Short Session Won’t Deter Oregon Credit Unions!
February 7, 2024
Credit Union Day at the Capitol was created in Oregon more than 20 years ago, and this week, advocates are showing their tradition is alive and well. The 35-day “short session” notwithstanding, we’re in Salem, sharing stories about how we are serving 2.3 million Oregonians who’ve chosen credit unions as their financial services partners.
We’re also thanking legislators who’ve supported credit union priorities. Two such lawmakers are Senate President Rob Wagner, and Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, who joined in a bipartisan fashion last year to sponsor and pass Oregon credit unions’ legacy financial education bill, SB3. For their leadership, the Senators received the GoWest Community Impact Award.
“Thank you for all that you do,” Knopp told credit union advocates. “And thank you for advocating for financial education. There is nothing more important than for people to know how money works.”
“I was expecting an advocacy scarf and I got a kid,” quipped a surprised Rob Wagner when his daughter appeared on stage to present her father with his award.
Wagner talked about how proud he was of the bill and said, “This wouldn’t have happened without you and your advocacy.”
Wagner presented the Oregon advocates with a surprise of his own — a signed copy of SB 3 with the official state seal.
For their engagement in nearly every advocacy event and call to action last year, for legislative testimony, Governmental Affairs Committee participation, and hosting candidate events, OnPoint Community Credit Union was recognized as a 2023 Top of the Hill credit union. Rivermark Community Credit Union also received a TOH honor for embracing grassroots advocacy as part of their everyday culture, for GAC participation, and for hosting legislative fundraisers.
Stacie Wyss-Schoenborn, President and CEO of Central Willamette Credit Union, received the 2023 Advocate of the Year, during a surprise announcement by State Treasurer Tobias Read. She was recognized for her leadership as a Co-Chair of Oregon’s Governmental Affairs Committee, and for fostering deep engagement by her team in political fundraising and participation in advocacy events.
Pam Leavitt, GoWest’s SVP, Grassroots/Political Programs and Legislative Affairs for Oregon, was instrumental in working with credit unions to build the advocacy legacy, and remarked how it continues to strengthen.
“I honor your commitment to advocacy. You are trendsetters,” she said.