<p>Looking back 10 years ago finds Los Angeles credit unions recovering from riots spurred by the Rodney King verdict on April 30. The California CU League, CUNA Mutual and more than a dozen credit unions rushed to the aid of the $5 million Knudsen Federal Credit Union after its sole office was burned to the ground. In addition, it was like dj vu for Watts United Credit Union, which was formed to promote self-sufficiency among blacks after the Watts race riots of 1965. Although Watts United President/CEO James Taylor climbed atop his CU’s roof and successfully warded off arsonists during the riots, he doesn’t want any talk of heroics when there are other fires to put out. “We don’t want any medals – just $100 bills,” said Taylor. “This situation has me really disturbed. There’s an awful lot of plywood, an awful lot of glass and an awful lot of fences, but most of the work is being done by contractors from outside the neighborhood so the money coming in is once again being recycled out.” The riots also altered some credit unions’ internal procedures and awakened a greater sensitivity toward minority employees.</p>

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