Till death do us part

September 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Many people underestimate the power of loyalty.  You name it, people are loyal to religion, a political party, an airline, a bank or credit union and friends, its in our DNA – unless your flakey! Once someone becomes loyal to something, it is often times very difficult to break that loyalty.

With me so far?

But how do you build these loyalties? Think of it as a love relationship – it takes months, years to build the trust and loyalty that will lead to marriage.

hugs and hugs

Image by happykatie via Flickr

Throughout the entire process you have to listen and learn what the significant other wants.  So long as the person feels they are loved and acknowledged, that relationship will cherish and continue.  However, if the bond of trust is broken, the loyalty will break apart and often times leads to a break up or divorce. So, don’t cheat on them, treat them right and cater to their needs!

Easy enough, no?

I bring this topic up because often times, companies make it a goal to expand wallet share with their clients (deepening client loyalty) but they struggle on how to get there.  As I stated before, it’s frankly rather simple, you have to get to know the needs and wants of your target audience and you have to do your best to meet those expectations; they must feel you’ve got their back. But I think that often times institutions get lost in the translation and focus too much on the numbers and lose sight of what their goal is and what has to get done to get there.  What happens if you neglect your spouse?

This dynamic also takes place in politics as politicians also have loyalties.  What did I say about loyalties before? It takes time, effort and TLC to build them.  Additionally, the relationship has to be mutually beneficial.  Again…

sometimes organizations want for lawmakers to just do what they are asking them to do.  They forget that they have to work with politicians and earn their loyalty.  One of the main things that I do as a lobbyist is build trust, strengthen relationships.  Organizations have to learn to do that too.

Here’s where many people get hung up though… you gotta have a mutually beneficial relationship for there to be any true loyalty (you scratch my back, I scratch yours!).  I’m not saying that if you’re trying to get things done in politics you go and buy your congressman, if you do, you might end up “stuck” for several years, somewhere you don’t want to be!  But if a politician is an advocate of your cause you have to at the very least let those in your organization know that the politician is on their side, that he’s got their back and is working for them.  You must work to ensure that politician comes back to the legislature, GET INVOLVED!

Those that neglect their marriage and friendships end up very alone.

Be sure to provide your feedback, comment and share with your friends!


Midterm madness

September 8, 2010 3 comments

The State Emblem of the Union of Soviet Social...

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I just got off the phone with my friend John.  We were discussing how no one is happy with Obama.  His base feels that he has catered too much to Wall Street and made too many concessions to the Republican Party and conservatives think he’s Stalin incarnate.

I believe that there are many reasons why this is happening.  “It’s the economy, stupid” remember that famous phrase? Well, it’s once again the reason that the American electorate is uneasy.  There are other reasons, of course… among them: the Democratic majority/administration passed healthcare reform but it was severely watered down and does very little to contain cost; spending has increased at a very rapid rate, yet the unemployment rate has not come down; the Republicans in congress have seized this opportunity and voted in lockstep to derail every proposal by this administration and point fingers at them for all the spending increases, while providing very little if any alternatives and solutions.  The bottom line is that no one person or party has all the answers or is culpable for all the  challenges our country faces, after all:

  • Bill Clinton signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, leading the way for the collapse of the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks.  This was a major cause of the financial meltdown.
  • The Democratic congress did not do enough to bring about regulation and avoid the collapse of the markets when the writing was on the wall.
  • George W Bush laid out a plan he called “America’s homeownership challenge” This paved the way and forced Fanny and Freddy to put people into homes they couldn’t afford.
    (en) John Boehner and President Bush in Troy, ...

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  • Republicans could have improved healthcare, they could have improved the stimulus packages… but they knew there was more political capital by staying in the sidelines.
  • George W Bush gave billions of dollars in tax breaks (nearly $1 trillion) to the top 2 percent of Americans, while involving the US in two wars that cost us over $1 trillion while cutting no expenses.  These actions lead the way for the national debt to double.

I just really wish that people stopped for a second and were a bit more logical, that they thought things through before they go on an incumbent massacre this coming November.  That they realized that Obama is not a foreign-born muslim comrade, that no one party caused this economic downturn and that although some government capital infusion is necessary to get the economy moving again, this is not the magic or only answer to this economic contraction.

If there is one thing that Americans should demand this November is for both parties to work for the American people, not just to gain power and to bring down the other party. That at a time when we have record unemployment, we should not have a party stonewalling everything and a majority that does not reach out to work together to get things done for the American people.

People who are in desperate need of results and accountability.


September 7, 2010 1 comment

Gloria Estefan receiving flowers for her birth...

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It was quite fitting that right after making a post about “Hispanicness” I spent the weekend in Miami.  Miami was always on the list of places I wanted to visit.  I had heard that there were many Latinos in Miami, making it basically little Cuba.  And of course, it is the hometown of my favorite singer, Gloria Estefan, so that was extra motivation to go.

