ASPA 2020 Digital Experience Provides Expertise for Current Challenges
There has been lots of news to follow lately, all impacting public administration and public affairs. From COVID-19 and infrastructure failings to fall election questions and serious social justice concerns to census delays and procedural challenges, just to name a handful, there has been a lot to track and digest. Fortunately, ASPA has an excellent resource catalog to help you make sense of the noise, connect theory with practice and offer experts who can provide knowledge to keep you informed.
The 2020 Digital Experience, an online catalog of 30 webinars featuring expert, peer-reviewed panelists, will provide you with almost 40 hours of research, dialog and commentary. Whether you are interested in learning more about some of the critical topics in your news feeds or want to dive back into classic public administration theory, you will find experts here to address your topic of choice.
Just a few examples include:
The list goes on and on. Across a wide range of important topics, this webinar catalog is loaded with critical resources you need and available for only $49 ($74 for nonmembers). Online well into 2021 and locked for access to participants only, you will want to sign up and make the most of this expertise.
- The 2020 Census: Counting Everyone
It's no small job: Counting every body in the United States—no matter where they live, who they are or what services they use. Federal funds, community equality, government representation, public health, safety and security all depend on it. So, how do you get it right, especially given the challenges we face in 2020? We'll explore all of this and more, including a look at the census's impact on public administration research.
Ditas Katague, Director, California Census
Toni Samuel, Moderator, Retired, National League of Cities
Olivia Snarksi, Local Democracy Initiative, Program Manager, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities
- Access to the Ballot Box: A Vision of American Democracy At Its Best
Sponsored by Park University
This year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing (white) women the right to vote. It was a momentous year, and the beginning of breaking down barriers that since have enabled future populations to vote and be heard. But we all know U.S. democracy isn't perfect and there are many challenges that continue to block our citizens from the ballot box and their democratic rights. This panel will take a quick look at the 19th amendment and its journey since passage—including ASPA’s role in it!—and then look toward improvements still pending for suffrage, civic engagement and empowerment.
Erik Bergrud, Moderator, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, Park University
Thomas Hicks, Commissioner, U.S. Elections Assistance Commission
Kimberlee Ried, Independent Researcher/Historian
- Achieving Diversity in Public Safety Hiring
Every public safety organization in America is facing the same challenge: selecting the best candidates that match the diversity of the community it serves. The challenge is to screen a large number of applicants fairly to find the best match required by civil service rules and still maintain the needed diversity in those selected. The selection system most heavily used for this purpose is a traditional multiple choice test, but it fails miserably in addressing the challenge. Public safety is the face of democratic government and diverse representation that matches the community is essential.
Michael Gregory, Chief of Police, Boynton Beach Police Department
Alexander Hamilton, Assistant Fire Chief, Oxnard Fire Department
David Morris, Moderator/Presenter, President and CEO, Morris & McDaniel, Inc.
Bob Nicks, Battalion Chief and President of Austin Firefighters Association, Austin Fire Department
- Innovative Pathways to Public Service: Promoting Public-Sector Careers through a Regional Collaborative
Twenty-four percent of all jobs in California's capital region are in the public sector compared to 10 percent of all jobs statewide. Local and state government careers are available in a variety of industries, including financial, technical, environmental, educational, health care and more. As diverse as the public sector is with high, middle and low skill job opportunities, the demographics are not representative of the greater Sacramento area. The Innovative Pathways to Public Service collaborative is addressing the need for short- and long-term system change in the public sector's recruitment and retention efforts. High-impact partnerships among educational and public sector agencies is at the forefront of destigmatizing and demystifying the public sector as a career. Partners are working to address employment opportunities for at-risk youth, underserved communities while creating civic awareness of being a change agent from within. This solution-oriented, data-driven and a highly performing volunteer team is changing the landscape of the public sector.
