By William J. Mellin, President/CEO
FOCUS New York is the newly rebranded political action committee for New York credit unions. It replaces CUPAC, the Credit Union Political Action Committee.
The rebranding provides clarity between CULAC, the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee, which is a federal legislative PAC, and the new Focus New York, which is a state level legislative PAC.
The rebranding also brings a new focus on the importance of political action to credit unions. It’s new name, look, and, perhaps even its new feel, will provide new energy, new synergy, more support, and ultimately provide more influence, to New York credit unions. It gives credit unions an avenue to build new relationships with lawmakers, educate them on the importance of credit unions and support those lawmakers that support credit unions.
Every January, a new legislative session begins, and every session brings new challenges and new opportunities to credit unions. Challenges and opportunities that impact both state and federally chartered credit unions. We, New York credit unions, need to be at the table when important issues are discussed, and a strong political action committee can help us assure that seat. It helps us by not buying a seat, but by giving us an opportunity to build relationships and to tell our story about the service credit unions provide to our members and communities. And, once lawmakers hear our story, we are often invited to take a seat.
Occasionally, some readers of this blog tell me that they don’t like the whole idea of political action. I get it and I understand where you are coming from. Let me assure you that the way we approach political action is completely non-partisan and is 100% focused on issues that impact credit unions. As a leader, and someone that I know believes in credit unions, Focus New York warrants your support.
Please join with me and unite with hundreds of other New Yorkers by contributing and supporting FOCUS New York.
A special shoutout to the members of our Young Professionals Commission who helped create and facilitate the rebranding of Focus New York: Staren Bielinski of Sunmark Credit Union, Amber Brooks of SeaComm FCU, David Colavita of Cooperative FCU, Jesse Reib of First Heritage FCU and Sean Smith of Broadview FCU.
Also, let me extend my appreciation to our PAC Trustees, including Chairman Tony Rohrmeier, for their leadership and support of Focus New York.
Learn more about FOCUS New York in this brief video: