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Relevant Information—For You, By You
L-R: Ron Stratman, Chief Marketing Officer for California CU; Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles; Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; and Ron McDaniel, CEO of California CU and Chairman of the Leagues' Government Relations Committee
Travis CU CEO Patsy Van Ouwerkerk (left) discusses credit union financial literacy efforts with Catherina Nou, capitol director for Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Solano.
California Credit Union League Chairman and San Diego County CU CEO Teresa Halleck (left)—along with Cabrillo CU CEO Robin Lentz (right)—talk with Bridget Kolakosky, legislative director for Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

GRR: FIN. LITERACY MONTH SHOWCASED
updated 04/26/13 01:49 PM
Legislators Experience CU Philosophy
Credit union CEOs, executives, and board directors filled the halls of the California state capitol building during the 2013 California Government Relations Rally (GRR) last week, impressing upon assembly members and senators the successful financial literacy efforts credit unions are accomplishing within their districts.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the entire event.

CU Members, Districts, and Financial Literacy
Almost 80 participants—with fact sheets in hand detailing their respective credit union's outreach to local schools and organizations—discussed with lawmakers and legislative aides how credit unions are making a difference in local communities. Headlining their visit was the fact that April is Financial Literacy Month, giving credit unions an even bigger opportunity to spotlight their conversation with member-owners and non-members alike.

Positive educational programs weren't the only subject in focus, as CEOs also talked about the effort credit unions make to work with members during times of dire financial need, whether it's a car loan, mortgage, or other types of credit.

Several lawmakers and aides were receptive, acknowledging the credit union movement's continuing success on this front. Many said they realized credit unions work under a different philosophy than banks since the movement is built on a cooperative member-owned structure.

CEOs and board directors extended a welcoming hand to lawmakers, inviting them to visit their credit unions in the coming year. New relationships were forged with freshman members of the legislature, and ongoing relationships with incumbents were strengthened.

A New Political Environment
During the morning's briefing, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues Vice President of State Government Affairs Melissa Ameluxen said there are 39 new assembly members and senators this year—and because of new California legislation passed by voters in 2012, these legislators' terms are 12 years instead of the usual 6 years incumbent lawmakers have been working under. The longer period gives members of both houses more time to craft legislation.

Although a democratic super-majority exists in both houses, it still takes two-thirds of the entire legislature to pass significant pieces of legislation. This new backdrop gives credit unions insight into the possible political challenges ahead as the state prepares to deal with a number of issues, including health care, privacy, the environment, and taxation.

So far this year, there have been 67 bills introduced—some eliminated, some mitigated, and some being watched by the Leagues—which would have impacted, or may still affect, credit unions. They include debt forgiveness, escheatment, university and college contracts, Iran sanctions, taxes on recorded losses, recovery of property, privacy policies, oral disclosures, repayment of California Department of Financial Institution (DFI) loans, and other issues.

The "hot topic" with both republicans and democrats is payday lending, an area some credit unions have used to teach members good habits regarding paying down debt.

Fundraiser for Assemblyman
In between legislative visits, a group of attendees joined the California Credit Union League Political Action Committee (PAC) in the Leagues' Sacramento office just blocks away from the capitol building to raise money for Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles. Gatto is chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and also serves on the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.

A proven credit union friend, Gatto said he understands the unique roll credit unions play in their communities.

He was elected to office in a June 2010 special election. He represents Assembly District 43, which includes the cities of Burbank, Pasadena, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, and parts of Los Angeles.

'Extremely Valuable' Support
Earlier that day, Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra and other League staff gave an update on system-wide credit union issues, including foreclosure legislation in several different states, as well as the possibility of Congress discussing the credit union industry's federal income tax exemption in light of ongoing U.S. fiscal budget issues. The Leagues remain committed to the success and survival of the industry, she said.

"Your support on this day is extremely valuable as we build relationships with individuals locally in the state—some of whom may eventually run for Congress and move to Washington, D.C. in the future," Dykstra said. "Your hard work really shows when our state legislators are glad to see us and want to talk with us. Keep up the good work."

