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Newsletter – April 2021

Thanks to the many people that responded to last month’s Speak Up for Good Government email. Your feedback will help me refine messaging, refine the scope of this work, and refine our short and longer term priorities. I have attached last month’s email for your reference.

My overall approach to this work will be to utilize Quality/Continuous Improvement principles wherever applicable. Leveraging those principles, this month’s edition focuses on “project definition," keeping in mind that this work will evolve and mature over time.

Project description – Designed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we have strayed from that vision. Elected officials are employees of the voters. However, rather than acting as our employees, elected officials frequently focus their efforts on their donors, their party, and the next election. Objective of Speak Up for Good Government is to achieve meaningful improvement by the end of the decade in accountability and effectiveness of our Federal government.

Scope – Limited to Federal government (rather than state and local government). Limited to work that promotes basic good government principles developed as part of this project.

Key assumptions – There are thousands of "Good Government" organizations, but there is nothing that ties the efforts of those efforts into a broader strategy for achieving the accountability and effectiveness we should expect from our government and our elected officials.

Key constraints – One person effort with limited time and resources.

Key issues/risks – Even if there is broad agreement on the Speak Up for Good Government roadmap, there is nothing that compels our elected officials to enact these reforms.

Measure of success – It would be very difficult to effectively measure whether this work is improving legislative output and/or congressional approval, so I’m strongly considering a survey that assesses the extent to which the basic principles are being applied/complied with.

Approach during the first year:

  1. A monthly one to two page newsletter that will:

    1. Refine and clarify “Speak Up for Good Government”

    2. Further define and expand on the good government principles I detailed last month

    3. Provide information on organizations that are supporting “Speak Up for Good Government” principles

    4. Provide information on what I learned and did in the past month

  2. Outreach and networking with good government organizations and elected officials

  3. A web site* and/or web presence that:

    1. Iteratively grows through my monthly newsletter

    2. Helps facilitate dialog and communication

    3. Provides links and info to good government resources and organizations

  4. Support of existing efforts when those opportunities present themselves

    1. I agreed to become part of a legislator accountability team supporting All-On-The-Line’s efforts to minimize gerrymandering in the current redistricting cycle

Much more to come in succeeding months:

  1. Additional details on timeline and objectives

  2. Refinement and further articulation of the basic principles (listed below and in attachment)

  3. Mobilizing support

  4. Little victories!

Basic principles:

  1. Free and fair elections where anyone that is eligible to participate can easily do so

  2. Availability of accurate and unbiased information to help inform voting decisions

  3. Shared commitment by all elected officials to problem solving

  4. Respect for and embrace of opposing views

  5. Legislative approach that allows for and empowers regional differences

  6. Active partnership between the public and our elected officials

  7. Expert input on legislative solutions

  8. Strict rules to prevent conflicts of interest

  9. A shared commitment to excellence, leveraging continuous improvement principles to drive government effectiveness

As many of you did last month, please review and provide feedback. Also, feel free to share with others and let me know of anyone else that should be added to this distribution.

Have a great month!


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