Important CU Issues in Focus During ‘Hike the Hill’ Visits

Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) with credit union leaders. The congresswoman was one of several legislators who met with credit union representatives during the 2018 "Hike The Hill" event in Washington, D.C. last week (see photo gallery link for more).
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) with credit union leaders. The congresswoman was one of several legislators who met with credit union representatives during the 2018 "Hike The Hill" event in Washington, D.C. last week (see photo gallery link for more).

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ day annual “Hike the Hill” in Washington, D.C. commenced last week, with credit union leaders and advocates spending two days in the nation’s capitol lobbying congress and meeting with regulators about a variety of ongoing issues.

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Those topics ranged from data security, consumer protections for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lending, and ensuring credit unions remain exempt from the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

As the event was underway, League participants learned of the Nevada Leagues’ new level of influence in Washington, D.C. as Rick Schmidt (Nevada League Chairman and CEO of Weststar CU) was appointed chairman of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s (BCFP) Credit Union Advisory Council.

Several League members were pleased with having access to the congressional delegations, saying it gave them the opportunity to tell their credit union’s personal story within their community.

“Taking the time to participate in ‘Hike the Hill’ was a great opportunity to meet with our legislators,” said Jennifer Binkley, CEO of Altura CU. “We spent time communicating our position on data security, PACE loans, and our tax exempt status while also furthering our relationships.”

Stephen Serfozo, CEO of McClatchy Employees CU, said over the past few years he has found that members of Congress are increasingly listening to credit unions’ message.

“It was great to see a mix of experienced ‘hikers,’ as well as some attending an advocacy event for the first time,” Serfozo said. “Having California lead the way in PACE legislation resonated positively with our congressional representatives. Getting meaningful measures passed to address data breaches is going to require a significant amount of effort, but our discussion on HR 6743 was a good start.”

The Leagues’ next advocacy events are:

  • The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2019 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC): March 10 – 14 in Washington, D.C.

  • The Nevada Credit Union League’s Government Relations Rally (Nevada GRR): Feb. 12 in Carson City, NV

  • The California Credit Union League’s Government Relations Rally (California GRR): April 9 – 10 in Sacramento, CA

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