Find Something to Do!
You may be interested to know that July is "National Anti-Boredom Month," created in the United States in 1980s in acknowledgement of the summer doldrums that kick in after the July 4th holiday. If that sounds familiar (and even if it doesn't), check out this edition of Bridge, focusing on infrastructure—a very un-boring topic!
We start with a summary of a report released a few weeks ago by the National League of Cities, analyzing mayors' speeches for the most concerning issues across the country. These topics were mentioned in speeches given throughout the year, from October 2021 through spring 2022. It is not surprising that infrastructure topped the list. According to RouteFifty's coverage of the report, "The renewed interest in infrastructure comes as local governments prepare to apply for and manage billions of dollars of new federal money being distributed as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Biden signed late last year. The opportunity gives city leaders a chance to take care of long-neglected facilities and to imagine new projects."
While Members of Congress continue to be critical of how state and local governments are spending federal dollars, including those from the American Rescue Plan Act, mayors and their staff have been dedicated to investing in local infrastructure including water treatment plants, economic development, railroad crossings, services for those experiencing homelessness, shoring up their workforces and more.
In fact, repairing local infrastructure is key to communities rebuilding in the wake of the pandemic, which continues to affect public health communities. Old infrastructure needs still must be addressed; new infrastructure challenges have cropped up as swaths of citizens have moved in response to COVID-19. More, city governments are just as impacted by "The Great Resignation" as other sectors, challenging workforce management in new ways.
Mayors have outlined their approaches to these concerns in their most recent State of the City addresses, looking forward to using federal investment dollars to shore up their resources and "build back better" in the coming months and years.
You can find the NCL's report available for download here. There is no shortage of headlines related to infrastructure developments. Scroll down to our "In the News" section to read more.
E-Learning at Your Fingertips
ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.
KeepingCurrent: Local Government Workforce Challenges and Recovery in the Wake of Pandemic
July 14 | 1 p.m. EDT
Sponsored by ASPA's Ad Hoc Pandemic Committee
Janice Allen Jackson, City Manager, City of Stonecrest, Georgia
Kathleen Rush, Vice President, GovHR
Al Vendenberg, County Administrator, Kent County, Michigan
Hardin Watkins, Public Service Assistant, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
Eric Zeemering, Moderator, Associate Professor and MPA Director, University of Georgia
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the local government workforce, with new public health measures, telework arrangements and additional hours in response to an unprecedented public health crisis. Now, local governments are experiencing the stress of workforce turnover and struggling to retain talent in a competitive employment market. This webinar offers insights into these staffing challenges. The panel also features pragmatic reflection on the tools and strategies local governments can deploy to retain and engage talented employees during the continued strain of pandemic and crisis management.
From the Archives
As we contemplate Anti-Boredom Month and all things "infrastructure," take a look at some of our programs in our webinar archives! There's no way you can be bored with all this content!
KeepingCurrent: A Grand Challenge: Developing Solutions and Institutions to Ensure Equitable and Sustainable Water Access in the Face of a Changing Climate
Sponsored by the University of New Mexico, this webinar explored critical considerations in balancing the need for water to support communities' agricultural, social, cultural and economic vitality, given the ongoing drought and evolving impacts from climate change. The role of institutions, governance and technology also was explored.
BookTalk: The Dynamics of Risk: Changing Technologies and Collective Action in Seismic Events
This book examines the changing process of decisionmaking among multiple organizations operating at different levels of authority in the uncertain conditions of extreme events. It uses the shared hazard of seismic risk to examine how 12 communities in nine countries responded to the trauma of sudden, urgent destruction from earthquakes and began the painful process of reconstruction and recovery. The study sets this global policy problem within the framework of complex adaptive systems to explore how the consequences of sudden, urgent events ripple across jurisdictions, communities and organizations in complex, interdependent societies, triggering unexpected alliances and exposing gaps in social, economic and legal structures.
Students and New Professionals Series: Public Communications: Skills, Application, Value
One of the most useful tools at a student or new professional's disposal is the ability to communicate appropriately in public. Whether you're giving a presentation, leading a meeting or having one-on-one dialogues with peers and colleagues, good communication skills are invaluable—and often lead you either to complete success or complete failure. What are some of the skills you need to communicate properly and how do they work in different situations? Listen to this webinar and learn more about how to communicate well publicly.
