It’s a new year filled with both new opportunities and challenges, especially with a new Congress being sworn in.  Last week, LSCU Advocacy team members traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Swearing-in Ceremony, welcoming Florida’s new members of Congress. In November, five new members of the delegation were elected: Reps. Michael Waltz (FL-6), Ross Spano (FL-15), Greg Steube (FL-17), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), and Donna Shalala (FL-27). Alabama’s delegation remains unchanged.

Our team visited each office, as well as stopped in to meet with other members of the delegation to begin legislative outreach with the 116th Congress. Additionally, Mary Ott Wood, president/CEO of Florida West Coast CU and LSCU Board Member, along with her husband Art, retired CEO of Railroad & Industrial FCU, were also on deck in D.C. making the rounds.  Florida’s newly elected Sen. Rick Scott (R), delayed his swearing in to the Senate so that he can complete his term as governor. He will officially become Florida’s junior senator tomorrow afternoon.

We must never take our foot off the gas or get complacent with new lawmakers continually coming into office both at the state and federal level. Every credit union plays a role in the success of our movement by supporting the league through affiliation and participation in our grassroots advocacy programs like the state advocacy conferences, CUNA GAC, Hike the Hill, as well as meeting with lawmakers back in the district.  Nothing is more impactful than educating elected officials on the credit union difference and hearing first-hand stories about regulatory burden and how it impacts your ability to best serve your members and their constituents.

Make plans to join us for CUNA GAC on Mar. 10-14 in Washington, D.C, and for the Alabama and Florida state advocacy conferences in Montgomery, Mar. 19-20, and in Tallahassee, Mar. 26-27. Your active engagement at this level is one of the most effective ways we can strengthen the credit union movement.

Working together we can keep our message consistent and strong.  As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and we look forward to a great year on your behalf.