Oklahoma's Capital Visits A Weekly Affair With Breadfasts, Lunches

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In Oklahoma, Credit Union Day at the Capitol has become synonymous with Tuesday.

For the past two years, the Oklahoma Credit Union League's governmental affairs committee has escorted CU executives to the state's capitol in Oklahoma every Tuesday for breakfast or luncheon meetings with their local representatives.

"We also do the big governmental affairs conference once a year," said Lisa Finley, Executive VP of the Oklahoma Credit Union League. "And we do have a contract lobbyist on staff that does a very good job for us. But we think personal contact is where the rubber meets the road in governmental affairs."

She said the league's governmental affairs committee organizes the meetings by bringing a giant calendar to the annual meeting and asking for commitments. "And, on those days that we don't have any takers, we start making phone calls to people we think should be up there."

Finley said the committee works hard to show legislators a true representation of the industry, which includes both small and large credit unions. Admittedly, getting leaders from small CUs to commit, is tough.

"In those cases, breakfast meetings sometimes work better," Finley told The Credit Union Journal.

She said the regular visits have proven successful in developing "really strong" working relationships with political leaders.

"This program has proved very successful in raising our industry's visibility at the Capitol as well as providing a unique forum to educate legislators on the differences between credit unions and banks," she said.

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