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Minn. CUs learn impacting politics via caucuses
ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/14/10)--Positioning Minnesota credit unions to be politically active in 2010, the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) hosted a Political Caucus Workshop Tuesday.
Click to view larger image James Patrick Barone, chair of Minnesota's 4th Congressional District DFL party, Tuesday conducted a Political Caucus Workshop presented by the Minnesota Credit Union Network to teach Minnesota credit unions how to use caucuses to bring awareness to credit union issues. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Let by James Patrick Barone, chair of Minnesota's 4th Congressional District DFL party, the workshop provided credit unions an overview of how to increase their involvement in local politics. Barone summarized the precinct caucus process and explained how credit union supporters can use these political forums to bring attention to their and their community's issues. Political caucuses have two main purposes, Barone explained. They:
* Elect delegates who influence which candidates the party will support; and * Provide citizens a forum to voice their views on a range of political issues. If the concern about these issues is prevalent enough, they may be included in the party's platform.
"The issues discussed at caucuses provide those running for office insight into what people are thinking and what is important to them," Barone told attendees. Through participating in political caucuses, credit union professionals and volunteers can bring the concerns of the movement to the attention of potential politicians. "Caucuses are a powerful political advocacy venue for credit unions becasue they provide citizens the opportunity to come together and push their ideals forward," said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president-governmental affairs. "The movement's grassroots strength naturally lends itself to credit union involvement in political caucuses, and it is important that credit union professioanls and volunteers effectively utilize this political opportunity," she said. MnCUN hosted the political training as part of its continual efforts to equip credit union supporters with the tools to influence the political process. In October, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) conducted one of its Campaign Schools, which trains candidates on how to run for office, in Minnesota. CUNA has six more upcoming Campaign Schools scheduled, according to Trey Hawkins, political director in CUNA's political affairs. Four will be in Montana during the week of Jan. 25, and two in North Carolina on Feb. 2-3. For more information about CUNA Campaign Schools, use the resource link.


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