NY Young Professionals hike the Hill in DC

ALBANY, NY (July 25, 2014) — Members of the Credit Union Association of New York’s (CUANY) Young Professionals Commission joined CUANY staff in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss key credit union issues with federal lawmakers. The young professionals spoke on a wide range of issues, including data security, patent reform, exam fairness, member business lending, supplemental capital and Regulation D.

The advocates included: Kayla Barber, Dannemora FCU; Angela Hitchcock, Sidney FCU; Meghan McGee-Pelkey, UFirst FCU; Cristina Morrissiey, AmeriCU Credit Union; Jennifer Preston, Reliant Community FCU; David Roy, Buffalo Metropolitan FCU; and Brittney Wensley, Sunmark FCU.
“As a young professional, I feel it is important for us to continue our involvement in advocacy, because we are the future leaders of our credit unions,” said Roy. “When we do step into leadership roles at our credit unions, our voices will be strong and known on Capitol Hill.”
On Monday, the group convened at the Credit Union House for a legislative briefing led by CUANY SVP/General Counsel Mike Lanotte and staff from CUNA. Following the briefing, the advocates then met with representatives from the offices of Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. For several of the young professionals, it was their first time lobbying at the federal level.
“Hiking the Hill to advocate for credit unions and our members was an incredible experience,” said Preston, a first-time participant. “I am grateful I was provided with the opportunity to get involved and share my passion for credit unions with our members of Congress.”
The advocacy efforts continued Tuesday morning, when the group met with nine House members and staffers. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle encouraged the group to continue advocating on behalf of their members. Some representatives, including Rep. Dan Maffei (D-24), openly praised the Commission and acknowledged the important role that credit unions play in low-income and rural communities.
In total, the group was able to meet with representatives or staff from one-third of the New York congressional delegation, including: Reps. Tom Reed (R-23), Chris Collins (R-27), Chris Gibson (R-19), Richard Hanna (R-22), Bill Owens (D-21), Brian Higgins (D-26), Louise Slaughter (D-25), Paul Tonko (D-20) and Maffei.
 “It’s important for our young credit union professionals to build personal relationships with our federal legislators, and these visits provided that opportunity,” said Lanotte. “It also allowed us to discuss legislative priorities, ask for support on key legislation and thank our lawmakers who are already co-sponsors. All of the young professionals did an outstanding job of relaying the credit union message to our elected officials in Washington.”

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