KeepingCurrent: Complex Contracts: Management Challenges and Solutions
Governments at all levels buy mission‐critical goods and services whose attributes and performance requirements are hard to define and produce. Many governments—and the public managers who lead them—lack experience and knowledge about how to contract for complex products. This webinar, based on a PAR article, delved into this subject.
Need More to Do?
Check out the first images that have been reported back from the James Webb telescope! (Image to the right courtesy of the New York Times.) Unveiled by President Biden at the White House earlier this week, these images show light that is more than 4 billion years old, providing us with "the deepest view yet into our universe's past."
As reported by the New York Times, "One of the most ambitious of the Webb telescope’s missions is to study some of the first stars and galaxies that lit up the universe soon after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago." These images are just the beginning of what the Webb telescope will provide in the coming years. If you are feeling the summer doldrums, these images should spark some excitement!
A Profile of a Public Servant
The cases in Getting Things Done with Courage and Conviction are extracted from the experiences of Dwight Ink, whose career spanned more than 50 years, including key roles in helping advance important initiatives of seven presidents. Each of the nine cases provides insights into key government operations that are relevant to public administrators today.
Each chapter highlights enduring issues in public administration (e.g., political control of the bureaucracy, ethical procurement and personnel processes, intergovernmental management and more). The timelessness of the strategies and the authors' strong desire to motivate the best and brightest to careers in public service compelled them to produce this book as both a management guidebook and source of encouragement and inspiration for getting things done today.
"This book lays out a set of public management principles and strategies for 21st century leaders and managers—extracted from the personal values and codes of conduct that Dwight Ink embodied throughout his highly distinguished government career—that are more salient and vital than ever," says Carolyn Heinrich (Vanderbilt University). "Any student of government and public management and any practitioner or individual contemplating public service should digest these principles and absorb the cases... Together with their practitioner-academic perspectives, Dwight Ink and Kurt Thurmaier help us see a pathway back and approach to 'getting things done' in the public sector 'with courage and conviction,' which is urgently needed today."
Purchase this resource from our bookstore!
In Memoriam: Marjorie Lomax
Marjorie Lomax died this past winter at Inova Alexandria (Virginia) Hospital with her husband, ASPA member Allen Lomax, and daughter by her side. She was 77.
Lomax was born in 1944 in Waldorf, Maryland, graduated from high school and enjoyed a career working for the federal government that spanned more than 40 years. She retired several years ago from the Office of Government-wide Policy, Office of Federal Real Property, U.S. General Services Administration.
Lomax was an ASPA member for almost 40 years. She was active in the National Capital Area Chapter and the Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA), serving as SWPA Chair from 1996-1997. She also served on national committees including the Annual Conference Advisory Board in 1998 and ASPA Office Space Action Team in 2003. She was a regular conference attendee starting in the early ‘80s through 2014.
A long-time Alexandria, Virginia, resident, Lomax loved spending time with her family, as well as at the beach, in her garden, baking and pursuing any number of other hobbies.
In Memoriam: Clark Duffy
Clark Duffy, 73, of Topeka, Kansas, passed away this past spring. He was born in 1948 in Abilene, Kansas, graduated high school in 1967, began his undergraduate degree at McPherson College and enlisted to serve in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After his service, he earned his BS in political science from Kansas State and his MA in political science from Colorado State University.
Duffy was an active member of ASPA’s Kansas Chapter throughout his career, serving as a local resource to others in the area and president of the Chapter.
Duffy was hired as an analyst by the Division of the Budget for the State of Kansas under Governors Bennett and Carlin in the 1970s and ‘80s. He continued his service in the Kansas Water Office and Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Air and Radiation. He worked in the private sector for six years for the American Petroleum Institute before serving eight years on the Topeka City Council, including one term as deputy mayor.
Duffy became adjunct professor in the political science department at Washburn University in his retirement, while also serving as a consultant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on nuclear disaster preparedness. He will be missed.
Print Copies of National Civic Review Available for the Classroom!
The National Civic League (NCL) is offering free print copies of past editions of the National Civic Review for your students. They are hoping, in the next academic year, you might be willing to include one or more articles from one of these editions in your coursework, in which case NCL would be willing to mail up to 40 copies of the print version for your use. Of course, for those who prefer online versions, those are available as well through the links below.
