The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

‘Doing’ Beats ‘Talking’ Any Day

On September 7th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by

My Cardinals are tanking.  My golf game is somewhere between bad and taking up bowling.  My weekend was so busy it might as well have been Tuesday and Wednesday.  And some guy at the car wash wanted to argue with the young girl at the cash register because they happen to pump BP gas.  So how’s your week been?

Generally, I error on the side of optimism, but this past week has tested my resolve.  Was the moon full?  Maybe the lunar pull was so great that everyone and everything was just a little crazier than normal.  Did professional wrestling seem real – or was it just me?

I was involved in a “think tank” among many St. Louis professionals this past week.  We discussed the concerns of our region.  My personality and upbringing have me running toward a problem, not from it, so this should have “lit me up.”

As we began our exercise, I couldn’t help but feel as if I should have been more invigorated by the thought of being included in such important iteration.  But after about 10 minutes of talking about what needed to be done to materially improve our region, I realized the depth and breadth of the issues seemed considerably above my pay grade.  But, I’m not a quitter, so I persevered.  Talking was hard.  I’m not much on just talking.  I’m more the personality type that wants to get things done.  But everything starts with dialogue…so I bought in.

My frustrations heightened as the conversations ensued.  We hit on everything.  We discussed one airport that is under-utilized and in receipt of the dubious honor of being the third-worst in the country, and the other that ostensibly isn’t used at all.  We all agreed that many of our region’s K-12 educational infrastructures would get a report card that would have had me grounded for a month.  Yada, yada, yada, and the next thing you knew we had a list as long as my arm.  My optimism was drained about the same time the marker ran out of ink and the flip chart had to be flipped.  My head almost blew off.

Then we hit on something.  Something I didn’t have to just talk about getting done.  It was something I could do – something the credit union could do.  Quite frankly, we’re doing it week after week, month after month, year after year.  The group of thinkers discussed the social injustice found in the world of financial services (I actually brought it up, but they agreed.)  I provided knowledge of the inordinate number of unbanked and under banked in our region and the economic drain it had on our communities.  I explained that the fringe banking element is alive and well and robbing our region of economic empowerment.  Proof lies in the fact that Payday Lenders seemingly have more facilities than McDonalds, especially within low/mod income areas.

I got up on my soapbox, got a gleam in my eye; the optimism returned and I proceeded to share the good news of St. Louis Community Credit Union and what we do.  I shared that there are “cracks in our communities” where people slip through – that’s where we kick into gear.  Without SLCCU to help, we would find the region even worse off than it currently is.  We’re doing our part, and we love helping people increase their standard of living and better their lifestyle.  That’s justice.  Doing something is always better than just talking about it.

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