Project Zip Code is More Important Than Ever
in Political & Legislative
By: Chris Abeel, NJCUL Vice President, Corporate & Governmental Affairs

While there are still some races in last week’s mid-term elections that have yet to be decided, it’s clear that an unusually large number of new lawmakers will descend on Capitol Hill when the 116th Congress convenes on January 3rd.

PZCLogo18In fact, here in New Jersey, we’ll have four new members of our 12-member House delegation. That’s a turnover of one-third of the delegation, and three of those four have never held elective office. That’s a sea change, the likes of which I’m hard-pressed to recall.

All of those new lawmakers will need to be brought up to speed on credit unions and our issues. We have our work cut out for us!

Luckily, we and CULAC supported the winners of the two open-seat races, Congressman-elect Jeff Van Drew (D-2) and Congresswoman-elect Mike Sherrill (D-11).  We have already visited with both of them during their campaigns to build our relationship.

With the election of these new lawmakers, grassroots support programs such as lawmaker meetings and Project Zip Code become all the more critical. We’ve scheduled a Hike-the-Hill for December 11 and, together with CUNA, we’re issuing a renewed call for Project Zip Code, asking credit unions who have participated in the past to update their numbers, and those who haven’t participated to get onboard.

Lawmaker meetings are essential part of our 360-degree advocacy program. Being able to illustrate to a lawmaker how many credit union members live in their district is invaluable in those meetings. We’ll never match the bankers’ deep pockets, but they’ll never match our grassroots numbers. In the end, as we saw last week, it’s all about votes, and we have more than a million credit union members in New Jersey alone.

The votes are almost done being counted. Now let’s make sure we count all credit union members. 

New Jersey credit unions interested in participating in Project Zip Code should contact CUNA Engagement Consultant Sterling Nowka (608-231-4088 or snowka@cuna.coop) or myself (800-792-8861, ext. 127 or cabeel@njcul.org) to get started.

And please contact me if you’d like to join us on December 11 in Washington, DC for Hike-the-Hill.