 
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NEVADA CREDIT UNION LEADER PASSES updated 06/23/16 12:49 PM
More Information to Follow
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues received word that Doug Schwartz, President and CEO of Elko Federal Credit Union (EFCU), was struck by a car yesterday in Elko, Nevada and passed away early Thursday. Details are still being investigated.

TMG, CO-OP: BLOCKCHAIN STUDIES updated 06/22/16 02:45 PM
Help FIs Evaluate Opportunities
Three influential payments industry players–TMG, CO-OP Financial Services and Mercator Advisory Group–are making progress on their collective plan to create much-needed clarity around the potential for blockchain technology in the community financial institution industry.

CUs CONVERGE ON ECONOMY AND STRATEGY updated 06/20/16 03:00 PM
Forecast, Discussion, and Ideas
How can credit unions prepare for 2017 given so many "what if" scenarios on the economy, interest rates, labor force, household demographics, political environment, and consumers?

DIVERSITY: GOOD INVESTMENT FOR CUs updated 06/16/16 02:33 PM
Latest Issue of “The NCUA Report”
In the latest issue of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) monthly newsletter, an article by the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion outlines how diversity leads to better service, greater innovation and increased membership. These outcomes make credit unions stronger and more sustainable, and ultimately lead to greater strength for the entire credit union system.

CA CUs SURPASS $100B LENDING MARK updated 06/14/16 08:06 AM
Auto Market Under the Microscope
California credit unions just hit a record: they surpassed the $100 billion lending milestone for the first time ever, with used auto loans making a superstar appearance during this historical moment.

FEDERATION AND EQUIFAX PARTNER updated 06/13/16 02:48 PM
Launch Financial Capability Center
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and Equifax Inc. announced a partnership to build the Westside Financial Capability Center. The Center will provide the Atlanta Westside community with affordable banking, alternatives to payday loans, affordable home mortgages, and a suite of financial services designed to empower residents to achieve their financial goals. The search for a physical site has narrowed to several options that will allow the Center to function in coordination with Atlanta area credit unions, community stakeholders and service providers. Equifax has committed $450,000 through 2018 in support of the Center which is scheduled to open in early 2017.

TWO LARGE CALIFORNIA CUs TO MERGE updated 06/09/16 02:33 PM
N. Island Financial CU & Calif. CU
Two California credit unions—the $1.24-billion North Island Financial CU and the $1.6-billion California CU—announced plans to merge.

'JUNTOS AVANZAMOS' ADVANCES FORWARD updated 06/02/16 08:09 AM
Kinecta FCU Becomes 6th in CA
Kinecta FCU and its affiliate, NIX Neighborhood Lending, were recently recognized by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the California Credit Union League with the “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) certification—a branding initiative helping credit unions become the preferred financial resource for local organizations serving underserved Hispanic immigrants.

MEETING WITH NCUA REGION V DIRECTOR updated 06/01/16 02:11 PM
Freed Committed to Fair Process
Today in Sacramento, local credit union leaders met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director, Cherie Freed, who succeeds Liz Whitehead.

DEFENSE CREDIT UNION COUNCIL LIAISON updated 05/27/16 10:21 AM
McWatters Named to Represent NCUA
At the request of NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger, Board Member J. Mark McWatters will serve as the National Credit Union Administration’s liaison to the Defense Credit Union Council.The agency is committed to supporting service members and hiring veterans.

RMJ LAUNCHES 'BITE OF REALITY' APP updated 05/26/16 02:40 PM
Modernizes, Streamlines Program
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation recently rolled out an app for its successful Bite of Reality program. The app— believed to be the first of its kind for a credit union-sponsored reality fair program—modernizes Bite of Reality, making it more relatable to young people.

DECISION ENGINE TECHNOLOGY updated 05/24/16 09:57 AM
Get The Most Out of Your Technology
May is an awkward month. It’s as if it is not sure exactly what it wants to be. Somedays in May are more like April; some are more like June. Perhaps that is where we got the word “May”-be? But, one thing that is certain about May is that it is the month of graduation ceremonies, and much like the month itself, graduates are at that awkward point in life, where the future is not quite certain.

