WASHINGTON (3/12/15)--Rep. Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) gave CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference attendees a short lesson in Hawaiian during Wednesday's general session. However, any credit union veteran was already familiar with the sentiment behind the words.
|Rep. Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) told a CUNA GAC audience he will champion the credit union cause. (CUNA Photo)|
Most people know "aloha" means hello and goodbye, but it also means compassion, Takai explained As a lifelong credit union member, Takai understands the compassion that credit unions provide in their communities. "I love you guys," he said.
The word "ohana" means family, and serving families is among the responsibilities that credit unions treasure. Takai grew up in a family served by credit unions. "Family means we don't leave anybody behind," Takai said.
Takai also praised Jim Nussle, CUNA's new president/CEO. Takai said Nussle's years in Congress will serve the organization and its membership well. "You have a great leader here in Washington, D.C. CUNA has done a great job in bringing together individuals who can make a difference."
Takai stressed the importance of making contacts with lawmakers on a consistent basis. "We're all people, but we're all part of the community as well," he said. "It's important to get to know the lawmakers before you have to make an 'ask' or before you have a crisis. So go home and introduce yourselves to the people you don't know yet. You'll be surprised how many of them are already credit union members."
As for key credit union legislative priorities, Takai was very succinct: "I want to be your champion," he said.
"In terms of the tax exempt status, data security efforts and small business jobs creation, those things are easy for me because I believe in them and I've supported them as state lawmaker," Takai said. "Credit unions expand access to capital and provide opportunities for small businesses and families, so continue to do what you're doing and let me know if I can provide help."