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ICYMI: Highlights of Association Activities at 2024 GAC

The MD|DC Credit Union Association had a powerful presence at the recent Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C. More than 60 credit union leaders from the Association actively participated in various events, showcasing their commitment to advocacy and collaboration.

Capitol Hill

Advocacy Luncheon
Rep. Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th congressional district, headlined the Association’s annual advocacy luncheon. He spoke to 65 credit union executives about the vital role credit unions play in supporting financial well-being. He posted on X (formerly Twitter), “I was proud to join @MDDCCUA today to discuss credit unions’ indispensable role in helping Americas get ahead. Credit unions have helped our communities build back stronger and fuel our economic recovery and growth.”

Hike the Hill
More than 20 credit union leaders represented industry interests on Capitol Hill, visiting the offices of Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Reps. Jamie Raskin and Dutch Ruppersberger. Discussions included industry opposition to the Credit Card Competition Act, data protection standards, funding for CDFIs, and financial literacy.

Association Crashers
Two Crashers, Andrews FCU’s Moria Adams and Educational Systems FCU’s Nicole Galloway had the honor of participating in the parade of flags ceremony that officially opened GAC. Adams proudly represented the District of Columbia with John Bratsakis, President/CEO of the MD|DC Credit Union Association, while Galloway carried the Maryland flag alongside Association Board Chair and Educational Systems FCU’s SVP/COO, Laura Eacho.

AACUL on Stage
Association CEO John Bratsakis joined fellow League Presidents on the GAC stage to highlight the impact of state leagues on advocacy efforts systemwide. In 2023 alone, leagues monitored nearly 4,000 bills introduced in state legislatures. Their efforts successfully prevented harmful legislation that would have imposed state-level Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements, regulated interchange fees, created burdensome regulations, and established a state-level equivalent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Conversely, leagues championed and helped pass bills to support financial literacy, enhance credit union charters, allow credit unions to accept public deposits, safeguard seniors from financial fraud, enable electronic lien titling, and improve remote notary services.

“Building and maintaining strong relationships with our local lawmakers is key to our success,” said Bratsakis. “These relationships give credit unions a seat at the table when crucial decisions are made, allowing us to effectively protect and advance the interests of credit unions and members.”

AACUC Hall of Fame Ceremony
The African-American Credit Union Coalition inducted five industry leaders into the African American Credit Union Hall of Fame, including Association CEO John Bratsakis. The ceremony was attended by more than 400 individuals and took place at the historic Organization of American States building in Washington, DC. The accolade recognizes outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions to the credit union movement.

Credit Unions for Kids
John Bratsakis, who also serves as Chair of Credit Unions for Kids, joined finance journalist Jean Chatsky on the main stage. Chatsky shared the impact Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has had on her family. Bratsakis announced that Credit Unions for Kids has donated $200 million to CMNH and will be recognized with the prestigious Founders Award next month by CMNH.

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