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Mick VanStaveren of InSphere Insurance Solutions helps teens learn about child care costs during the Bite of Reality event held at San Rafael High School, hosted by Redwood CU and RMJ Foundation.
Transportation table volunteers try to convince students to spend their money on high-dollar sports cars.
Students work on managing their simulated household income and expenses during the event.

updated 04/30/13 10:25 AM
CUs Celebrate Financial Literacy Month
Celebrating National Financial Literacy Month and National Credit Union Youth Week, the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation and Redwood CU recently presented the "Bite of Reality" program to 85 seniors from San Rafael, Madrone, and Terra Linda high schools in Northern California.

The hands-on simulation program offered by the RMJ Foundation— together with the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network—was held April 24 at San Rafael High School. The program is designed to teach young people the basics of finance in a fun, interactive way.

Participants were given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. They visited various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. In addition, there was a credit union table-top to help with financial needs. They also faced some unexpected expenses and windfalls during the program. While some students made modest spending choices and stuck to a budget, others experienced the unpleasant consequences of spending beyond their means after purchasing luxury vacations and sports cars, leaving them without enough to pay for their necessary living expenses. Many luxury items were returned and more realistic budgets set after students sought financial advice from the credit union table.

At the end of the program, Gary Phillips, the mayor of the city of San Rafael, address the students and emphasize the importance of financial education.

“It is inspiring to watch these young adults make the same type of financial decisions during the Bite of Reality that they will have to make every day as adults, and then learn from those decisions,” said Redwood CU Assistant Vice President of Training & Financial Literacy Lee Alderman.

In addition to the Bite of Reality program, several credit unions in California and Nevada commemorated the month and Youth Week (April 22-27) with a variety of activities, including:

  • At Yuba City High School, 100 students participated in an interactive financial game called Mad City Money hosted by Sierra Central CU. Participants got a folder with hypothetical life factors and then had to shop for the things they needed. Former Sacramento Kings player Harold Pressley, who does special events for Sierra Central, walked around the gym delivering slips of paper to students for unexpected deposits or expenses. Some 17 Sierra Central employees (including CEO John Cassidy as a facilitator) and eight community people volunteered at the event. The credit union has done financial presentations for this school for the last four years but this was the first time it had presented this program.
  • The Golden 1 CU also held a Mad City Money event, for students at Lincoln High School. Some 100 Lincoln students got a taste of real-world budgeting.
  • Bay FCU provided a number of activities during National Credit Union Youth Week, including a kids fingerprinting and fire truck visit at its Watsonville branch, kids Fingerprinting at its Freedom branch, and K9 demonstrations at the Capitola and Aptos branches.

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The Foundation Celebrates 35 Years updated 10/07/15 11:15 AM
Launches Donation Campaign
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation), the primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser, and grant-maker for America’s nearly 7,000 credit unions, celebrates its 35th anniversary this month of October.

Plus, Flood Insurance Webinar
Federal credit unions can continue to make payday alternative loans (PALs) under changes to the Military Lending Act (MLA), which became effective Thursday, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Delegates visit California
As reported earlier this week in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, a WOCCU delegation from the Dominican Republic visited the League to learn about best practices for running an advocacy program.

3 WAYS TO SUPPORT LOCAL CMN KIDS updated 10/05/15 03:26 PM
Events on CU Day, and at 'REACH'
In the coming weeks, there will be three ways to support your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. First up is Shop for Miracles on Oct. 15. That will be followed by a couple of events at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH Conference in November in Palm Desert.

PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE WE HAVE LOST updated 09/30/15 10:41 AM
'In Memory'
During REACH 2015, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will once again take a moment to honor and remember credit union leaders who had a significant impact on their credit union or credit union organization and passed away in the last year.

2016 'GAC' ROOM BLOCK OPENS updated 09/29/15 08:48 AM
CUNA-League Event: Feb. 22-25
The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2016 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) room block has officially opened, which means those who plan on attending can reserve their lodging early.

‘RBC STOP-STUDY ACT’ TO BE REVIEWED updated 09/29/15 08:17 AM
Committee Hearing This Week
Tomorrow, the House Financial Services Committee will review H.R. 2769, the Risk Based Capital Stop and Study Act—a bill that would halt the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) risk-based capital proposal until further study is assessed.

NV REP. TITUS SENDS SUPPORT LETTER updated 09/25/15 09:41 AM
Member Business Lending Rule
As reported earlier today in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, members of Congress from the California and Nevada Congressional Delegation continue to show their support for credit unions. This morning, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) submitted a support letter to the NCUA for their proposed revisions to the member-business lending (MBL) regulation. Titus joins 8 other Members of Congress from our two states who have responded favorably to MBL rule.

Recap of CU Accomplishments
The California Credit Union League reported a successful year for credit unions as the California Legislature adjourns for the 2015 legislative session. The League advanced data security legislation, helped defeat two high-profile bills that would’ve been detrimental to credit unions, and garnered several other legislative accomplishments during the past year.

