Fifteen credit union advocates from the Roanoke Valley and Southwest chapters made Tuesday their CU Day at the General Assembly, visiting their legislators and raising awareness of credit unions everywhere with our trademark red scarves.
Advocates met with legislators and/or their aides from the following offices: Dels. Onzlee Ware, Greg Habeeb, Chris Head, Joseph Yost, Charles Poindexter, Terry Kilgore, Israel O’Quinn, Joe Johnson, and Anne Crockett-Stark; and Sens. John Edwards, Ralph Smith, Phil Puckett, and Bill Carrico.
These visits were especially important because of the number lawmakers from these areas on Commerce and Labor committees in the House and Senate: Habeeb, Kilgore (chairman), Edwards, Puckett and Johnson. Also there were two freshmen: Yost and O’Quinn.
Highlights of the meetings included:
- Mountain Empire representatives explaining to Del. O’Quinn how they help their members avoid bankruptcy despite tough economic times and provide loans for as low as $100. Del. O’Quinn says he has no concerns about credit unions and rarely hears anything negative about them.
- Freedom First told Sen. Ralph Smith that the credit union fills the needs of small businesses with member business loans as low as $3,000, which aren’t available through banks, and noted how as a Community Development Financial Institution its partners with local nonprofits to help meet the needs of low-income residents. Smith asked how small a consumer loan the credit union would make. The answer: $250.
These conversations show how important it is to provide lawmakers with the details of what makes our credit unions important to our members and communities. If we don’t tell them, they won’t know! Thank you again to all the advocates who came to Richmond on Tuesday. Some of them got out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to make it to the General Assembly for their appointments. We appreciate your commitment to credit unions!