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Mike Welch’s column of Oct. 9 (“CU issues need to be ID’d and prioritized”) certainly deserves a word of thanks for his comments on CUNA’s decision to hold a National Issues Forum at the Symposium in Orlando last month. Thanks, Mike, for agreeing to serve as the facilitator for this event, and for helping it to be such a success. However, I do have concerns about his statement that “there is no universal list of credit union issues anywhere in credit union land.” Let me emphatically point out that CUNA has been striving, and has been successful, in developing a comprehensive view and voice for credit unions on the vital issues affecting credit unions – as identified by credit unions. For example, the CUNA Renaissance project incorporated credit union input from thousands of voices nationwide through formal hearings, focus groups and direct comment via e-mails, phone calls and letters. Let me point out that these voices represented credit union CEOs and volunteers. The resulting Vision Statements are, therefore, a direct reflection of the top issues facing credit unions. In fact, 13 of the 15 credit union items in the financial institution regulatory relief legislation now pending in the House of Representatives came directly from the Renaissance vision statements. Further, each year CUNA conducts a comprehensive survey of credit union CEOs and board members to find out what issues are on their mind, including asking the CEOs and board members to prioritize them. The results of this survey are used by CUNA to set its legislative and regulatory priorities. While some issues come and go, some never go away. For example, for the past three years “preserving credit unions’ tax exemption” and “reform of bankruptcy laws” have been rated among the highest priorities by credit union CEOs and board members, according to our survey. Finally, CUNA maintains a vigorous committee system that ensures we are receiving fresh insight from our nationwide membership. A most recent example: during the meeting of our Governmental Affairs Committee last month in Orlando, the committee members told us loud and clear that CUNA should continue to pursue reform of bankruptcy laws as long as Congress has failed to act. We are taking their counsel and acting accordingly. I believe CUNA is serving the true trade association function by listening to its members, acting in accordance with their views, and expressing their wishes with one clear, consistent voice. Daniel A. Mica President and CEO CUNA Washington, D.C.

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