RISK-BASED CAPITAL 2 updated 09/18/15 11:09 AM
Rep. Vargas Leads New Comments
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, last week on Capitol Hill, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) led 11 of his colleagues from California and Nevada in sending a letter to the NCUA raising on-going concerns with the agency's risk- based capital (2) proposal. The Vargas letter was initiated by a request from the CA & NV Leagues and was advocated as a top priority during the Leagues' Hike the Hill to Washington, D.C. last week.

NCUA Redefines Small CUs updated 09/18/15 10:17 am
Threshold Raised to $100MM in Assets
The NCUA Board voted unanimously in favor of four supervisory actions Thursday, including one that will change the definition of “small entity” in the Regulatory Flexibility Act from credit unions with less than $50 million in assets to credit unions with less than $100 million in assets.

At its open board meeting, the agency first approved the expansion of the community charter for the $342 million Charlotte Metro Federal Credit Union in Charlotte, N.C., to include 10 counties in the Charlotte metro area. The credit union previously served Mecklenburg County only.

Increased CA/NV Backing of H.R. 1188
As reported earlier today in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, the California and Nevada delegations have made big gains in terms of support for H.R. 1188, legislation to raise the member business lending cap.

NEW WCMS TRUSTEES updated 09/17/15 02:52 PM
Janclaes, Rivera Joining Board
Partners FCU President and CEO John Janclaes and SkyOne FCU President and CEO Eileen Rivera will be joining the Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) Board of Trustees.

CU LEADERS MEET WITH ASM. BILL DODD updated 09/16/15 09:28 AM
Address Current/Upcoming Legislation
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, Travis Credit Union hosted a gathering with Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa) the team at Travis educated Asm. Dodd on their suite of financial literacy and community empowerment programs to help all including the underserved. The group also addressed current and upcoming legislative issues impacting credit unions including data security, EMV implementation, PACE lending reform, and state charter enhancements.

'HIKE THE HILL' MAKES IMPACT FOR CUs updated 09/15/15 12:12 PM
Plus, CU T-Shirt PAC Fundraiser
Last week credit unions from California and Nevada "hiked the hill" in the halls of Congress, advocating for regulatory relief, support of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) member business lending rule, and other important items.

Officials Listen to CU Leaders
The second day of last week’s “Hike the Hill” event in Washington, D.C. was devoted to regulatory issues, where credit union leaders met with representatives from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

CUs GO CASUAL FOR KIDS updated 09/14/15 12:58 PM
Miracle Jeans Day Nets Money for CMN
On Sept. 9, staff at credit union branches throughout California and Nevada traded in their normal work attire for jeans—and raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It was all part of Miracle Jeans Day—a day set aside to go casual for kids.

CUs ACTIVATE FIRE RELIEF FUNDS updated 09/14/15 12:22 PM
Monies to Help California Victims
Several fire relief funds administered by credit unions, the California Credit Union League, and other organizations have been created to help communities ravaged by the Valley Fire in Middletown, CA (90 miles north of San Francisco) and other fires in Northern California.

LEGAL FIGHT ON CAs SURCHARGE BAN updated 09/14/15 11:14 AM
Credit Unions Represented
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, last week CUNA filed an amicus brief in support of California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ defense of the CA law prohibiting merchants from imposing a surcharge on consumers who chose to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.

Session Ends with Passage of Resolution AJR 25
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, both houses of the California legislature adjourned their regular session for the year on Saturday, September 12. The Senate and the Assembly are gone until January unless they decide to convene for a special extraordinary session to meet on healthcare and transportation funding.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN = LOAN GROWTH updated 09/11/15 12:09 PM
Contribute To The Bottom Line
Explore a proven social media plan that has been used by credit unions nationwide to significantly grow their loan portfolios and contribute to the bottom line.

NCUA Chair Sends Response Letters
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, Debbie Matz, Chair of the National Credit Union Administration has begun sending replies to the 8 Representatives of the California Congressional Delegation who wrote letters in support for the proposed member-business lending rule.

GET READY TO CRASH THE GAC 2016 updated 09/10/15 12:31 PM
Application Deadline October 31
Represent your credit union and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues at Crash the GAC 2016. The Cooperative Trust, in partnership with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), is now accepting applications for Crash the GAC 2016. Those interested in the program—which provides scholarships for up-and-coming credit union professionals to attend the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference—must submit their applications by October 31, 2015. New this year, applicants will be required to submit a 60 second video instead of an essay.

Harmful Bill Thwarted
As recently reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog, the League's advocacy team defeated SB 308 (Wieckowski D-Fremont) which would have dramatically increased the amount of assets a debtor could shield through bankruptcy leaving credit unions and their members holding the bag. The bill received only 21 votes on the Assembly floor vote—20 votes short of what the bill needed for passage. The League's advocacy team will continue to monitor this and other legislation through the last day of this year's legislative session on September 11th.