Nothing brings residents and fans together like the construction of a world-class downtown arena, a visible symbol of the region’s economic and cultural revival. The community continues to celebrate the historic announcement of a 20-year partnership between the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento’s own Golden 1 Credit Union.
The tired talking points recently made by the California Bankers Association (“Credit unions need to pay fair share,” Viewpoints, June 18) conveniently misrepresent the critical role credit unions play in communities across California. It’s disappointing that a special interest is using this historic announcement to push a political agenda.
Golden 1 Center reflects a team effort that benefits the community and highlights the benefits of credit union membership. Unlike banks, when credit unions grow, the benefits to members increase as well, because they are required by law to reinvest all revenues back into the organization, membership or community.
Credit unions are in the business of building communities. Congress authorized their tax-exempt status more than 75 years ago so profits could be reinvested to help people through lower interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on savings and lower fees for other services. In California, 361 credit unions are saving consumers a total of nearly $725 million annually – $138 for each credit union household.
The 10 credit unions headquartered in Sacramento County have nearly $7 billion in outstanding loans to the local community – dollars that make a difference to families who are paying for their children to attend college or for their dream of homeownership. Those same credit unions are safeguarding more than $12 billion in consumer deposits, employing 2,400 workers and serving more than 1.1 million customers. Credit unions answer directly to members and are governed by a local, volunteer board of directors.
Golden 1 has been a Sacramento partner since 1933 and is committed to its members throughout California. Its leadership believes that joining with the Kings and investing in downtown will benefit members and the region for generations to come. When Sacramento needed support, Golden 1 has been there.
Investing in the largest economic development project in Sacramento history, bringing the community together, creating jobs and revitalizing the local economy are worthy goals. Playing politics and attacking this effort is contrary to our “Sacramento Proud” philosophy.
Diana Dykstra is president and CEO of the California Credit Union League.