Below are editions NCL has produced during the past four years, in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation, that they feel have some of the more thought-provoking articles (there might even be one by you in there!). Each of the links below will provide a list of the included articles.
Please contact NCL as soon as possible if you would like them to mail you a batch of one of these editions. If you are interested in an edition that is not listed, please let them know that as well. If possible, please also inform them of your plans for using the edition. NCL might even be able to provide an incentive for having your class discuss these articles. Of course, please feel free to forward this offer to others in the field.
Available National Civic Review editions:
Code for America Seeks Partners for Innovation Lab
Code for America, a 501(c)3 nonprofit civic technology organization, is seeking government partners for its Safety Net Innovation Lab. The Lab is a philanthropically supported multi-year initiative to partner with state, tribal nation, district and territory government agencies to improve the equity, accessibility and customer experience of safety net benefits programs. Code for America has previously launched GetCalFresh (a digital SNAP application assister), worked with Minnesota to build and handoff MNbenefits (an integrated benefits application) as well as designed text messaging pilots in Louisiana. Interested government agencies can reach out here.
PAR Releases Symposium on Reimagining and Rejuvenating Social Equity Scholarship and Practice
Still looking for things to spark your intellectual curiosity? Public Administration Review (PAR) has released a new symposium on social equity in theory and practice. Articles in the symposium include:
Many more are included in this symposium. Check it out via the Wiley website and stay curious this month!
- Reckoning With Race and Gender in Public Administration and Public Policy: A Substantive Social Equity Turn
Sanjay K. Pandey, Kathryn Newcomer, Leisha DeHart-Davis, Jasmine McGinnis Johnson and Norma M. Riccucci
- Representing Personal and Professional Identities in Policing: Sources of Strength and Conflict
Andrea M. Headley
- Black Women in the Military: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Correlates of Sexual Harassment
Rachel A. Breslin, Samantha Daniel and Kimberly Hylton
- Intersectionality and Social Welfare: Avoidance and Unequal Treatment among Transgender Women of Color
Adam M. Butz and Tia Sherèe Gaynor
Tips and Resources
Can Federal Employees Discuss Supreme Court Abortion Ruling at Work?
The Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision on June 24, overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion as a constitutional right in the United States. The fallout from the case continues to dominate headlines and spark protests across the country, leaving some federal employees wondering what to do if the topic trickles into workplace conversation.
Your Body Has an Internal Clock That Dictates When You Eat, Sleep and Might Have a Heart Attack—All Based on Time of Day
Circadian rhythms may be even more important than previously thought.
What You Need to Know About Monkeypox
For now, monkeypox poses a low risk to the U.S. public, but it could become a problem if the spread is left unchecked. Here’s what everyone should know about it.
Here’s What Needs to Happen for the 2023 Federal Employee Pay Raise
Although the Biden administration and lawmakers appear set on providing feds an average 4.6 percent pay increase next year, things could change before the end of the year.
Virtual Meetings Stymie Creative Teamwork
A new study finds that in-person teams generate more ideas than remote teams working on the same problem—possibly because when people focus on the narrow field of vision of a screen, their thinking becomes narrower as well.
In the News
Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!
Members in the News
ASPA members are in the news in a variety of ways. If you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.
Nevada Views: More Education Needed on Region’s Water Facts
By J. Paul Blake
Sherry Ryan, PhD, Appointed Marxe Dean of Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
News from Baruch College, CUNY
Why Job Applicants Are Frustrated with the State and Local Government Hiring Process
By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
Four Proven Strategies for Attracting and Retaining State and Local Government Workers
By Bob Lavigna
UCF Associate Professor Receives Award for Exceptional Emergency Management Education
Featuring Claire Knox, honoring her work in emergency management.
Around Public Administration
Calls for proposals and other updates:
Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!
AAPAM Call for Papers
AAPAM welcomes papers from experienced practitioners, scholars and researchers on its 41st Roundtable Conference, taking place December 6-9, 2022 at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of the event will be "Africa’s Renewal in the Era of Sustainable Development: Shared Responsibility for Strengthening Public Institutions." The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced policymakers to re-engineer processes in alignment to the new normal. Institutions have been further challenged to perform optimally despite limitations ranging from lack of capacity in the form of skill gaps to finances. It is evident that the importance of long-term national capacity development through institution-building, human resource development and confidence-building among the national actors is fundamental to disaster management as well as the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. It is for this reason that the 41st Roundtable Conference will focus on strengthening institutions. Proposals are due by July 15, 2022. Contact [email protected] for more information.