And the city did not fail to entertain!  Although it was hotter than Satan’s armpit and I felt I was reliving the 40 year long voyage of the Israelites through the desert to the promised land when walking for a block, I found refuge in the water as the beach was amazing and the water temperature was exquisite – great way to cool off (and all the stores we stopped to “shop” at).

But partying we did! There were bars of all kinds and sizes.  Some I didn’t like, but some that I really loved!  Among them, of course was Bongos Cuban Café, Gloria Estefan’s restaurant and night club.  I had an AMAZING time there. I highly recommend it to anyone that likes Cuban/latin  food or music.

One of the things that impressed me is how much latino “buying power” there is in Miami and how prevalent the Spanish language is.  It really seemed to be a great city to live at if you’re Latino.

So…. amazing food, bars and beaches.  I definitely want to go back, but next time will certainly not be in the summer months.

Hispanic unity

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

All the hoopla and controversy surrounding the Arizona law makes me think about the Hispanic community as a whole and the challenges we face.  Just last week, 72 immigrants were brutally murdered in Mexico by violent gangs involved in the drug war. These headlines will fuel the fire that has erupted in Arizona.  There are definitely challenges in our community that need to be addressed, but Hispanics must come together and stop the separation amongst us that has characterized our relationship for the past five centuries.

Meanwhile, there is a very interesting dynamic taking place in New Mexico.  Some internal political polls show that northern NM Hispanics don’t seem to care too much about the Arizona law and might end up supporting the end of the issuance of drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.  In this particular blog I will refrain from expressing my personal beliefs about either the issuance of drivers licenses to the undocumented or about Arizona’s 1070; I will focus, instead, on the troubling views of some Hispanics that they are not part of the discussion, that somehow they are better than the Hispanics (latinos) being targeted in Arizona.  The bottom line is that we all share similar backgrounds and challenges.  The following was my contribution to a NM politics blog that was discussing whether New Mexicans were “Spaniards”:

Hi Joe, I happen to agree very much with Dr. Estevan Rael Galvez. Spaniards went all over Latin America, not just to New Mexico. The argument that New Mexicans are “Spanish” and wish to distance themselves from Mexicans is truly misguided, at best. New Mexicans are as much Spanish as Mexicans are. Let’s remember that Mexicans have Spanish blood in them and many of them are very white (watch Univision anytime and you’ll see). New Mexican customs are much more linked to Mexican customs: the food, the music, the attire and decorations.

All that said, it’s unfortunate that as Hispanics we always seek to make up in our minds that one nationality or birthplace makes you “better” than those Hispanics of another area. Instead, Hispanics should come together and seek ways to improve our common problems and challenges.

The need to get involved

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I sent a message to the Development Educators Listserv regarding the need to get involved in our political process.  I want that message to be one of the main themes of my blog.  With that in mind, here’s the message I sent:

I just wanted to provide my .02 to this exchange of ideas.  For a very long time credit unions have been used to just *maybe* issuing a check to the PAC and thinking that is all that needs to be done and I believe underestimate the importance of getting involved in politics.   In my opinion, this is a huge contributor to why, as William pointed out, we have not been successful in key objectives of our legislative agenda.

Furthermore, if a majority of credit unions started payroll deduction for their employees and stressed the importance of contributing, I guarantee you that we would be in the top 5 PACs on that list.

Anyone that cares for the movement has to get involved.  While talking to one of the hill veterans a couple of months ago, he revealed to me that there are several Congressmen who are or have been on bank boards.  There are currently zero Congressmen on a credit union board.  In addition to doing a better job at fundraising and helping candidates monetarily, we have to realize that we also have to get engaged in the “process”.  The type of involvement that I’m referring to is going to campaign activities, getting involved in the races and informing those candidates about the credit union’s mission, philosophy and what it’s doing in the community.  Letting your members know what elected officials (or candidate) will empower your credit union as it seeks to serve its members better is also of upmost importance.  We always tell elected officials how many members are their constituents, but these numbers are meaningless if we don’t let those members know who is on their side.

Ultimately, credit unions need to get involved in grassroots activities and partisan communications to their members (you would send a mailer to only the members of your credit union that belong to the same political party as the candidate that you’re supporting).

This is the only way that credit unions will thrive in the political environment and is a great opportunity to engage your members and create member loyalty.  We lost the interchange battle and we cannot afford this to happen when the battle is over taxation or CRA.

Hello world!

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s September 2, 2010 and I’ve decided to start a blog.  In this blog I hope to fill you in on my thoughts about some of the political headlines of the day with a particular focus on credit union politics and New Mexico politics since those are the two fields I work in.  Although I’d say I’m fun, I’m definitely not gifted in the comedic side of things, but I’ll do my best to entertain readers 🙂

I really hope you enjoy reading my blog and feel free to comment, make suggestions and check back often. I hope for this not to be one way communication, but a dialogue.  After all, I don’t have all the answers.

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