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BEAVERTON, Ore. – Political advocacy training, complete with on-site talks from friendly lawmakers and upgraded manuals, is becoming high priority for the Oregon Credit Union Association.

“I think all of us realize how important it is that we bring political advocacy to a higher level and really focus on much more grassroots involvement by senior management,” explained Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president of governmental affairs and coordinator of the rejuvenated advocacy effort. In a special training twist last month, two Oregon lawmakers who support CUs gave “guest” lectures to a group of senior managers at separate sessions held in Portland and Albany. Sen. Rick Metzger (D.-Welches) and Rep. Andy Olson (R.-Albany), who are both members of respective finance committees in the Oregon legislature, stressed the importance of CU executives building relationships with lawmakers through personal visits. Those visits “make a huge difference when an issue does arise,” said Metzger, who has been a speaker at other CU group meetings across the U.S. “The fact that you make an effort to visit with your elected officials before there is a real need” is vital, he said.

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