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GAC Coverage: NC Gears Up for Hill Visits

Day two of the GAC agenda is winding down in Washington, DC. While talk still centers on the NCUA Corporate Stabilization Plan and the financial crisis, the official reason for our trip lies just ahead – taking our message to NC’s elected leaders in Washington, DC.

This trip will not only represent a change in location (from the Convention Center to the Legislative Office buildings), but a very important and palpable shift in topic for the group. Despite the gravity of the moment with the Corporate Stabilization Plan and its implications for credit unions, plus the current TARP discussions, the credit union group must focus instead on the legislative agenda with our elected leaders.

As we approach what promises to be a full day of meetings with members of Congress, it’s a good news-bad news situation for credit unions when it comes to that legislative agenda and the health of the credit union system …

The good news is – the house isn’t on fire.

The bad news is – the house isn’t on fire.

As parts of the banking system creep closer to nationalization and the economy falls off a cliff, Congress has a bevy of urgent issues to tackle — fires to put out, if you will. So for credit unions, which are in much better shape than banks, the challenge essentially lies in getting traction on issues of importance in the current Washington climate.

Dan Schline, NCCUL’s SVP of Association Services, discusses the strategy to deal with this reality and the messages credit union representatives from NC will share with members of Congress tomorrow.

One of the messages we’ll be underscoring tomorrow relates to lifting the credit union business lending cap. As you know, the League has been using the video medium in its overall communications strategy for about a year now. And beginning with this GAC, we have videotaped accounts of credit union members who have gotten business loans from a NC credit union. These video messages will be delivered to each member of the NC Congressional Delegation tomorrow as part of our Real People series.

These member messages communicate the strength of the credit union argument on business lending – credit unions have the money and willingness to lend in this environment, and lifting the cap is a way to get needed capital into the hands of people who are creating jobs in the economy. And lifting the cap won’t cost the taxpayers a dime!

One such video is below, and you will find the complete set of business loan testimonials for Congress on the League’s Real People Channel on Vimeo.

We’ll record more testimonials for Congress in the future to show the great work NC credit unions are doing — in the words of their members.