CHICAGO — Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker outlined his career for credit union executives attending CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK 13 and encouraged them to persist in seeking innovation and change.
CO-OP is holding the meeting at Chicago's Swissotel from April 29 through May 2.
In his Wednesday appearance, Booker described his upbringing as being involved and surrounded, from a very early age, in a “conspiracy of love” that involved his parents, their friends and many others. This “conspiracy” helped his father go to college even though he spent much of his life so poor he was effectively homeless.
It also helped Booker launch his legal and political career with people who did not let the reality they were living limit the vision they held in their hearts and minds for what could, he said.
“I wanted to be sure to talk to you because I knew you would understand that,” Booker said. “You understand what it means to make change every day in small ways, little ways that mount up to build something extraordinary,” he told his credit union audience.
Credit unions as part of the “conspiracy of love” understand that they cannot give in to what was, Booker said, adding that credit unions can stand with their members and their communities by listening to them.
Just as Booker gets messages on Twitter from Newark citizens who spot potholes and other problems, credit unions can listen to their members about their needs and issues.
Booker also acknowledged in the question-and-answer session that he is “mostly likely” running for the U.S. Senate but refrained from formally announcing because, he explained, there is a protocol in New Jersey that considers it bad form to declare for an office when an election for another office is currently going on.
New Jersey votes for governor this year.
Booker also said he and other students tried to start a credit union while he was in law school but never got it off the ground before he had to leave.
Also from THINK 13:
- Virtual Teller Idea Wins THINK Prize 13
- The Great Change Debate
- THINK 13 on Wednesday: Slide Show
- Starring on Google+
- Innovation That Maintains Identity
- Innovation Needs Controls
- THINK 13 on Tuesday: Slide Show
- Self-Assessment First Step in Innovation
- Leaders Should Talk Last
- CO-OP Rebrands ATM, Branching Networks
- Chicago Confab Kicks Off