WASHINGTON (6/11/10)--As the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) recent Hike the Hill was wrapping up, The Washington Post noted the influence that credit union activists are having on the legislative process, reporting that “again and again, big banks have been outpaced by small-town interests, proving that even when it comes to overhauling financial regulation, politics really is local.” Hundreds of credit union activists from across the country descended on Washington this week to warn their legislators of the dire impact that changes to interchange legislation would have on their credit unions, their members, and the many nonprofit organizations that count on credit unions for their financial services. Around 400,000 credit union backers have also reached out to their respective legislators, urging them via phone and email to oppose changes to interchange legislation. The Post story noted these efforts, as well as the work of credit union backers that were “swarming Capitol Hill” to oppose interchange legislation. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said that the Post coverage “shows the tremendous effort by credit unions to take on this issue – even though, relatively speaking, credit unions are a small player in the entire process.” “The fact is,” Mica added, that the efforts of credit unions, credit union leagues, and credit union members “are being noticed – as they should be.” “The entire Washington community now can see for themselves what a determined credit union movement is all about,” he added. The Post story also quoted Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who currently serves as House Financial Services Committee Chairman and is one of several House members that will serve as conferees during the ongoing debate on financial regulatory reforms, which began with opening statements by both House and Senate members on Thursday. "The major influence has been legitimate grassroots networks” such as credit unions, Frank said. Credit unions and auto dealers "are the kinds of operations that have members in every district. People who get sponsored by big institutions have had very little impact," Frank told the Post.