At the recent Cornerstone League Young Professionals Conference, Cameryn Bliss and Rachel Pigman led the Advocacy 101 discussion about why advocacy is vital for the credit union movement.
“Credit unions have had to advocate for themselves for over 150 years,” said Bliss. “If we don’t do it, who will? Certainly not banks!”
Pigman explored credit union history, particularly advocacy wins such as:
“We still have to fight for data security and to ease regulatory burdens on credit unions,” said Pigman, reiterating the need for YPs’ engagement in credit union advocacy.
Additionally, Cody Long, workforce analyst at TTCU, Laci Whitmire, operations support specialist at Diamond Lakes FCU, and Linda Nunez, assistant program director at GECU, participated in a panel discussion during which they discussed their personal experiences at CUNA GAC.
Long said seeing everyone in person at the conference was energizing. “Seeing everyone’s faces, the passion that we have to do that, seeing it on the bigger stage will motivate you, put a spark in you.”
Whitmire said hiking the Hill was inspiring. “Getting to see the senators and talking to them one on one was great. They were really listening. They want to know what’s going on in the community. That’s the power of the movement.”
“I was inspired by the speakers,” said Nunez. “I probably cried after every single speaker. That was my favorite part, listening to the obstacles they’ve had to overcome to get to where they are.”
She added, “Be prepared to wear flats! The days are long.”
Whitmire encouraged young professionals to apply for the GAC Crasher program. “If you can apply, do it. I’ve never done anything like that before. Getting on a plane, going to D.C., I didn’t know what to expect.”
CUNA’s 2023 Governmental Affairs Conference is Feb. 26 – March 2, 2023. To learn more, visit CUNA’s GAC web page.
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