This isn’t a story about politics. This is a story about passion. This is about the power of people coming together, united in a common goal determined to make a difference.
In 1998, the nation's attention was scattered, pulled in too many directions on a variety of issues. "Business as usual" had seemingly ground to a halt in Washington, DC in the midst of continued partisan bickering. Tired of the name-calling and mud-slinging, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs began a simple e-mail petition, suggesting that our citizens and their duly designated elected representatives "Move On to pressing issues facing the country." Within one week, the petition had 100,000 signatures. That number eventually grew to 500,000, with volunteers agreeing to hand-deliver copies to Congressional district offices across the country.
What began so simply grew quickly. The petition website spawned a political action committee or PAC to fundraise for key Congressional races. MoveOn has since produced influential television, online, and print campaigns on a variety of issues including campaign finance, the environment, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The model works. In fact, both candidates in the 2008 election borrowed heavily from the MoveOn playbook when it came to fundraising and energizing concerned citizens and volunteers to take action. However, the model is not exclusive to politics.
The core concept at the beginning of this grassroots juggernaut was an idea space where information could be shared, common goals could be identified, and action could plotted and executed. It is an arena without a set agenda – but where participants come by for the express purpose of creating a new agenda.
These are the core concepts also at the heart of Credit Unions Rising.
In these difficult times, there are a lot of voices clamoring. Some focus on blame. Some offer solutions. Some feature ultimatums. Some are simply directives without room for questions or consideration. Are these the voices you want speaking for you?
Or do you have another message?
At the heart of the cooperative movement is the tenet that people can come together and offer a better solution – an alternative to the status quo or the orders from on high. With Credit Unions Rising, we offer all in the credit union community to do just that. This is a chance to grab a megaphone and sound a clarion call to cut past the din. This is a means to influence credit union policy, helping to secure the industry's security and future.
This is your opportunity to be heard, to be seen, and to make a difference.