By Karen Smith, MCU SVP and Chief Advocacy Officer
Advocacy is the cornerstone of Montana’s Credit Unions (MCU), serving as a powerful tool to champion credit union interests and foster positive statewide change. In this blog post, we explore the significance of advocacy and delve into MCU’s strategic initiatives aimed at amplifying the CU Difference.
Advocacy as a Three-Legged Stool:
At the heart of our advocacy strategy lies the three-legged Advocacy Stool, a comprehensive approach across political, philosophical, and philanthropic spheres. We recognize that effective advocacy extends beyond legislative matters, encapsulating the essence of credit unions as not-for-profit financial cooperatives. By integrating these elements, we aim to showcase the impactful work of Montana credit unions.
Building Lasting Relationships:
MCU boasts a rich history of securing support from our federal delegation, highlighting the importance of cultivating enduring relationships. Through focused relationship management, we’ve strengthened connections over the years, fostering trust with lawmakers and their staff. This trust has positioned MCU as a go-to resource, with legislators seeking our input on critical issues. Collaboration with national partners further fortifies our advocacy initiatives.
Government Relations Roles:
MCU plays various roles in government relations to advocate for credit unions:
- Federal & State Legislative Advocacy: Serving as the voice for credit unions, MCU comments on proposed legislation, monitors legislative activities, and provides members with federal and state representation.
- Regulatory Advocacy: MCU anticipates regulatory changes, engages in dialogue with regulators, and advocates for credit unions in regulatory forums to build a favorable regulatory environment.
- Government Relations Committee: MCU offers credit unions a platform to engage and provide input on crucial matters. While there’s room for increased engagement, this committee remains vital for addressing credit union challenges and concerns.
- Grassroots Activities – MT CUAC / CULAC: MCU organizes grassroots activities, including political action fundraisers, to support candidates aligned with credit unions’ goals. CUAC Trustees guide fundraising efforts, enhancing contributions and strengthening our funds.
Moving forward, MCU is committed to comprehensively preparing for the 2025 Legislative Session. Our proactive approach will engage legislators and influence policy decisions that protect credit unions. We’ll cultivate CU Advocacy Champions, empowering professionals and members to actively participate. Our advocacy support system will encompass educational programs, grassroots initiatives, and effective communication strategies, integrating advocacy into all MCU facets. Prioritizing member engagement and networking with like-minded organizations will amplify our influence.
In conclusion, MCU is dedicated to advancing the advocacy agenda for credit unions in Montana. Through a multifaceted approach, we aim to represent credit unions effectively and elevate public awareness of their invaluable contributions to our communities. Together, let’s amplify our voices and shape the future of credit unions in Montana.
Contact Karen if you would like more details on this strategy or to get more involved.