Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

May 8, 2024

ASPANet.org | PA TIMES.org

Interested in placing an ad in The Bridge? Contact us for more details!

It's Public Service Recognition Week!

National Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) has arrived! This is an annual opportunity across the country to pay tribute to public service employees and show them how much we value their work on behalf of our communities. We are excited to see a number of ASPA Chapters and Sections are hosting events in honor of PSRW (some of which have already happened), including:

  • April 26: Greater Chicago Chapter 44th Annual PSRW Program
  • May 1: Rhode Island Chapter 13th Annual Public Service and Leadership Conference
  • May 8: Southern California Chapter Annual Awards Luncheon
  • May 8: Sacramento Chapter 42nd Annual Award Dinner
  • May 9: Hampton Roads Chapter Annual Awards Luncheon
  • May 9: New Jersey Chapter Public Service Awards Reception
  • May 10: SDSJ and Nebraska Chapter Event Celebrating Public Service
  • May 10: Buffalo Niagara Chapter Public Service Awards Dinner
  • May 16: Greater Houston Chapter Public Service Recognition Week Awards Ceremony
  • May 22: Utah Chapter Annual Award Ceremony
  • June 12: New York Metropolitan Chapter Annual Award Ceremony
We hope everyone will take part in these and other events, whether virtual or in person. Find more information on our online calendar.

You do not have to attend one of these events to honor your public servants! From letter-writing campaigns to social media posts to op-eds in your local newspapers, there are plenty of ways to show public administrators at the local, state and federal level that their work is valued. If you need help getting started, the Partnership for Public Service has put together a wide range of tools and resources you can use to amp up this year's celebration. (Thanks, Partnership!)

Federal News Network has put together a website where anyone can send messages of appreciation, as well. Click here to view that page. We also are pleased to report that the White House has issued a proclamation for this week, as it does most years. View it online here.

You might also find the following news headlines of interest:
Biden Kicks Off Public Service Recognition Week
Meet Finalists for the "Oscars of Public Service:" The Sammie Awards

However you choose to get involved this year, please show your hard-working public servants how much you value them. For the public servants reading this message, happy PSRW! The American Society for Public Administration—all 12,000 members and partners—appreciates you! Thank you for your service!

If you are affiliated with an ASPA Chapter or Section hosting an event that is not on the list above, please let us know so we can include you on future lists!


Bounce Back, Stretch, Grow!

Mixed into the 150 concurrent sessions that took place throughout the 2024 Annual Conference, six plenaries brought to the forefront remarks and insights from some of today's leaders in public administration and public policy, all of whom reflected on what "resilience" means for our profession, and their corner of it, right now. Just some of those insights included:

We need to be thankful
We need more public administrators
We need to propel forward
We need to fight back
We need to make sure communities know they matter
We need academia
We need practitioners

While one can get lost in the weeds of each presentation, one overarching thought kept coming to the surface: It's a good time to do what we do. Carrying on the legacy of those who began our discipline decades ago—William Mosher, Luther Gullick and Nesta Gallas, to name but a few—and fulfilling today's needs—hopefully building legacies for future generations—this year's conference showcased the progress we've made in recent years despite many obstacles to doing so.

"If you had to repeat March 2020, do you think you're in a better place than you were then," asked Courtney Phillips during the Elliot Richardson Lecture. "I would hope so. We hope those challenges propelled us forward."

Dozens of awards presentations, scores of workshops and hundreds of research presentations and updates from across the field formed the core of the conference, but being in person provided attendees with an enhanced opportunity to share with each other the state of public administration from multiple lenses. While today's challenges are significant, the network and support structure the conference provided enabled attendees to find move forward in both research and practice.

"The world has a lot to be happy about," reflected Chet Newland during the Donald C. Stone Lecture. "While we do need to be attentive to the crises of our time, we need to be thankful that we can all get together and have real meetings."

Social events provided breaks from the "work," offering attendees nightly opportunities to have fun and get to know each other, as well as special events to hear from guest speakers with new perspectives. Even more, fabulous Minneapolis weather provided conference-goers with plenty of time to explore the city, see some highlights and enjoy local food and fun in between conference sessions—encouraged by opening remarks from Mayor Jacob Frey.

"It's beautiful outside! Go spend your money," the mayor joked during his welcome remarks before some sobering and heartfelt comments. "It's on you all to make sure the work of the people is done with pride. I want to say thank you—wherever you're from, whatever you do, the jobs you have make a gigantic difference to society."

We have posted a photo gallery of this year's highlights via Flickr, available online here, no password required. Enjoy browsing through the photos and contact us if you need any print-ready copies. Presenters are in the process of sharing their presentations in PDF format. If you presented at the conference and haven't sent your file yet, please do so no later than next Friday, May 17, so we can post these presentations to our website in a timely fashion.

