DALLAS -- George Hofheimer, chief research officer at the Filene Institute encouraged attendees of the conference on serving the underserved here to take action to serve the community because he said it is a more effective way to change public policy than lobbying.
"Policy in favor of our actions is a positive thing, but it's much more influential to serve the community without the help of public policy," Hofheimer said. "We spend a lot of time lobbying, but actions can speak much louder than policy initiatives."
Hofheimer stressed that action is a more efficient way of gaining the public policies that credit unions want. With lobbying, Hofheimer said that a lot of the time the goal gets watered down through compromise and that there can be losses that come with the gain. He cited the Credit Union Access Act of 1998 as an example.
"With the Credit Union Access Act of 1998 some may say that it took away distinctive characteristics of credit unions and that credit unions lost a differentiating factor."
Janis Bowdler, associate director of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino rights organization, added her opinion on the subject as someone who advocates on the hill.
"I beg you not to wait for Congress to act because you will be waiting a very long time."