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To DNC CarolinaFest backdrop CUNA CUs launch into convention activities

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (9/4/12)--Due to the nation's observance Monday of Labor Day, the Democratic National Convention (DNC) organized a family-oriented event here yesterday in the convention-host city--a kind of "soft launch" to official DNC events that start today.  (See related story: CUNA, leagues arrive in Charlotte to advocate for CUs at DNC.)

However, even with the festival atmosphere in the streets yesterday, observed Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan, CUNA, state credit union leagues and credit unions marched right into convention-related sessions Monday.

With daily organizational meetings to go over strategy, a daily briefing by National Journal Group to highlight convention and campaign issues and for which CUNA is a sponsor, and issues meetings on such things as a financial literacy, CUNA officers and staff are deeply engaged, representing credit unions and credit union issues from the start, Donovan said.

"Welcoming events, such as one hosted by Rep. Mel Watts (D-N.C.) Monday, give us many opportunities to represent credit unions both among convention delegates and Washington policymakers," Donovan noted. Watts is a scheduled speaker at DNC convention floor activities this week.

The first two days of the 2012 DNC--today and Wednesday--are being held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for president and vice president Thursday at Bank of America Stadium. Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte and its office dominates the skyline.

The DNC list of speakers for the week include:

  • San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention;
  • Former President Bill Clinton;
  • Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who will be participating in the credit union leave-behind project to benefit Levine Children's Hospital here (see related story: Clyburn to help CUNA-DNC playground ribbon-cutting);
  • Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee;
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California;
  • Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a co-sponsor of CUNA-supported S. 509, legislation to increase the credit union member business lending cap;
  • DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who worked with CUNA and credit unions and tried to keep language limiting interchange fees out of the final Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act;
  • Rep. Mel Watt of North Carolina, a member of the House Financial Services Committee;
  • Former President Jimmy Carter (via video); and,
  • Many dozens of other party notables.

Clyburn will participate in CUNA DNC playground unveiling

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (9/4/12)--Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who has been assistant Democratic leader in the U.S. House since 2011 and was House Majority Whip from 2007 to 2011, will participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled here for Wednesday to reveal a highlight of credit union involvement in the Democratic National Convention (DNC) --a "leave-behind" project to benefit the young patients of Levine Children's Hospital, as well as their families and community.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the North Carolina Credit Union League, the South Carolina Credit Union League,  the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group, CO-OP Financial Services and others have been involved for months in renovating a rooftop playground at Levine's to provide a stimulating and therapeutic environment for youngsters being treated there.

The Charlotte, N.C., project, to honor the DNC held here this week,  mirrors another sponsored by CUNA, state leagues, credit unions and their partners that was unveiled last week at All Children's Hospital to honor the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

At Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, the project has converted an existing rooftop space on the hospital's 12th floor into a dynamic play space that includes a touch-activated light and color "bubble wall," outdoor play equipment, and much needed environmental improvements. At All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., the playground was designed with special equipment to assist in the rehabilitation of children suffering from a variety of illnesses and accidents.

The efforts represent credit unions' tradition of honoring each national political convention city with a "leave-behind" project that will serve the local communities long after the conventions have left town.

The two 2012 projects cost a combined $600,000, and credit unions nationwide, as well as the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions Foundation, have raised funds for the projects.