E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Student and New Professional series programming.

BookTalk: The Curious Public Administrator
May 14 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT

Will Hatcher, Chair, Department of Social Sciences and Professor, Augusta University

Louis Brownlow, one of public administration’s historical thinkers, once argued, “[T]he principal requirement of a good administrator is an insatiable curiosity.” This book, by Will Hatcher, is rooted in the notion that public administrators must practice insatiable curiosity to be effective, fair and democratic. By seeking to uncover how the world works, and therefore practicing curiosity, public administrators may be more likely to move toward evidence-based decisions, improving the efficacy and efficiency of public service. Curiosity encourages public administrators to seek answers in a caring manner and, in doing so, to empathize with the communities that they serve. Join us for this event and learn more about this resource.

KeepingCurrent: OIRA in Your Classroom: A Chance to Show Your Students How They Can Help Shape Federal Regulations
May 21 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT

Shagufta Ahmed, Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Dan Cline, Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Rita Young, Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Federal regulations set the rules of the road that affect our lives in myriad ways—from providing access to affordable medicine to reducing children’s exposure to harmful toxins. A critical part of designing regulations that work is hearing from the public. Greater public participation leads to a more responsive and effective federal government that better addresses the needs of the American people. The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is taking new steps to make it easier for interested members of the public to voice their views in the federal rulemaking process. As a part of this effort, OIRA is reaching out to post-secondary educational institutions that teach public policy and public administration to offer an exciting learning opportunity. In this webinar we’ll describe this opportunity and encourage ASPA members to sign up their classes for a session in Fall Semester 2024.

From the Archives
BookTalk: Human Resource Essentials for Public Service: People, Process, Performance
Tough issues face human resource managers. With the specter of Schedule F hanging over federal jobs, the time to understand why good government requires job protections is now. And there are no easy answers for the right blend of remote versus in-person work; or how employees can find meaningfulness in their jobs; or how to forestall workplace violence; or how to ensure equitable processes. Listen to this webinar via our online archives now. (Members only)

ASPA Releases Year-Round App!

In case you missed it, ASPA has launched a new mobile app—but did you know that you can use it all year long?

Visit any app or play store to download your version (search for "ASPA"), log in with your ASPA login information to see all of your details—and all of the features in the app—and start connecting with folks any time!

Is it time to renew your membership? Do it in the app! Click on your profile image in the upper-left-hand corner and follow the prompts to select your membership type and Sections.

Questions? Contact us for assistance and we'll be happy to help get you started!

We will continue to roll out new features in the weeks and months ahead, so look for announcements and more details soon!

Welcome New Institutional Member Merrimack College!

ASPA is pleased to announce Merrimack College has recently joined the growing list of organizations choosing to form strategic partnerships with ASPA to not only provide their students and faculty with ASPA memberships, but also enjoy other benefits to help them grow their brand within public administration.

ASPA forms these partnerships throughout the year; if an institutional membership sounds like an option that would benefit your organization—be it a government agency, nonprofit organization or college/university school or department—contact us for more information.

View our list of group and institutional memberships online here!

Celebrate ASPA's 85th Anniversary!

ASPA is turning 85 this year and is celebrating our rich history of advancing excellence in public service while we plan for 85 more years ahead of us.

In that spirit, ASPA's development committee has launched a fundraising campaign for the rest of 2024—the 85-for-85 campaign—soliciting contributions to support ASPA's operations, specifically programs that cultivate our next generation of leaders.

As ASPA President-Elect John Bartle noted during the 2024 Annual Conference's opening plenary, "The funds will be put to use right away to provide more value and keep growing ASPA. What is most important is that we bring in young professionals, help them develop their skills and networks and keep them as ASPA members for many years. This fundraising campaign will help ASPA provide these opportunities."

ASPA leadership and staff look forward to promoting this campaign throughout the year. Make your donation any time, including right now, by clicking on the button below and donating $85 toward the future of ASPA: its students and young professionals.

We look forward to you celebrating this anniversary with us!

Read and Download Public Integrity’s 25th Anniversary Article Collection

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Public Integrity (PI), the leadership team has put together a collection of 30 papers spanning the journal’s history and authorship on innovative, interesting and diverse topics—papers well worth visiting or revisiting. The collection is available open to the public to read and download for the remainder of 2024.

After 25 years, PI continues to be proud to be a journal of the American Society for Public Administration and to represent students, scholars and professionals in the community. We hope you will enjoy reading this collection of papers and celebrating PI’s anniversary with the journal team, ASPA and T&F in 2024.

