The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!

The credit union movement quietly celebrated a significant milestone over the weekend. Saturday, August 10th marked the 85th anniversary of the event where hundreds of credit union leaders from across the country gathered in the remote mountain community of Estes Park, Colorado, to establish the Credit Union National Association. I think it’s appropriate to reflect on that significant event with the words of CU pioneer Roy Bergengren, and the discovery of an unknown 1954 speech and notes that were discovered by his granddaughter, Kathy Peletier.

Discussing usury, Bergengren had described a “false assumption that the average man was not entitled to normal money credit.” The CUNA solution was found in people working together “to pool their savings, however small, and thereby to create normal credit without usury.” The credit union pioneer’s notes concluded with this prophetic comment, “May our children and our children’s children return to this spot from time to time over the years to renew their inspiration to carry on the war for economic opportunity.” CUNA and many credit unions leaders actually did this in 2009, when they re-created the historic photo which was first taken in 1934. 

Leagues work together – successfully table CRA resolution at NCSL Summit.

Each year, legislators and policy makers from across the country meet at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) conference. The conference moves location annually and approximately 40 to 50 lawmakers from the Dakotas attend each year. The NSCL is a launching platform for policy and legislation that generally makes its way around the country. Meaning, some of the policy that is shared and discussed eventually appears before our two state’s legislative bodies for consideration. This year’s event was held in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with our partners at CUNA, many leagues attend this event to meet with their respective lawmakers about issues and prospective resolutions that are being discussed during the conference. 

Through our collective advocacy efforts this past week, credit union advocates were able to table a resolution in one of NCSL’s policy committee statements that would have urged Congress to make changes to the Consumer Reinvestment Act (CRA) by adding other entities, including credit unions, to CRA regulation. State legislators from Rhode Island, Oregon, South Carolina, Maryland, and Wisconsin made compelling arguments against the resolution and spoke very highly of credit unions. What a great example of the effectiveness of our system’s advocacy efforts in achieving positive outcomes for all credit unions. There is more to read about this success in an article that just appeared in CU Today this morning. Find it here.

CUAD joins other leagues in signing the National Defense Authorization Act letter.

Last week, CUAD joined CUNA and every member of America Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) and signed on to a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) expressing concern over a provision in the Senate-passed version for fiscal year 2020.

The CUNA/League System and our credit union members are extremely concerned over Section 2821 of the Senate-passed NDAA that would provide rent-free access to military installations for more complex, profit-centered financial institutions. The House-passed NDAA contains no similar language. As conference negotiations begin, we urge all conferees to reject the inclusion of Section 2821.

Time is running short - Don’t miss these special CUAD events!

Some great opportunities to meet up with your peers are quickly approaching, and we hope you will take advantage of one or more of these events.

We’re just over two weeks away from the CU Professionals Roundtable, August 28-29, in Bismarck, and you can still sign up. Amy K will be overseeing this peer-led discussion. 

Remember, the CUFD Golf Scramble is also on August 29 in Bismarck, and this is a wonderful opportunity to spend a day on the course while we raise money for the Foundation. If you’re attending the CU Professionals Roundtable, don’t worry. We’ve scheduled it so you can do both!

Also fast approaching: the Small Credit Union CEO Roundtable, September 5th in Fargo. This is a one-day meeting exclusively for CEOs of credit unions $100M and under. Find out more about our special guest, Tom Sakash, Manager of CUNA’s Small CU Initiatives here.

Then, get ready for our popular New Ideas Conference, (registration to open soon) October 7-9 in Rapid City.

Finally, watch for an announcement on our next (and very popular) ULEND Academy later this week!

You can find additional details and registration information for all of our upcoming meetings on our website events calendar. I look forward to seeing many of you soon! 




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