Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (D) at Boys State on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on Monday evening.
On Monday evening Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel addressed Boys State in Hendricks Hall on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg:
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (D): ….And I really want to talk to you about the experience of serving. Because one of the things I am most passionate about, for every party and for everyone in this, in, who’s young, is that public service matters. And I want to let you know what a rewarding experience it is to be able to serve. And how good people, and good young people are going to make the difference. And that’s going to be the critical difference upon where Missouri is in the next few decades and where the United States is….
….I think a lot of us we, we tend to think, and I might have even thought at that point, that leadership fits into this nice box. And it looks the same and feels the same for everybody. But, it really doesn’t. It’s not something that you can simply put into a formula. That we think about, when I think about the effectiveness of those members that I looked to as leaders, you know, I thought of people that were strategic and really focused on a, and knowing what they wanted to accomplish. And able to have a laser light focus on that. You know I think of, I think of individuals that I looked to were people that were intellectually curious. Listen, we, we all have our political persuasions and we all have family and party identification, but the best leaders in the House were people that were intellectually curious and were open minded toward different ideas and different approaches to solve problems. That they were able to move away from ideology and actually get down to solutions.
We talked about individuals that I think had compassion. You know, it’s the easiest thing that we can do when we identify a problem, is to blame. But when we begin to actually have compassion and understanding it helps us get to a solution for those problems. And understanding that how you treat others, with respect and basic kindness, and that you uphold the same ethical values that, that you think you should carry with you in life are important and they really matter.
And finally, the people that were most successful in my time in the House were people that had the confidence to be themselves. So these leaders were quiet sometimes, sometimes they weren’t so quiet, they were really talkative. Sometimes it took four years for them to really sprout up and become a leader. But, but the key is that all of those individuals that, that I talked about, while they were really different in personality and their sense of style and how they approached the job, they had those factors that they really stuck to….
….We made an important change to our low interest loan program to make sure that more family farms and more small businesses qualify. We’ve lent about three hundred million dollars in low interest loans throughout the state since I took office. It’s affected thirty-three hundred jobs, it’s affected twelve hundred farms. Folks, we’re reinvesting in the state in a way that hasn’t been done before by previous State Treasurers. We’re going to be able to put a billion dollars back into the State of Missouri to works for farms and small businesses over the next year and a half. [applause] And I think one of the things that is most, most rewarding about this loan program – these are things that you can see and feel and touch across the state. These are loans for, for farmers that we see throughout the state, everywhere in the state. These are loans that we see for hardware stores, small businesses. These are loans that we have for carpet cleaning companies. Folks, these are loans for the types of businesses that ultimately are gonna drive seventy-five percent of all job growth during the recovery. This is the time now, during the challenging time, to invest in those businesses and do the right thing. Those are the investments that we need to be making. [applause]….
….When you think about the large changes that our state has faced and large changes that our country’s faced, those huge social changes that happen. Guys, they don’t happen in one night. They don’t happen because politicians pass legislation. They don’t happen because somebody gives a speech. These are a series of small investments that really are the agents of change. So when you think about the investment that you’re making by being here right now, when you think about the investments that you’re making by being engaged and by being active and by participating in school activities – these things add up. So, that same approach I want to encourage you to keep taking. But it’s also the philosophy on how we’re gonna grow our state, is that ultimately we have to make smart and small consistent investments in the people of this state. And when you think about where you want Missouri to be in five years and ten years and fifteen or twenty years, it’s gonna be the result of people who were willing to stand up to make the investments we needed and who saw that vision and then said we’re not gonna get there overnight, but we’re gonna make these investments to make Missouri a better place.
Thank you. It is an honor to be here. [applause]