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GAC: A Successful Week for Credit Unions

Mon, Mar 6, 2017

District Of Columbia

Award for Project Zip Code
The Association was recognized last week during the GAC General Session with a CUNA Award for progress made on Project Zip Code. Thanks to the time and effort of member credit unions, the Association was noted for, “the largest increase in Project Zip Code participation among credit unions over the last two years.” 

As of Q1, nearly 1.38 million members, well more than 50% of our entire membership, are entered into PZC. The Association is focused on increasing those numbers in the months ahead. Project Zip Code is a secure CUNA led program which collects member zip code (only) information.  The concept is a simple one, as many of us have been in a retail store and been asked at point of sale for our zip code. The retailer simply wants know where their customers are residing.  PZC allows leagues (and individual credit unions) to let members of Congress and state legislators know, exactly how many credit members (in total or by individual credit union) reside in their respective districts.

For example, based on current PZC data, 190,000 credit unions members reside in Rep. Andy Harris’ Congressional Distract (Eastern Shore, Baltimore Co.)and approx. 290,000 credit union members reside in Rep. Steny Hoyer’s Congressional district (Prince George’s and Ann Arundel Cos.).  When one considers that each Congressional District has a total population of approximately 710,000 people, giving those CU numbers to our delegation offices is a powerful advocacy message.

Outgoing CUNA Chair Rod Staatz addresses GAC

Outgoing CUNA Chair Rod Staatz (and current MD|DC CUA Board Member) gave a well-received speech during the Opening General Session of GAC. Staatz spoke about the importance of credit union advocacy and speaking with a strong coherent voice.

Staatz, CEO of SECU, emphasized to attendees that the story that must be told over and over again is one based on facts—real examples of how regulatory changes resulting from Dodd-Frank are impacting credit unions’ ability to serve their members—and most important, how those changes are affecting members’ lives.

When speaking to members of Congress or their staff, he challenged credit unions to, “Give them the facts in an honest way. Give them examples—when you say it takes you longer to make a loan, don’t only mention how that costs you more time and money, talk about how that can hurt members.”

Staatz said that issues raised or criticism presented to Congress of regulatory offices, such as the CFPB, must be framed around how the regulator is impacting consumers. He urged credit unions to get the specifics to Congress about what the CFPB, or NCUA are doing to impact your members, adding that it’s important to make it clear that credit unions are pro consumer.

Contact: Glen Cooney, 443.325.0775,