Michigan CUs Seeking Members' Ideas To Turn Around State's Economy

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LIVONIA, Mich.-The Michigan CU League is asking credit unions and their members to play their part in turning around this state's economic fortunes.

A new image campaign, themed Positively Michigan, encourages credit union members and Michigan residents to submit ideas through postivelymichigan.com on ways to better Michigan's future, such as suggestions to improve schools, businesses, or the infrastructure. The ideas will eventually be rolled up into a document that is submitted to new Gov. Rick Snyder.

"We want to show Gov. Snyder that credit unions are part of the solution in this state, and reinforce the point that credit unions are about strength and helping this state move forward in a positive way," said MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams. "We want to be helpful as Gov. Snyder crafts his agenda for the future."

The campaign got off to a quick start with more than 50 credit unions signing on and promoting the website to their members, said Adams, who believes the image campaign will not only generate positive press for credit unions but also boost CUs' image with Snyder. "Gov. Snyder in his speeches says a lot about positive thinking and how people in Michigan can be their own worst enemies, complaining about how tough things have been here. He has talked a lot about changing people's mindset. So this campaign is right in line with his philosophy."

The league invited Snyder to speak at its recent annual meeting, when Positively Michigan kicked off. "The campaign, and Gov. Snyder's speech, were well received," Adams noted.

Postivelymichigan.com promotes that credit unions are positive that Michigan can turn around its struggling economy and flourish again, and "members will be part of any solution." The site includes a simple form people fill out to submit their ideas about improving Michigan. It also features a video in which Michigan residents talk about the places they like in the state and members speak about how they love their credit union.

The solutions submitted by members will also align credit unions more closely with important business matters in Michigan, noted Adams. "Credit unions need to continually find alignment with public policy issues, such as the foreclosure crisis. We need to provide ideas for helping with that issue, and the issues of jobs, urban housing, small business lending, and education funding, for example. We need to challenge ourselves to go outside our comfort zone of financial services and address the big issues facing this state. These are things we need to be collaborating on because our tax exemption and the respect we have from lawmakers are only as good as we are able to demonstrate we are part of the solution."

Adams said the league will evaluate Positively Michigan at the end of the years and that it is likely to continue. "This could go on as part of our co-operative advertising effort for quite some time because the theme will not grow old."

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