Insightful Speakers and Discussions Kick Off ‘Government Relations Rally’

Matt Klink, President at Klink Campaigns, Inc.
Matt Klink, President at Klink Campaigns, Inc.

The California Credit Union League’s 2018 Government Relations Rally (GRR) kicked off on Monday as credit union leaders, board members, and other advocates from across the state arrived in Sacramento to prepare for visits with assembly members, senators, and their staff aides on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the activities on Monday kept attendees busy with lively discussion on California politics, how to effectively communicate, and important credit union issues as the state's legislative year moves forward.

(Please visit the League's photo gallery web page by Tuesday night to see pictures of GRR) 

Matt Klink
GRR attendees were given a 2018 political elections update by Matt Klink, president of Klink Campaigns, a political campaign, strategic communications and public affairs firm. “Trends right now look really good for Democrats—a party that’s controlled California since 1997,” he said at the Capitol Events Center to the audience. “It’s actually possible in November there will be no Republican candidates on the ballot.”

Klink predicts that national voter turnout will “be down” during the 2018 midterm elections in November, and that fewer women and Millennials will vote. And when it comes to California, the state will face some “ballot drop-off” as several voter propositions are slated to hit the ballot.

He offered some interesting demographics. “California has the highest state sales and income tax in the nation, but on the flipside the state has added more than 2 million jobs since 2007,” Klink said. “In fact, Los Angeles County’s voting representation is larger than 44 states.”

Anthony Huey
The president of Reputation Management Associates—Anthony Huey—dived into “Making Your Message Memorable.” Huey specializes in media training, speech coaching and crisis consulting.

Huey focused on how to best communicate with others during everyday interactions, especially effective communication with state legislators during Tuesday’s planned visits. He also went through the four types of communication: impromptu, extemporaneous (presentation with bullet points), scripted, and memorized.

“When you ‘wing it,’ bad things will happen,” Huey said. “Afterwards, you always wish the conversation or presentation went better. Perception is reality.”

He said the news media is shaping the perception of Americans, and consumers would do well to “pay attention” to how they are digesting information. For the mass population, disinformation is a problem—and that’s when “bad things happen,” he said.

“It is the credit union’s job to control perception,” Huey said. “Plan ahead by protecting your reputation in advance. When you have a conversation, your audience will only retain 20 to 30 percent of what was said. So what message do you want them to remember? At any time you are speaking, 50 percent of your audience is not listening. Turn your presentation into a conversation with your audience—and remember that communication is 87 percent non-verbal body language.”

Other Speakers
GRR attendees were also treated to a special “coffee conversation” with David Creager, chief of staff for Assemblyman Dante Acosta. Creager shared valuable insights on the topic of volunteer leadership.

A community advocacy training session was also held, as political advocacy remains important for credit unions and their members going into the future. Additionally, California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) Commissioner Jan Owen addressed attendees with Deputy Commissioner Caitlin Sanford on crucial state regulatory topics.

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