January 10, 2012
With 2012 having been dubbed “International Year of Cooperatives” by the United Nations, the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) is taking a lead role in promoting the cooperative model throughout the region.
A notice released Monday thanked the media for its “insightful news coverage of the economic crisis and the call to action that sent consumers to credit unions” through the course of events like Bank Transfer Day and Bank of America’s $5 debit-card fee announcement. The release then goes on to highlight a number of cooperatives across various sectors, including “food and farm co-ops, health and housing co-ops, marketing and manufacturing co-ops—even utility and funeral co-ops.”
“The United Nations has proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives, with the theme, ‘Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World,’” the release said. “We encourage you to report on some of the amazing local cooperatives that are saving money and making a difference in our community. There are more than 29,000 co-ops in the United States, providing over 850,000 jobs and paying over $74 billion in annual wages.”
“Cooperatives give consumers more choice, better service, better prices and local control,” NWCUA Assistant Vice President of Communications Lynn Heider said. “We know first-hand why credit unions are a smarter choice for consumers, and thousands of them found out for themselves during Bank Transfer Day. They did their research and they joined credit unions. With the United Nations shining the spotlight on all cooperatives, now we hope consumers will check out some of the great opportunities right here in the Northwest. Food and energy co-ops can offer high-quality products at great prices. Workers’ co-ops create jobs.”
The outreach effort has already garnered national attention, as a CU Times article reported Monday on the NWCUA’s “self-effacing role” in promoting the International Year of Cooperatives.
“In researching for our articles and news releases, we found some fantastic stories that people would love if they only knew about the cooperative services that are available,” Heider said. “For example, there are student housing co-ops offering great deals and safe housing where you can live, eat, study and bond with like-minded students. We found a cooperative of massage therapists who, by pooling their resources, are able to offer their clients a beautiful space with spa-like features. And those are just a few examples.”
The NWCUA will continue its cooperative support of the cooperative ideal throughout 2012, with plans that include monthly articles in the Anthem, the Association’s newsletter, highlighting a particular co-op in the region, and various events designed to bring co-ops together to showcase products and services.
Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.