by Meagan Dorsch
Next week, May 3 - 9, is Public Service Recognition Week, dedicated to honoring public servants and connecting citizens with their government. Did you know that this week has been celebrated for more than two decades?
Since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) has been honoring the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and make our government function effectively. Over 40,000 people across the country work as legislative staff and over 7,382 serve as elected state legislators. The staff of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are also dedicated to running a bipartisan organization that improves the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promotes policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and ensures state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.
Several NCSL employees are members of GovLoop, an on-line social network community and resource for government employees at the federal, state and local levels. GovLoop has come up with a fun way to promote the PSR week. They have teamed up with the Partnership for Public Service and over the next 10 days, will highlight ten government mascots. You may already be familiar with Smokey the Bear, but how about Lady Liberty? Right now, you can meet Franklin the Fair Housing Fox and the Energy Ant.
Unless you are a child in elementary school, you may not be familiar with NCSL's mascot, Citizen Brain (video: 15:55). This cartoon character is part of our Trust for Representative Democracy program.
The video featuring Citizen Brain is used by state legislators who participate in NCSL's Back to School Program, to help teach young kids about American democracy. The video shows Citizen Brain traveling the country and eating "brain food"--facts about civics and government.
Whether it's through mascots or their own words, public servants will use next week to educate citizens about the work they do and why they have chosen public service careers. I look forward to meeting the mascots and hearing the stories!