Juliet Lee, Director, Administration and External Relations, University of Southern California
Randi Kay Stephens, Program Manager, Institute for Local Government
- May the Best Man Win? Inequity Drivers in Health Care Policies and Practices
As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world, the United States has more than 110,000 deaths as of the writing of this description. This disease has exposed harsh realities about disparities in the U.S. health care system. As health care concerns dominate federal and state agendas, it is imperative to consider how best to create a more equitable system of care. Currently, chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease remain stubbornly and disproportionately higher in minorities, cancer mortality rates are higher for African Americans and transgender individuals face continuing discriminatory health care experiences. As state governments experience rising Medicaid expenditures, this may pull funding from other health care services as Medicare and Medicaid account for approximately 37 percent of all health expenditures in the United States and more than 60 percent of all hospital care. Creating a more equitable health care system depends upon substantive shifts in approaches and delivery systems and the integration of public policy, administration and health care. Public administration scholars and practitioners are recognizing the opportunity costs of failing to deliver on this critical social equity concern.
Tiffany Henley, Assistant Professor, Pace University
Cassandra Henson, Assistant Professor, Towson University
Hillary Knepper, Moderator/Coauthor, Associate Professor and Chair, Pace University
Patria de Lancer Julnes, Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Baruch College
YoungJoo Park, Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
Alonso Rubin-DeSimone, Administrative Supervisor, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
- A New Vision for Social Welfare, Education and Social Reform
Sponsored by California Lutheran University
This panel comprises researchers working in the fields of social welfare reform, criminal justice issues and education, who will share insights on ongoing research. The papers will examine some of the ongoing issues in education policy in the state of California using statewide data. Additionally, another paper on the panel will examine the changing perceptions of who is worthy of welfare in the United States, using data gathered from an online experiment. Still another paper will examine criminal justice policy issues and how creative solutions for re-entry can work in a prison system.
Chris Beck, General Counsel, Housing Authority of the City of Buenaventura and Adjunct Professor, California Lutheran University
Jamshid Damooei, Professor, California Lutheran University
Amanda ElBassiouny, Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University
Sabith Khan, Program Director and Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University
Schanne Lucas, Professor, California Lutheran University
- A Portrait of LA County
Can one report make a difference? This panel will explore the background behind and unfolding impact of ‟A Portrait of Los Angeles County” on public-private partnerships, government innovation and research-driven performance improvement. The Portrait, prepared for government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector by the Social Science Research Council/Measure of America, offers a comprehensive index of how LA County residents are faring. Our panelists will discuss how, in the service of advancing equitable and effective policymaking and program implementation, the Portrait has provided an accessible and useable roadmap to advancing inclusion, equity, and productivity, even simultaneously. Portrait data has been used to suggest improvements to both the built and social environments in communities categorized in the Portrait as "struggling" and "precarious"; to help address impediments to fair housing access; to expand equitable access to arts education and programs to address trauma through the performing arts; to improve opportunities for young people to successfully transition to employment; to target early childhood literacy programs to the highest-need neighborhoods; and to address regional inequities, among other initiatives.
Maritza Dubie-Uribe, Interim Executive Director, Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board
Shawn Landres, Immediate Past Chair, Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission
Kristen Lewis, Director and Co-Founder, Measure of America
Carrie Miller, Moderator, Assistant Executive Director, Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection
Jennifer Price-Letscher, Director, Programs & Special Projects, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
- Transition from Cognition to Collective Action in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, GSPIA
Moving an entire society to collective action to reduce shared risk is an extraordinarily difficult task that historically has been seen only in times of war. Yet, there is dramatic evidence that this shift has occurred in response to the threat of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as it spread rapidly across the globe in the early months of 2020. The virus spread at different rates in different countries and, in the United States—the country with the largest number of infected cases—at different rates in different states. Collective action to reduce risk at the societal level can only be achieved when citizens collectively understand the risk to the wider community and voluntarily accept limitations on their own actions to serve the shared goal. We seek to understand what factors contribute to collective cognition of risk, what factors inhibit it and what conditions and mechanisms translate shared understanding of risk into collective action to achieve a common goal: protecting public health while reducing economic costs.
Louise Comfort, Professor, GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh
Naim Kapucu, Professor, University of Central Florida
Kilkon Ko, Professor, Seoul National University
Aya Okada, Associate Professor, Tohoku University
Mary Lee Rhodes, Professor, Trinity College
Haibo Zhang, Professor, Nanjing University
Find more information online and register today!
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ASPA Welcomes New Section, Chapter
In recent months, ASPA has welcomed a new Section, the South Asian Section for Public Administration (SASPA), and a new Chapter in Hawaii. These groups provide opportunities for members to connect with each other "locally" and around the world.
