Fall Hike the Hill equips GoWest Young Professionals, achieves results
Lawmakers sign on to Modernization Act after Hill Meetings
TIGARD, OR (September 27, 2022) — GoWest Credit Union Association led a delegation of 25 credit union advocates to Capitol Hill for its Fall Hike the Hill, held Oct. 20-22. The Hike featured the unique component of being the first GoWest Hike experience for young professionals (YPs).
A group of 10 YPs representing credit unions from across the six-state region received onsite advocacy training, spent one on one time with Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6) to learn about the legislative process, and participated in meetings with elected officials on the Hill.
“I feel much more confident about how to engage in advocating for credit unions…and much more knowledgeable about the issues that are really important for us to stay on top of, so credit unions can continue for future generations,” said Dawn Lepore from Vantage West Credit Union in Tucson, AZ.
“Bringing the group of young professionals to Capitol Hill was both invigorating and inspiring,” said Jennifer Wagner, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer for GoWest. “The energy and enthusiasm of up-and-coming credit union leaders, along with their commitment to advocacy, helps fuel the vision for what credit unions can accomplish in the future.”
The larger group had 34 meetings in just two days. Following those meetings, two Members of Congress, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5) signed on to co-sponsor legislation that, if passed, would modernize the Federal Credit Union Act to reduce the number of board meetings required for credit unions. This brings the number of co-sponsors of this bipartisan legislation to 102 in the House and 18 in the Senate.
Advocates also asked their elected officials to oppose the “Credit Card Competition” legislation targeting interchange, which is pending in the Senate and in the House, as it is potentially harmful to credit unions and their 133 million members across the nation. Following the Fall Hike, GoWest advocates, who have already sent more than 1,200
messages to their Senators, contacted their congressional representatives asking them to oppose the new House version of the legislation.
“Being on the Hill ahead of the midterm elections was timely,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, vice president, federal advocacy. “Between the quality, in-person meetings, and the added support of thousands of advocates from across GoWest’s six state region, credit unions’ voices were heard, and we are already seeing results.”
The group rounded out the trip by attending the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Board of Directors meeting in person on Thursday, Oct. 22.
About GoWest Credit Union Association
GoWest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. GoWest advocates on behalf of more than 300 member credit unions, and their 17.4 million consumer members. The region’s not-for-profit cooperative credit unions take a bold, innovative, and forward-thinking approach to improving the lives of their members and enriching their communities. Follow GoWest Credit Union Association on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/GoWestCreditUnionAssociation, Facebook at Facebook.com/GoWestCUA, and Twitter at Twitter.com/GoWestCUA for the latest updates on the regional Credit Union Movement.