I came across @GovLoop’s tweet a couple of weeks ago on Twitter regarding a poll that was taken and discussed in a paper called, “In Public We Trust” I couldn’t help but check it out.
I think being one of the few (maybe only) GovLoop members who is not in fact a Government employee, it truly struck a chord with me. As a member of the “public,” what is it about GovLoop that appeals to me? And how has interacting on it changed and affected my own views of Government?
In my life I have fallen prey to the type of thinking mentioned in this paper. It becomes easy for regular citizens to simply hold, not just the current administration responsible for their difficult times, but to have complete lack of faith in all the others who are supposed to be implementing the laws and rules set forth by that administration.
According to the poll discussed in the paper (Table 4), 75% of people asked rated the federal government ability to do what’s best for the public, as failing. Failing to do what’s best for the public. 75%.
That’s a drastic number, and it’s the single most vital thing we the people are supposed to be able to count on the Federal government to do.
Now, this poll was taken before Barack Obama was elected in November, so we can safely say that those numbers have probably changed a bit. But still, until Americans see some real significant change in their lives, how are we supposed to muster up faith in our Government?
Obama has really set the bar as far as using the web to engage, educate and encourage faith. Which is awesome.
But its not just the President & his administration that will be working their butts off to make things better, it’s going to be everyone who plays a part in Government at every level. From congressional aids who work to pass legislation, to city employees who are going to decide where bailout money will best be spent to help local economies.
So this brings us to the main question of the paper. How does not only the government win back the faith of the American people, but how do bearucrats and government employees everywhere do it?
GovLoop is a huge start.
The way the public views state and federal workers changes when the so-called bearucrats have faces and stories to tell. Especially people like the ones here at GovLoop. As I pour through the numerous blogs, discussions, groups and other action going on here, its hard not to have faith instantly restored.
If the people at the heart of government are this dedicated, passionate and smart, then how can the public NOT have faith in the direction of our country? Show regular people GovLoop, show them that the people on the floor, behind the desks and everywhere else keeping the wheels of democracy spinning are good people who are making a difference each and every day because they want to.
In fact that’s all I see anybody here on GovLoop do. Talk and talk and talk about how to improve our cities, our states and our country.
Inspiration. That’s what I get out of GovLoop. And faith.
So by telling your stories, going above and beyond what your jobs call for and just showing how much you care about your country by spending so much time figuring out how to fix it. That’s how the Government wins back the public’s trust.
And in case none of you have heard it lately, thanks for doing your job.
Meghan, that’s great to hear! Even as a government employee, I can get really jaded and tired. But participating in GovLoop has given me a lot more faith in gov. There are so many innovative and passionate people here, it’s inspiring.
I agree that the best way to gain the public’s trust is to engage people, and you are right that GovLoop helps to achieve this by showing the public that there are real, dedicated people working for them.GovLoop also helps facilitate communication and trust between government workers because now when I think of the EPA or the USGS or other agencies or cities, I think of the people I have seen here. It’s awesome how social media is breaking down all the barriers to understanding, collaboration, and communication.
Meghan, I hadn’t noticed this post before. Thanks for your feedback.
Great post Meghan. I’m about as jaded as they come…was a somewhat political insider in SF once and just didn’t like what I saw, even from the people on “my” team or my side of issues. Adriel was a reporter at the Examiner at the time and we talked occasionally, he as reporter and me as spin guy for a small political org. It seemed most everyone had their own agenda and few really understood the public, even when they were right. Adriel turned me onto Debra Bowen, who does her own tweets and FB and it’s really a breath of fresh air to see someone so open and honest and not always spinning or working an angle. I hope govloop does make gov more accessible.