2022 NECoPA Call for Proposals
The Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) is intended to provide educational opportunities for scholars, practitioners and others interested in
public service in a collaborative environment by educating all on current issues, research and practice in public and nonprofit organizations. This conference will be NECoPA’s 13th year of bringing together scholars and practitioners from the northeast region, the United States and internationally. This year's theme, "Public and Nonprofit Administration in a Hybrid-Connected 21st Century," recognizes that the events of the last two years accelerated the pace at which both our professional and personal lives have become intricately intertwined with technology, as we live and work in a hybrid—virtual and in-person—world. Public and nonprofit administration has been tasked with adapting and navigating public programs in this world to ensure they continue to be delivered in an effective, efficient, economical and equitable manner. All proposals are due by July 31, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.
2022 Cascade Chapter Student Symposium Call for Papers
Whether it’s local, state, federal or tribal, the United States governing systems are designed to promote democracy and community. In recognition of this, ASPA Cascade Chapter welcomes presentation proposals related to analyses and practical review of collaborative efforts between local, state, federal and tribal governments; tensions in promoting democracy or facilitating community in a local, tribal, state or federal context; a case study related to how local, state, federal or tribal government has positively engaged community or expanded democratic practices; and/or analyses, practical review or case studies with international comparative perspectives. Students whose papers are accepted and present at the Chapter’s fall event will receive an ASPA student membership and an invitation to present their paper at ASPA's 2023 Annual Conference. ASPA Cascade Chapter prioritizes submissions that align with the organization's guiding principles, which focus on social justice and racial equity. We encourage students of all majors and backgrounds to submit a paper proposal related to this theme. No prior presentation experience required. All proposals are due by July 31, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.
Ethics Volume Call for Chapters
Empowering Public Administrators: Ethics and Public Service Values, complied by Amanda M. Olejarski (West Chester University) and Sue M. Neal (Arkansas State University), seeks contributors to this edited volume. We need to empower public administrators to make tough decisions. Acting in the public interest means doing what is ethical, even when it may be the unpopular choice. Too often, public servants at the local, state and federal levels hide behind the notion that their hands are tied and they are limited in their ability to effect change. They are professionally trained experts in policy and management and have the choice to act value-neutral or to exert their soft power. This text provides a lens for viewing administrative decisionmaking as modern bureaucrats govern public affairs in a political context. The primary aim of this volume is to educate students, scholars and practitioners on public service values and administrative discretion as a basis for ethics in the public sector. The book is organized around seven public service values: the public interest, bureaucracy in a democracy, balancing politics and administration, transparency in reporting, the hollowing of government, ontology and epistemology, and rationality or incrementalism. Proposals from both scholars and practitioners are welcome; the goal is to have diverse contributions. Interested authors should send a proposed chapter abstract to [email protected] by July 30, 2022. Include a description of the ethical issue to be examined and which public service values will be applied. Please also include an estimated desired word count for the chapter and a brief author bio.
Award for Public Service Call for Nominations
ASPA's Section on South Asian Public Administration (SASPA) is proud to announce a call for nominations for the 2023 Jai Mangal Paswan Award for Public Service. The award is named after Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan, chief engineer from the Indian Engineering Services, 1978 Batch, Government of India. Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan graduated with a B. Tech degree from Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Bihar and was the first engineer from his village, Sitamarhi, Bihar. He was a first generation officer from Sitamarhi district of Bihar, India and served as the deputy director general (coordination), Government of India. He pursued an MBA in Faculty of Management Studies (F.M.S), at the University of Delhi; he worked on the Intelligence Bureau Headquarters project by the Ministry of Home Affairs; he was involved with the Border Security Force, border fencing and lightening project in the Jaisalmer district; he served the Government of India for 38 years before retiring in 2016; and after his retirement, he served as a consultant for the National Institute of Technology, Delhi. During his life, he contributed immensely toward the development of society, guiding young officers and service aspirants. He was a tremendous source of inspiration for the people of his village and his family. This award is presented to honor the best paper submitted and presented at the ASPA Annual Conference in the field of public service in the South Asian region and carries a cash prize of $200.
PA TIMES Online
Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)