SASPA advances research and study on public administration and policy in South Asia, plus international and comparative analysis of the region's administrative systems. It promotes global and comparative perspectives by increasing awareness and understanding of the factors affecting policy and administration in South Asia. Its specific goals are to provide a platform for networking among scholars and practitioners interested in these issues and policies and encourage collaborative research between South Asian scholars and their international counterparts. If you are active on Twitter, you may have seen their recent "Scholar of the Day" posts to help our community get to know some of the scholars in this field.
The Hawaii Chapter also has been approved to promote networking, education and programming in the state. If you are a member located in Hawaii, this Chapter will provide you with a great opportunity to more directly connect with fellow ASPA members in the area. (If you are a lapsed ASPA member in Hawaii, perhaps this gives you a reason to rejoin!)
Members are welcome to join either or both communities. Those renewing their membership may add these communities as a part of the renewal process. If you are between renewal periods, contact us and we can help you add either of these communities (or any others) to your ongoing membership at any time.
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E-Learning at Your Fingertips
While social distancing continues, ASPA staff are working to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.
BookTalk: The Divided States of America
September 1 | 1 p.m. EDT
Don Kettl, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School
Bill Shields, Jr., Executive Director, ASPA
An innovative system of power sharing that balanced national and state interests, federalism—James Madison's great invention—was the pragmatic compromise that brought the colonies together to form the United States. Yet, even beyond the question of slavery, inequality was built into the system because federalism by its very nature meant that many aspects of an American’s life depended on where they lived. Over time, these inequalities have created vast divisions between the states and made federalism fundamentally unstable. In The Divided States of America, Donald Kettl chronicles the history of a political system that once united the nation—and now threatens to break it apart. Join us for this important discussion as Don Kettl and Bill Shields discuss this new release.
The publisher is offering a discount on this resource. Visit our website for details!
From the Archives
In case you missed it, authors Kathy Newcomer and Charlie Johnson were joined by John Kamensky to talk about their book, U.S. Inspectors General: Truth Tellers in Turbulent Times. In recent months, this has become an even more important subject. Listen to the authors as they look at how officials reporting to both executive officials and congressional representatives work to keep the government honest, efficient and effective. Members can find the recording in our archives!
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Focus on Membership: Your Public Service Announcement...
Beware the scammers, phishers and hackers! Those pesky internet bots get more creative every day.
ASPA Chapter and Section members, among others, have received strange emails from individuals pretending to be ASPA leaders in recent weeks. Those fake messages included requests to purchase gift cards and related fraudulent schemes, and many of our members were quick to bring these messages to our attention (and not act on the requests). While this was a specific phishing incident, similar malicious events can affect anyone at any time, whether related to ASPA peers or others.
As the saying goes, "If you see something, say something." Please report any phishing/hacking/spoofing attempts you think are related to your ASPA membership or leadership activity to the national office so we can be aware of scams circulating online. That said, we will caution you: We cannot assist with any technological or financial ramifications. As always, your first steps (in no particular order) should be to:
This most recent scam is a reminder to make sure you continue (or perhaps start!) to view your inbox with a degree of skepticism so as to avoid being caught off guard—and then caught providing a spammer with access to your bank account, credit card or other payment portal, through which they can succeed in their fraudulent aims. Law enforcement and banking agencies can't always retrieve stolen funds, especially if you are involved in the transaction.
- Contact your IT department (so they can help you block the ne'er-do-well accounts from your email)
- Contact your financial institution (so they can stop payment, if possible, should you have been duped)
- Contact your local police and/or the FBI (to report the scam and get law enforcement involved—especially if money has changed hands)
Email "tells" include grammatical inaccuracies, odd requests from "friends," masked email addresses, "text only" messages from people who usually send you more formal requests and fake links. For those who need more tips about how to avoid being scammed, or what to do when it happens, click here and scroll to the second link on this page, which will take you to a special webinar we held on this very important subject.
Make the most of these valuable (members only) resources and contact us with any questions or concerns.
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Washington Post Column Examining Gerrymandering Draws on PA TIMES Online
A piece published in The Washington Post recently by former Congressman Lee Hamilton, former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and Alton Frye reflected on an option the House could use to put an end to gerrymandering: Deny seats to states that do it. Pointing out that the 2020 Census will begin another round of redistricting, Hamilton, Cohen and Frye demonstrate that this issue is within the House of Representative's power to solve, without the hyper-partisanship typically involved. The article reflects on the question of proportional representation, about which Frye had already done some significant math, featured in his PA TIMES Online column from earlier this year: "A Constitutional Standard to End Gerrymandering."