MOUNTAIN WEST JOINS 'PLEXCITY' updated 05/23/16 03:22 PM
CU Association is 6th Shared Owner
Mountain West Credit Union Association is purchasing a shared-ownership stake in Plexcity for information technology, accounting/finance, and human resource solutions, adding to the Ontario, CA-based company’s unique story of growing collaboration between credit union trade associations since January 2015.

CONNECTING WITH MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS updated 05/19/16 10:29 AM
Matrícula Consular Online Seminar June 9
Lack of identification is one of the biggest barriers for Hispanic immigrants to access affordable financial services. RSVP for a Juntos Avanzamos online seminar on using the Matrícula Consular to reach unbanked Mexican immigrants. Learn how to use the Matricula Consular as a safe, effective way to open savings and checking accounts.

SUMMER IMPACT OPPORTUNITY FOR CUs updated 05/19/16 03:30 PM
$21M Toward Jobs For Young People
Federal government leaders are working hand in hand with local stakeholders to craft solutions that harness resources across multiple agencies in response to local needs and priorities. Since 2009, more than fifteen Federal agencies have launched dozens of initiatives and partnerships with over 1,800 rural, tribal and urban communities. Federal leaders are working across agency lines and offering hands-on support to build local capacity, provide expertise, and unlock resources to help community leaders achieve their goals.

'IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO' updated 05/17/16 10:16 AM
CFO Professional of the Year
Most new ideas aren’t necessarily new, according to Susan Gruber. They are old concepts with a new twist, and they can have great potential.

WHY ONE SMALL CU RANKS BIG IN TECH updated 05/09/16 08:48 PM
Behind United Catholics FCU
No one was perhaps more surprised to learn her credit union ranked No. 1 on MagnifyMoney’s most recently published list of “most digitally savvy” U.S. credit unions than Lucy Sloan.

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY COLLOQUIUM updated 05/03/16 11:38 AM
Measuring Credit Unions' Impact
Nearly 30 leaders and professionals came together last week at the first Financial Capability Colloquium to discuss how to collectively and effectively measure the individual financial literacy efforts that their credit unions and organizations routinely implement within their communities, and how to use these measurements to tell a powerful story that will resonate with the public.

METSGER APPOINTED NCUA BOARD CHAIR updated 05/02/16 05:17 PM
Plus, CFPB on Arbitration and TRID
President Barack Obama has appointed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rick Metsger to be the ninth chairman of the NCUA Board of Directors, succeeding outgoing Board Chairman Debbie Matz, whose service ended April 30.

TV INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHTS 'PACE' updated 05/02/16 02:39 PM
Protecting Consumers Becomes Crucial
A TV news station in Los Angeles has captured a clear example of consumer protection issues stemming from the “PACE” lending program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in just one instance of how it is proving financially harmful to homeowners and credit union members across California.

'PACE' PASSES FIRST STATE COMMITTEE updated 04/26/16 08:48 AM
Congressman Sherman Gives Support
In a rare instance of federal and state legislative involvement, Assembly Bill 2693, authored by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), received two significant boosts yesterday.

INDUSTRY LEADER AND MENTOR PASSES updated 04/25/16 12:43 PM
O'Rourke 'Will be Missed'
Gene O’Rourke—who left a 40-year legacy of helping shape and place leaders in the credit union industry throughout California and the nation—died this past Friday. He was 70.

LEAGUES COMMENT ON OTR, FEE METHODS updated 04/25/16 04:12 PM
Plus, NCUA's 2 New Proposals
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have told the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) and federally chartered credit unions (FCUs) should be treated equitably in their comment letter on the Overhead Transfer Rate (OTR) and Operating Fee Schedule Methodologies.

REG COMMITTEE RESPONDS TO CORDRAY updated 04/19/16 09:31 AM
CU Leaders Express Opinions
In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Richard Cordrary’s recent response to a congressional letter that calls on him to fully utilize the bureau’s exemption authority for community financial institutions, Cordray cites examples of how the bureau has already used this authority.