CUs Meet with Newsom, Alvarez, Banking Chair & Legislators

GRR image

Today marks the end of the 2021 California Government Relations Rally (GRR) over this past week, where the California Credit Union League held a historic fundraiser for Gov. Gavin Newsom and hosted meetings between important state officials and credit union leaders.

In between meetings with Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) Commissioner Manuel Alvarez and Assembly Banking and Finance Committee Chair Tim Grayson, credit union leaders met with dozens of legislative offices and were able to educate staff on the credit union difference. They also discussed three specific bills that would impact the credit union movement (Senate Bill 269, Senate Bill 449, and Assembly Bill 1177).

In fact, some exciting news transpired during the week: read "SB 269 Moves to CA Assembly; Destined for Banking Committee".

"A special thank-you goes to all the credit union leaders who participated this week," said Robert Wilson, vice president of state government affairs for the League. "You all helped move the needle a great deal. This will go down as the greatest virtual GRR and hopefully the only virtual GRR. We look forward to seeing you all in person in 2022."

Governor Newsom Fundraiser
California credit union leaders raised $103,000 toward Governor Newsom's reelection campaign.

Attendees were prepared and proud to discuss all the critical COVID-19 pandemic financial relief and support that was provided to millions of Californians this past year. From March 2020 - March 2021, credit unions' total estimated financial impact on members in California (based on ongoing surveys) amounted to $19.7 billion in loan forbearances (513,000 forbearances), $100 million in special emergency loans (about 20,000 loans), and $21 million in fee waivers (about 1.4 million waivers granted).

Attendees also discussed inclusive banking and how credit unions "are the people’s bank," serving the underserved and unbanked, and remain committed to doing so.

The event concluded on the subject of housing. While credit unions stressed the importance of collaboration and creativity, leaders inspired a partnership with this administration in order to tackle the housing crisis immediately.

"The governor was inspired and motivated to continue this dialog, and we are proud and excited to see what may come out of this opportunity," Wilson said. "Credit unions should stay tuned."

He added: "A special thank-you goes to all participating credit unions that made this event a reality. This event is the beginning of something big and inspiring."

Participating credit unions included: Bay FCU, California CU, CU of Southern California, Financial Centers CU, Orange County’s CU, Patelco CU, SAFE CU, SchoolsFirst FCU, San Francisco Fire CU, Travis CU, Upward CU, and Wescom CU.

DFPI Commissioner Meeting
The meeting with Commissioner Alvarez provided an opportunity for a great dialog between the DFPI and credit unions.

Alvarez opened with remarks covering a wide array of topics, including the California Consumer Financial Protection Law, cannabis banking, and staffing updates (specifically the vacant deputy commissioner of credit unions position).

Following his remarks, there was a great deal of open dialog on several topics raised by the attendees, including examination issues, diversity, equity and inclusion, financial technology, and COVID-19 related matters.

A big "thank you" goes out to all who participated in this discussion!

Video: 'A Year Unlike Any Other'
The week opened with a recap video to help advocate for credit unions. View it below!

Pin It