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Rep. Cuellar Speaks to CU Advocates at NLCUP Reception
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:50 AM

At yesterday's Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) Networking Reception, which takes place annually during the CUNA GAC, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) addressed credit union executives, advocates, and organizations.

The congressman addressed the audience on the importance of credit unions and how they can benefit Hispanic individuals in underserved communities in his district.

Cuellar said that, nationwide, the Hispanic population is 58 million. Texas alone has experienced growth of 4.3 million, 90 percent of which are minorities. The face of the state of Texas is changing, he said.

"In my district, credit unions are very important to the Latino community where 26 percent of the population lives below the poverty line," said Cuellar. "These credit unions are unique in that they provide support to underserved people, such as those historically underrepresented and underserved, which may not otherwise have access to financial support."

“Credit unions and the work you are providing in Hispanic and minority communities is very important,” Cuellar said. “Knowing who you are dealing with allows credit unions to grow because you know your customers.”

He says you can have a fast growing community, and it’s good that we’re growing, but there are challenges. Access to capital is one. Education is the second challenge. If people can get an education, he said, they can start businesses, they can hire employees, they can have access to capital, and they can gain influence.

"I want to see communities where people start businesses," he said, noting that the fastest-growing small businesses are in the Hispanic communities.

"I want to be one of your friends. I want to be one of your champions, and Maria Martinez will keep me to that," Cuellar said of Border Federal Credit Union CEO Maria J. Martinez, who was in attendance. "She’s very good."

Also in attendance was the ambassador from Paraguay.