A note from Jon Flora, President & CEO

In 1979, Cartoonist Bill Griffith coined the now-famous catch phrase: “Are we having fun yet?”   One month into 2017 and that phrase fits oh-so-well.  Wow!  As Americans from coast to coast grab pitch forks and prepare to storm the U.S. Capitol steps, perhaps we can use this President’s Day as a sort of touchstone.

America is a pretty great place.  We have our problems and certainly we have major leadership challenges on both sides of the political spectrum locally and nationally.  But, let’s remember that we’ve managed to weather storms for 240 years.  We will continue to survive particularly if:

We exercise our right to vote.  Outside of presidential elections, voter turnout in Seattle, Honolulu and Anchorage is typically 30% or less.  If you are among the 70+% that doesn’t vote on a regular basis, you don’t have a lot of room to complain when your taxes are too high, your city council makes poor decisions, or the folks in D.C. are doing whatever it is they do which is usually questionable.  Your vote makes a difference.  Cast it.

We all become informed on issues and don’t simply believe the latest Facebook post from a long lost cousin.  It has become much harder to find accurate reporting but it’s out there.  Do your homework, make your own judgments and figure out what you believe.  Then advocate for it.

Use that electronic device in your hand as a telephone.  Stop texting, emailing and reading social media.  Engage in real conversation with real people.  You’ll learn a lot and solve problems quicker.  The other night, I was reading a fairly thoughtful post from a former co-worker about current affairs.  I haven’t seen or talked to him in three years.  I was about to reply but instead used the Telephone App.  We’re having lunch next week and I can’t to see him because he’s a fun and really smart guy.  Our electronic toys don’t give us that kind of result.

This President’s Day, take a deep breath, look in the mirror and think about what is really important.  Then, let’s make it happen, together; hopefully with calm and thoughtful discourse. As for our NACM world, you’ll find in our February newsletter, a legislative update from Olympia, information about Credit Congress, and the usual calendar updates. You will also find a Special Section about the end of sugar cane in Hawaii.  The close of this 145 year-old industry is an important event for our 50th state and worthy of attention by our entire nation.   Although inevitable, it is hard to watch an entire industry go away forever.

As always, thank you for your involvement in NACM.  We appreciate your business and friendship.  And, we welcome your telephone calls anytime!