAC

Missouri and Kansas credit union leaders will join thousands of credit union advocates from across the nation at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. on February 21-25. Attendees will meet with peers, learn from industry experts and share the credit union difference with lawmakers.

In advance of the legislative visits, the Heartland Credit Union Association (HCUA) has some tips for first-time GAC attendees, as well as those returning. (These also work for federal in-district meetings and state legislative visits!)

Be on time.

Tardiness may cost you the opportunity meet face-to-face with legislators. Senators and Representatives have full schedules, so even running just a few minutes late can impact your visit. That being said, don’t arrive more than five minutes early, as attendees of the prior meeting may still be in the legislator’s office.

Stay on topic.

Wear your “credit union hat.”  During these meetings, you represent your credit union and its members. Your purpose is to share the credit union difference with legislators. Don’t bring up unrelated topics that may confuse the purpose of the visit. HCUA advocacy staff will brief you before making Hill visits, so you will be comfortable discussing all things credit union.

Share credit union stories!

You should bring stories about the members you serve and help, especially in reference to legislation and its potential impact to those members. One of credit unions’ greatest strengths is in the people we serve and the difference we can make in their lives.

Utilize credit union materials.

HCUA’s advocacy staff will provide printed materials for each legislative visit. During meeting(s), reference the printed materials and make sure a copy is left behind. Legislators and their staff may want to refer to these later.

Stay in touch.

Leave your business card along with the materials, and be sure to ask a staffer for a business card before you leave. Send an email when you return home.  Keep the message brief, thank the staffer for the meeting and remind them of the issues and topics discussed during the visit. Offer to be a resource regarding financial services issues for the legislator and legislative staff, both in D.C. and in district offices.

Register for HCUA Events at GAC

Please register online to ensure scheduled attendance at the HCUA events. As HCUA works toward a shared website, Missouri credit union attendees are asked to register on mcua.org, and Kansas credit union attendees are asked to register on kcua.org. HCUA events at the GAC are free for credit union advocates.

●     Missouri-chartered credit union attendees: Click here to register

●     Kansas-chartered credit union attendees: Click here to register

For any questions about the GAC or HCUA events at the GAC, contact Amy McLard, HCUA Advocacy, at 800.392.3074, ext. 1370.