I am Paul Danczyk, president of the American Society for Public Administration. In July, we explore “2020 Vision for Infrastructure” as part of our larger year-long search for the “2020 Vision for Politics, Policy and Administration.”

When I attended the Social Equity Leadership Conference last month, hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration and Rutger’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, I was reminded how critical infrastructure is, and it goes beyond building roads and bridges. In one session, representatives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, New Jersey Transit, and New Jersey’s Department of Treasury discussed diversifying contractor pipelines, unbundling contracts to allow smaller firms to apply and working with communities affected by infrastructure construction.

In these cases, infrastructure wasn’t only about improving current systems or offering new services. Emphasis was placed on the people they serve at every level of the process. I want to thank Marilyn Rubin, the conference committee chair, Dean Charles Menifield and Terry Gerton, NAPA’s president and CEO, for hosting and designing such a great conference. I look forward to next year’s program!

We kick off this month’s webinars with a PAR article: Drivers of Policy Instrument Selection for Environmental Management by Local Governments by Rachel Krause, University of Kansas; Christopher Hawkins, University of Central Florida; Angela Park, University of Kansas; and Richard Feiock, Florida State University, on July 10th or 17th. This webinar examines factors that drive the choice of policy instruments that cities use to pursue local environmental objectives. Practical implications for discussion include local government environmental policies, and city government and community characteristics.

On July 11th, our BookTalk features AK Haque’s book, Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy Public Administration in the Information Age, where he demonstrates that pervasive use and increasing dependence on information technology enables sophisticated and well-intentioned public services that nevertheless risk deforming public policy decision-making.

On July 18th, our Student and New Professional Webinar is on “Persuasive Presentations”, during which panelists will share best practices and tips on how to outline your presentations, using assertion evidence methods and effective storytelling.
On July 23, we feature a joint program with the American Society of Civil Engineers on “The Performance Challenge of Infrastructure Maintenance.” In this webinar we'll discuss the effects of a lack of good data has when addressing public infrastructure problems, the challenges and impacts of tracking deferred maintenance and what governments are doing to improve how they track this issue and focus resource allocation to the highest priority projects. Discussants include Jay Fountain, Office of Policy and Management in Stamford, Connecticut; William Glasgall, from the Volcker Alliance; and Richard Beck, emeritus employee from NASA and the Department of the Interior.

As a nod to the 2019 conference, our Video of the Month is “America’s Infrastructure: Is a D+ Acceptable,” moderated by Wendy Haynes, Bridgewater State University with presenters Casey Dinges, American Society of Civil Engineers, Derrell Turner, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Paul Wiedefeld, Washington Metro.

An ASPA shout-out to Metro Louisville Chapter President Victoria Gordon and others from Western Kentucky University, who organized a proclamation signing at the WKU Kentucky Museum, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which will officially be celebrated in 2020. Way to go!
And, a special thank you to University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, my alma mater and a long-standing partner supporting ASPA’s annual conference, specifically the Donald C. Stone Lecture—including being one of the first universities to sign up to sponsor the 2020 conference in Anaheim. We especially thank Dean Keeler for his personal support for ASPA’s mission as we all work toward advancing excellence in public service.

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming program!