WASHINGTON – Credit unions and their members are being urged to get on board with CUNA’s "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday" campaign today by lighting up the social media world to get their message across.
As detailed in the newest edition of "Inside Exchange," CUNA's video dialogue on the credit union movement's hottest topics, the initiative is intended to utilize the credit union community's growing presence on social media to instantly reinforce a unified message to Capitol Hill that a tax on credit unions would be a tax on their 96 million member-owners.
Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs, tells viewers that social media is the "new frontier" on Capitol Hill for reaching lawmakers, and its smart use goes far to bolster the effort to support the credit union tax status as policymakers considered tax reform measures.
"Every Senate office has a Twitter presence and 90% of House members have a presence on Twitter," Hawkins says. And unlike traditional communications through mail or e-mail or phone messages that often are monitored by a lawmaker's staff, most senators and House members monitor their own Twitter or Facebook accounts.
"With social media, your message goes straight to your target," Hawkins says.
CUNA and the state leagues have set today as "Don't Tax My CU Tuesday," a day to maximize the power of social media to make a single-day punch for credit unions in advance of a Senate deadline for tax reform recommendations.
This Friday is the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to Finance Committee leaders, who will then begin to build legislation to create a comprehensive proposal for a new U.S. tax code.
Already credit union advocates have sent more than 440,000 "Don't Tax My Credit Union" messages to Congress through the CUNA system alone—and not counting social media contact.
"Don't Tax My CU Tuesday is a terrific opportunity to get everyone to send one tweet or make one Facebook post—or one more tweet or Facebook post for those who have already done so—to really make an impact: To tell their senators and House members that a tax on credit unions is a tax on their 96 million member-owners," Hawkins says.
Hawkins suggests a tweet can be as simple as "Please #DontTaxMyCU @ (Twitter handle of your senator here) #DontTaxTuesday." He notes credit unions and individuals can participate by tweeting to their senators and congressmen using the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag, or posting on Facebook by including the senator or representative in a post by typing the "@" sign and then typing the lawmaker's name. Tag NJCUL in your Facebook posts and tweets and we will send them out to our followers as well.
New Jersey lawmaker Twitter handles are listed below. Other states can find their lawmakers’ Twitter handles by clicking here.
“With Senator Menendez (D-NJ) sitting on the Senate Finance Committee it’s extremely important that New Jersey have a strong showing today in this key component in our broader grassroots campaign,” NJCUL Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel said. “Our email Call-to-Action continues and we will launch a postcard campaign this week, but today we need to generate as much social media activity as possible,” he added.
CUNA’s Tax Advocacy Toolkit is available here.
The “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” Web site is available at www.donttaxmycreditunion.org.