While there are still races to be decided from last night’s election, one thing is already clear—credit unions made an impact on the incoming 117th Congress. Our political work is fundamental to ensuring Congress champions credit unions’ advancing communities across the country.
CUNA, Leagues, and credit unions invested $7 million throughout this election cycle to support credit union champions. In over 400 races, more than 40 of which were open seats, credit unions have seen a 90% success rate among races called as of this writing.
Holding more than 425 meetings with candidates this year, CUNA and the Leagues have worked hard to identify and support champions of not-for-profit financial cooperatives. We launched nearly a dozen independent expenditures and partisan communications to support candidates from both sides of the aisle who faced difficult challenges. These efforts represent the CUNA-League partnership at its best and it makes a difference for credit unions; they have been there for us when we needed them, and we are there for them now.
In addition to working with candidates, CUNA, the Leagues, and credit unions have been diligent in getting voters to the polls. Our Credit Unions Vote campaign helped educate millions of credit union members nationwide on how they could safely cast their vote.
There’s a reason for all of this. Credit union members need champions regardless of who holds the White House or which party controls a chamber of Congress. We need representatives who will be focused on helping credit unions better serve our 120 million members.
This new generation of credit union champions, together with our long-standing supporters currently in Congress, is critical to ensuring credit unions’ role in the nation’s economic recovery.
All year, I’ve listened as credit union professionals serving as financial first responders shared experiences serving their members under unprecedented circumstances. CUNA and the Leagues have made every effort to shift our operations to help credit unions weather this pandemic and continue to serve members, and this effort is an extension of that.
CUNA and the Leagues are working with lawmakers across Washington to bring meaningful solutions to bear. With this election, we can continue to turn your feedback into changes in the nation’s capital—this is vital to continue helping our members through this pandemic.
The credit union mission is straightforward: promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident purposes. That mission does not hew Democratic or Republican. It’s neither more urban-focused nor rural. As member-owned not-for-profits, credit unions are there to advance their communities in red states and blue, caring more about the individual member than any other factor. That’s the credit union difference.
The 117th Congress is very likely to consider policies that not only affect how we serve our 120 million members, but may also consider tax reform that could put our tax status under scrutiny. With this week’s election, there are a host of new elected officials who will rely on our advocacy to understand just how crucial that credit union difference is to their constituents.
So, while we come together to congratulate these new credit union champions on their victories, let’s also come together to continue advocating for the credit union system; to advance our communities through our daily service as well as our industry-leading advocacy.