As the authors state in their article: "But to control gerrymandering—even better to deter it—there needs to be a mechanism to assess districts and whether those who designed them intended to distort the will of the statewide constituency." Drawing on Supreme Court decisions, the authors note: "... the chief justice's acknowledgment of the dissonance between gerrymandering and constitutional values argues against ignoring manipulation of the redistricting process. And it argues for attention to the statewide results as a context, not a rigid standard, for evaluating whether district lines are reasonably drawn. Even if states allocated House seats on the basis of the share of the statewide vote won by each party, analysis of the 2018 midterm voting reveals that the overall party balance in the House would shift very little. What would change would be the composition of a number of state delegations, with competition increasing."
ASPA is pleased that PA TIMES Online could contribute to this perspective—and hopefully to a way forward to solve this long-standing Constitutional conundrum.
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The Public Administration Gateway: Everyone’s Viewing It!
What do your peers know about the Public Administration Gateway that you don't?
Hosted on ASPA's website—and, in fact, one of the most popular resources there—the Gateway features almost 100 web pages loaded with resources, tips, indices and more, all aimed to provide scholars, practitioners, policymakers and others with the tools they need to advance the discipline.
The field of public affairs and administration benefits from a wealth of published resources. But those print, electronic and multi-media gems are often invisible to professionals, students and even academics. Through centuries of thoughtful research and reflection, resources focusing on the improvement of public and nonprofit sector performance have become substantial and since the turn of the 21st century, such resources have multiplied to the point at which the body of insights emanating from observations and data has become overwhelming.
The Public Administration Gateway is your entry to those insights. Have you explored it yet?
Developed by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University, this digital resource is a comprehensive and accessible portal for the core resources in the field, many of which are available for free. Its goal is to enable public managers to deliver services to citizens as promised, encourage students to find and build successful careers, and facilitate scholarly access to qualitative insights and quantitative data.
If you have not yet, now is the time to join thousands of your peers, explore this resource and find out what you are missing!
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Supreme Court Upholds Native American Rights in Oklahoma
You may have missed this news in recent weeks' headlines, but earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court upheld Native American rights in Oklahoma, confirming that the land deeded to the Five Tribes of Oklahoma (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole and Muscogee Nation) by the government in previous centuries is, in fact, still theirs. In total, the geographic area takes up approximately half the state of Oklahoma, including Tulsa.
With criminal justice, regulatory, tax and industrial implications that have the potential to be far-ranging, this is not only a significant development for Native Americans, but also is a significant development for public administration throughout Oklahoma.
Obviously intergovernmental agreements will be affected, as well as taxation and environmental challenges given that Oklahoma has a booming oil industry that will now, potentially, face hurdles from the Five Tribes. Land, leases, civil and criminal court cases, and more all may need to be re-evaluated, potentially facing decades of questions before the details are worked out.
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, citing the 19th century "Trail of Tears," during which Native Americans were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma. The U.S. government, at the time, stated that the new land would belong to the tribes in perpetuity. In his opinion, Gorsuch stated, "Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word."
Gorsuch further stated that while the court is "aware of the potential for cost and conflict around jurisdictional boundaries," past precedent has shown that "Oklahoma and its tribes have proven time and again that they can work successfully together."
The case before the Court was regarding a sexual assault that allegedly took place on the Muscogee (Creek) Indian Reservation. The assailant argued that the state of Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction to prosecute him because he is an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, his crimes took place on the Creek Reservation and that his case should have been heard in federal court. It is not clear how the Court's ruling will now impact the case. (Of note, the current case concerned jurisdiction, not land ownership, which adds to potential future uncertainty.)
Find a summary of the legal case here and a reflection of what it could mean here.
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AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Demonstrate ROI
A report released recently, commissioned by Voices for National Service, demonstrates that for every dollar in federal taxes invested in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, the return on investment to the government, program members and society at large is $17.30.
