Warigia Bowman

Hi Stephen

I did survive the 1995 shutdown, but it had a fairly harsh effect on me. I was a young woman, in my early twenties. I was idealistic, and excited to work for the progressive Clinton Administration. I reported to my job at the environment division of the United States Department of Justice, and shortly thereafter got furloughed.

I remember clearly that it had something to do with Kay Baily Hutchison not liking the Endangered Species Act. For years afterwards we were defending cases having to do with actions the Department of Interior had failed to take due to the budget shortfall.I felt that the decisions of public interest groups to sue Interior on so called deadline cases was cynical at best. Although I am an ardent environmentalist, I refuse to give money to the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Earthjustice to this day.

In addition, the shutdown coincided with a pretty nasty snowstorm, if I remember correctly, So there I was young, idealistic, not much money, had barely moved to DC. To add insult to injury, the Smithsonian, Jewel of DC, was closed also. I left DC after three years, much disillusioned.

I now teach public policy, including nonprofit management, and my experiences certainly affect what I convey.