It’s hard to believe that the August congressional recess is already upon us, but in many ways the community banking industry is well-positioned to take advantage of this pause in the legislative session. While ICBA and community bankers have once again advanced a variety of regulatory relief measures through aggressive advocacy, we’re going to need a real show of force to finish the job.
And what’s true for Dorothy and Toto is true for grassroots advocacy—there’s no place like home. With party politics frustrating the advance of regulatory reforms that enjoy widespread bipartisan support in Congress, ICBA is calling on community bankers to make their voices heard while lawmakers are back home in their districts this month.
ICBA’s Main Street Matters online resource center helps community bankers invite their members of Congress to be community bankers for a day. By showing Congress firsthand the impact of the overwhelming burden facing community banks and their customers, we can really demonstrate to lawmakers what relief means for the constituents and communities they represent.
Look, I know how much work it is being a community banker—it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to meet with policymakers and advocate on a bunch of complex regulations. But as community bankers know all too well, Congress just isn’t going to act on the excessive regulatory burdens we face day in and day out unless we get in their faces and demand change. That’s why ICBA has designed Main Street Matters and our other grassroots resources to help community bankers make their voices heard in the halls of Congress at the same time they’re doing their jobs and supporting local economies.
As I said, when it comes to grassroots advocacy, there really is no place like home. So call out your members of Congress, invite them to your community bank, show them what overregulation is doing to their constituents, and remind them that they’re not in Washington anymore!