Per the report, "Nationwide, more than 275,000 Americans are serving their communities through ... AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. These national service members are meeting pressing needs by mentoring students, helping communities respond to and recover from natural disasters, fighting the opioid epidemic, connecting veterans to job and education resources, supporting independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities, helping families achieve economic self-sufficiency, and more."
Three metrics were calculated: benefit-cost ratio, federal ROI and federal benefit-cost ratio. The benefit-cost ratio is 11.8, the federal ROI is 3.5 and the federal benefit-cost ration is 17.3.
"Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members across the country have acted quickly and creatively to address gaps in services and persistent inequities that have only been exacerbated," said a press release. "Members have delivered millions of meals, conducted hundreds of thousands of wellness checks, expanded access to health screenings, set up temporary isolation sites, organized blood drives and are providing virtual teaching, tutoring and mentoring to students."
Per the report's conclusion: "This study illustrates that there is a significant return on investment for national service programs that play a critical role in leveraging the skills and talent of citizens to address unmet community needs across the nation. Based on the results of these analyses, we conclude that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs result in significant monetary benefits to the federal government, to all program funders, to communities, and to those who serve."
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Tips and Resources
Here are a range of resources—from lighthearted to immensely useful—posted online recently that you should check out!
Coronavirus Resource: How Your Agency Is Reopening
Via the Federal News Network, this is a robust collection of the announcements and reopening plans released so far. Check back regularly for updated information.
Ensuring a Safe Return to the Office While Fostering Employee Connection
Most people know what to do; whether they actually do it is a different matter.
10 Steps to Take to Try to Prevent Your Own Eviction
Some federal relief is about to expire. Local assistance is spotty. Congress may not act quickly. Here’s how to get help, or help yourself.
Leadership Traits for Crisis Management
Leading people is difficult during a crisis. Regardless of what we learn in academia, there is no simulation or case study to prepare you for how you will react when a crisis occurs. When looking deeper into what causes leaders to succeed or fail in a crisis, there are some clear leadership traits.
What You Need To Know About Protective Face Masks
There's growing evidence that masks help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Committing to wearing a mask out in the world all the time, though, can also raise some questions. What do you do when you want to take a sip of water? Or when you're exercising? Find out here!
Your Coping and Resilience Strategies Might Need to Shift as the COVID-19 Crisis Continues
As the pandemic drags on, uncertainty and fears about health and safety mix with confusion and challenges tied to re-opening society. You need flexibility when picking your coping strategies.
Practicing Mindfulness Can Help Us through the Coronavirus Pandemic
Researchers are finding new applications and interventions for mindfulness practices to enhance individual well-being.
Five Ways to Help Teens Feel Seen and Heard in An Uncertain Time
Parents may wonder how to advise children facing an unprecedented moment with no blueprint or guidebook. How can we help teens find their voice and feel heard and allow them to process emotions and experiences in such chaotic and uncertain times? (Tips are good for adults, as well!)
Study: To Get Enough Exercise, Try Engaging in Three Different Activities A Week
Given that most of us are rethinking our exercise regimens, here is a different—and possibly more effective—approach to increasing your level of activity.
We released other lists of resources in previous editions of Bridge, dating back to April. Check out our archives and look for the "Tips and Resources" articles to find them!
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Coronavirus in the News
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While you can find our usual assortment of news headlines from the past several weeks below, here are stories specific to the coronavirus that are noteworthy.
(Otherwise) 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!
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Members in the News
ASPA members have made news in a variety of ways recently. Below are the headlines we've found; 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.
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Goes to COVID-19 Contractors Accused of Prior Fraud
Member Ben Brunjes' research was used as part of this coverage from USA Today.
Commentary: Protecting Our loved Ones in Nursing Homes from COVID-19
By Lucretia Young
As each day of the pandemic passes, family members, staff and communities are becoming increasingly worried about the health and safety of those inside long-term care facilities. Yet, Gov. John Carney (Delaware) is still not publishing the names of facilities with COVID-19 cases. The lack of transparency from state health officials and facilities only adds anxiety.
Does the COVID-19 Crisis Cap 25 Years of Government Blunders?
A Q&A with Paul Light (New York University) is featured in this article. "What went wrong? The answer is: Almost everything went wrong, and almost everything that did go wrong had been foretold."
Building Trust in Government One Problem at a Time
Public administration needs a new social contract, writes members Don Kettl and Anne Khademian in GovExec.
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