Get to Know Your State and Local Govies

What do a wildlife conservationist, a web coordinator, and a chief analytics officer all have in common? They all are passionate about serving their community in their role as state and local govies! In last week’s State and Local Spotlight, we highlighted some cool state and local jobs you’ve probably never heard of. For this week’s installment, we wanted to feature some of the real people behind those positions and find out what govies are doing across state and local agencies.

Randy Babb                                          

Title: Wildlife Viewing Program Manager at the Wildlife Recreation Branch in the Arizona Game and Fish Department

Job Description: Babb’s main goal is to foster wildlife appreciation among the public. In order to do this, he and his team come up with opportunities for people to experience wildlife. This personal experience with wildlife creates a better appreciation which ultimately leads to conservation efforts.

Why it Matters: Wildlife conservation is necessary if we want our children and grandchildren to experience the same animals and plants that we have. Can you imagine if your great-great-great grandchildren didn’t know what a tiger was? Or if they thought Yellowstone was simply a yellow rock? Without Babb and his team creating ways for the community engage with and see the importance of wildlife, these things could become realities.

David Mohrman

Title: Web Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation

Job Description: In the Division of Financial Regulation, Mohrman is a one-man show. He works on the citizen facing website for the division and makes sure that all of the resources the division offers are accessible to the public. Recently, the website has undergone some changes to make it more efficient. Mohrman emphasized that it is his job to make sure the important parts of the website are still accessible and that overall it offers the best user experience possible.

Why it Matters: Mohrman ensures that every citizen has access to the information they need through the website. He explained several thousand people visit the website every day, all looking for different information. Mohrman’s job of keeping it user friendly, with purposeful content is crucial in making it accessible. Additionally, it impacts the state of Oregon as a whole because the website is the primary way that the government delivers information about financial regulation to its citizens.

Amen Ra Mashariki

Title: Chief Analytics Officer in New York City

Job Description: Mashariki is charged with creating a strategy for how analytics will be used to further administration goals and to create a city that is safe, with a quality of life that is maximally achievable for all New Yorkers. He does this through engagement with analytics projects with agencies. Mashariki works with agencies and the administration in New York City to explore projects that can utilize data and analytics to make city programs better.

Why it Matters: Mashariki’s work has vast implications across the city. For example, he explained how his team recently used analytics to decrease instances of landlord exploitation of rent controlled tenants. In New York, landlords often harass rent controlled tenants in an effort to get them to leave. However, according to New York state law this is illegal. When the issue was brought to Mashariki’s attention, he and his team built a predictive model that used analytics to see where tenant harassment was most likely taking place. From this information, a task force was then able to go out and investigate to see if harassment was occurring.

Do you love learning about the people who make state and local government run? If so, get excited for our upcoming state and local guide and keep following State and Local Spotlight for more local govie love.

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Joe Raasch

Thanks for sharing this! Wouldn’t it be great if this was a broader movement across government! As part of the continuous improvement training we offer managers/supervisors, we show a short video by Simon Sinek on “Starting with Why”. I use this approach when people ask me what I do or where I work. I tell them, “I solve problems that change lives.” This opens a very different conversation than if I said, “I am the director for the Minnesota Office of Continuous Improvement, where I lead a team that supports….” you get the idea.

Juana Williams

Excellent ! I may use your “I solve problems…” line next time. I agree with yu that it would be wonderful if there was a broader movement. Thank you.