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Newsletter – September 2021

Speak Up for Good Government is now six months old!

I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time, but very humbled by the enormity of this undertaking and the obstacles to addressing the gridlock in our Federal government.

Between the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the recent Jewish high holidays, this last month was a very appropriate time for me to do some soul searching and introspection.

Thinking about the time immediately after the 9/11 attacks, there was a strong sense of purpose and self-sacrifice. These are traits that would serve us well during the challenging time we live in. I continue to believe that most people are good and want to work together despite differences in ideology or perspective. It is this belief that continues to drive my work, and I am hoping that in the months ahead we can get others to actively support this work.

With the help of one of our subscribers I have begun to upgrade the Speak Up for Good Government website to support broader participation and engagement.

Speak Up for Good Government continues to be based on the nine effectiveness and accountability principles that I first articulated in April and further clarified in my July newsletter. Meaningful progress on each of the effectiveness and accountability principles will require an overwhelming demand by the American public for a change in how our government operates. Nothing better illustrates the need for change than the “game of chicken” currently being played by both parties that could result in a government shutdown or a default on our nation’s debt. This is an unacceptable way to run our government and has the potential to have a negative impact on all of our lives. I truly encourage all of you to “Speak Up” and to encourage others to do the same.

One of my accountability and effectiveness principles speaks to money in government and the need for strict rules to prevent conflicts of interest. Take a look at this video produced by Issue One that speaks to “the outsized influence of political megadonors." Please be sure to share with friends and family!

Looking back at my April newsletter, I am very pleased to see that the first year approach that I envisioned at that time is still valid. For the remainder of this year through much of the first quarter of next year, my primary focus will be establishing the foundation necessary to ensure long term progress and sustainability by establishing connections with organizations that support each of the nine effectiveness and accountability principles. Part of the planned upgrades to the Speak Up website will be to include links from each of the principles to applicable websites.

Last week I hosted a webinar for the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) Government Division. Objectives of the webinar were to share my approach to using effectiveness and accountability principles to anchor this work, discuss the entrepreneurial/opportunistic approach necessary for this work, and discuss common opportunities and barriers to improving government effectiveness.

There is an obvious connection between ASQ’s longstanding support of Quality and my good government principle of “a shared commitment to excellence, leveraging continuous improvement principles to drive government effectiveness." ASQ’s Government Division has three major initiatives in the works - the Center for Quality Standards in Government, the Election Integrity Working Group, and the Government Performance Excellence Forum. These initiatives support my “free and fair elections” principle and, as mentioned last month, provide a framework for measuring the success of Speak Up for Good Government. I look forward to continued engagement with ASQ’s Government Division and plan to actively promote their work.

My likely focus for October (and theme for next month’s newsletter) is touching base with many of the organizations I have previously connected with, including a check-in with the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress.

Have a good and safe month.



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