Gene's Note: It's Your Choice
It’s your choice to choose your financial institution and we work hard every day to make sure that you choose Rogue Credit Union. Many of our members and even our staff members are not aware that you almost lost that choice back in the late 90’s. In February of 1998, the United States Supreme Court struck down a regulatory rule that allowed credit unions to serve multiple groups of members. This decision put the future of all credit unions in peril.
Credit unions, our staff and our members rallied to fight for you to have a choice in whether you wanted a not-for-profit or a for profit financial services provider. Prior to this, I had never imagined that I would become a political advocate. I always believed that my one vote just wouldn’t matter. However, all that changed when I marched in 1998 with hundreds of credit union staff and members on the federal court house in Eugene. We talked to our elected officials and we helped them understand the benefit that the not-for-profit business model of credit unions brings to our communities.
Just a few months later Congress overwhelmingly approved HR 1151, “The Credit Union Membership Access Act.” My first effort at political activism paid off and I learned firsthand the value of involvement and having a voice. Since that time, I have spent countless hours sharing the credit union story with our elected officials. I will be in Washington DC next week and in preparing for this trip, it reminded me how important it was for all of us to have a voice. My voice next week will be to remind our elected officials of just how important credit unions like Rogue Credit Union are to our communities.
So, why do I share this with you? I believe that it is more important than ever for you to exercise your right to choose. You can exercise that right to choose by voting in the November election. Our elected officials need to hear your voice. Often people just focus on electing a President or a Congressman. Yet, it is the City Council, County Commissioner, State Representative, or State Senator that has the greatest impact on your day-to-day life in Southern Oregon. Many of us just rely on a voter’s pamphlet to guide our decision. Do you know where the candidates stand on issues important to you? Do you know where they stand on credit union regulations? If not, it only takes a little time to study and learn about their positions. There are so many important local races where people just like you and I will be elected to set the path for Southern Oregon. It is so important that your voice must be heard in the selection of our elected representatives that will be responsible for the stewardship of the communities in which we live.
Rogue Credit Union now serves over 105,000 citizens of Southern Oregon. With that number there are a large variety of opinions, perspectives, and different political party affiliations. It is not our place, nor intent, to tell you how to vote, but we are going to share messages with you on issues and candidates that could impact the future and livelihood of your credit union. It is the small part that we can do to help you gather the information necessary to make an informed decision. I just encourage you to take your future in your own hands and become an informed voter… and most importantly a Voter!!!
It’s your choice… let your voice be heard!