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Injured congresswoman a CU supporter
TUCSON, Ariz. (1/11/11)--Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was critically injured in Saturday's shootings in Tucson, has worked closely with credit unions on several key issues, said the Arizona Credit Union League. Six people were killed--including a federal judge, a congressional aide, and a nine-year-old girl--and 14 others injured--including two other aides--during the rampage, which occurred as Giffords greeted constituents in her first "Congress on Your Corner" event of her third term in Congress. Monday she remained in critical condition after being shot in the head, but doctors say they are optimistic she will recover. The alleged assailant, Jared L. Loughner, 22, has been charged with five federal counts, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress. "The tragedy over the weekend has left all of us in Arizona with very heavy hearts," said league President/CEO Scott Earl. "The league mourns the six Arizonans we lost, as we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victims. We continue to pray for the full recovery of Congresswoman Giffords, as well as those that were injured on Saturday." Earl noted that the league and member credit unions have worked with Giffords for over a decade. "Our relationship began when she was first elected as a state representative in 2001, and later elected to the State Senate in 2003. At the time, she was the youngest female elected to the Arizona State Senate," he said. In 2005, she resigned from the Senate to seek election to the open congressional seat in the state's eighth district. "During her initial campaign, the league endorsed Giffords and even held a credit union Meet and Greet for her in Tucson," Earl told News Now. "The league again supported her candidacy during the 2008 and 2010 elections. Our federal political action committee, CULAC, contributed a total of $11,500 spanning across all three elections." "Since her time in Congress, credit unions have worked closely with Congresswoman Giffords on several key issues. She has been one of the most accessible representatives in the state and has always been willing to meet and listen to credit union concerns," he said. Last spring, credit union constituents from Congressional District 8 visited Washington, D.C. to meet with her. "Instead of holding a meeting in her office, she invited her credit union constituents to join her for breakfast at a D.C. coffee shop to have a more personal conversation with us. After meeting with our group, the congresswoman joined us by signing a letter of opposition to an interchange fee amendment." The league said that several credit unions have asked how they might show support in the wake of the tragedy. Arizona State CU shared this statement from Giffords' husband, Captain Mark Kelly: "Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling. If you are inspired to make a positive gesture, consider two organizations that Gabby has long valued and supported: Tucson's Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross." Arizona State CU and the league will make a contribution to the Community Food Bank.

Community Food Bank

3003 S Country Club Road #221

Tucson, AZ 85713-4084

520-622-0525

American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter

2916 E. Broadway Blvd.

Tucson, AZ 85716

520-318-6740


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