Cal. League Draws 225 To Rally; Speaker (Bremer) Helps Draw Reps

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The California Credit Union League hosted more than 225 CU representatives last week its annual Government Relations Rally here.

Ron Fong, the CCUL's director of state government affairs, told The Credit Union Journal the event has become more important in the eight years he has been with the league.

"Each year it is a little bigger as advocacy efforts grow. Eight years ago, 75 to 100 people came to the conference, and those were hard-core CEOs who liked politics," he said. "Credit unions have gotten the word out that senior management and board members also need to show up. Instead of one person, some credit unions are bringing three or four."

The first day of the GRR featured programming, while the second was for lobbying state lawmakers. Fong said the highlight of day one was keynote speaker L. Paul Bremer, III, the recent Presidential Envoy to Iraq and Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. On the second day, the California League had set up more than 75 appointments with legislators.

"The main goal at this GRR is to get our members to lobby for the bills the league is promoting this year," said Fong. "The programming day is to get people motivated, although Bremer's presence attracted a lot of attention. Many state lawmakers (attended) just to hear Bremer."

Other speakers on the first day included Howard Gould, commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions, Elizabeth Dooley, deputy commissioner of the California DFI, and Nick Owens of NCUA.

Fong said a new activity this year was a "capitol reception," during which invited lawmakers met with CU representatives in an informal setting.

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