Policy Pathways' Summer Academy Inspires Future Policy Leaders

Our nation's youth are challenging traditional views, offering new perspectives and holding our leaders accountable. Youth have a stake in our country's future, yet their influence has limited impact in bringing about significant policy change. Policy Pathways, Inc., a Richmond-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides youth opportunities to gain early insights into public policy, public administration, international affairs and study abroad opportunities to begin voicing their convictions on the national stage.

Policy Pathways fills a unique niche that many high schools and academic institutions overlook, delivering teenagers and young adults educational tools, skills and experiences in policy studies that enable them to transfer their passions to real-world careers and institutional change.

The 2024 Summer Academy for Policy Leadership and Public Service runs June 23-July 6 and is now accepting applications. This event is hosted in partnership with the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and prepares participants to stand out in talent, college and career pipelines in public service, public policy, public administration and international affairs while feeding their yearning for change and purpose. The program is delivered by an assembly of world-class guest lecturers, top professors and leading decisionmakers who focus on real-world policy issues while strengthening participants' research, communication, leadership and analytical skills. Participants utilize knowledge derived throughout the course in the culminating capstone project. No prior knowledge or experience with policy is required to participate.

The application deadline has been extended; apply by May 15. Late applications will be accepted on a space-available basis. Click here for more information.

OMB-OIRA Wants to Hear from You!

As noted in our upcoming webinar, listed above, the Office of Management and Budget wants to engage with more of the public about the rulemaking process. Federal regulations set the rules of the road that affect our lives in myriad ways—from providing access to affordable medicine to reducing children’s exposure to harmful toxins. A critical part of designing regulations that work is hearing from the public. Greater public participation leads to a more responsive and effective Federal Government that better addresses the needs of the American people. The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is taking new steps to make it easier for interested members of the public to voice their views in the federal rulemaking process. As a part of this effort, OIRA is reaching out to educational institutions that teach undergraduate and graduate students about public policy and public administration to offer an exciting learning opportunity.

In a one-hour seminar this fall, OIRA will provide an overview demystifying their office and the federal rulemaking process, illustrate success with case studies of regulations that have been improved through public comment, provide tips on how to write an effective comment and answer your questions. OIRA is currently targeting the first round of engagement for fall semester 2024.

If your schedule permits, you are invited to attend our webinar on this subject on May 21. If not, please contact [email protected] for more information. All formal requests for engagement will need to go through standard agency internal clearance process and availability cannot be confirmed until that process is complete.

Public Administration Today Highlight

Public Administration Today features white papers, research and blogs from across the profession. If you're interested in more—especially your own curated news feed in your inbox every week—visit the website, create an account and check off your interest areas so you can stay up to date about the latest research being released!

Securing Legacies: Strategies for Resolving Heirs’ Property Issues in Cities
Via the National League of Cities: Studies report a correlation among heirs’ properties, lower education, economic outcomes and chronic blighted areas. These same blighted areas often are the center of a homeownership agenda by many U.S. mayors and city council members since residential property taxes are one of the drivers for local revenue for municipalities. Yet, many residential properties, specifically blighted heirs’ properties, are sold at a decreased value, thus impacting the surrounding property value and eroding the tax base.

Tips, Resources and the Fun Stuff

Nine Practices from Native American Culture That Could Help the Environment
Certain ancient practices could mitigate the deleterious effects of global warming. From building seaside gardens to water management in desert terrain, these time-honored practices work with the natural world’s rhythms.

Animals Are Stressed During Eclipses. But Not for the Reason You Think
April's total solar eclipse is behind us, but researchers in various fields are just beginning to make sense of the data they collected during totality.

The U.S. Has Updated Its Social Security Estimates. Here’s What You Need to Know.
A government report has issued fresh projections on how long the trust funds for Social Security and Medicare will last.

In the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity

Members in the News

Making AI Better Than Us—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
By Alan Shark

What Trump’s War on the "Deep State" Could Mean: "An Army of Suck-Ups"
The article includes quotes from Don Moynihan and Robert Shea.

Agencies Need to Consider Alternative Personnel Systems
By Howard Risher

Tell Me Something Good...

Need some good news in your world? Check this out:

A Lawmaker with a Brain Disease Used Voice Assist to Back Her Bill on the House Floor
Rep. Jennifer Wexton is being hailed as an inspiration after advocating for her bill on the House floor this week, even as she battles a rare brain disorder that has limited her ability to speak. [Wexton] took the podium on Monday to make the case for her bill, which would rename a post office in her county after regular customer—and late Secretary of State—Madeleine Albright.

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals, calls for nominations and other updates:
  • Call for Chapters: Burned Out
    IntechOpen has issued a call for chapter proposals for an upcoming open access book entitled Burned Out: Exploring the Causes, Consequences, and Solutions of Workplace Stress in Public Service Organizations. Public service occupations are among the most stressful workplaces in the world. Public servants are expected to address society's most difficult and demanding problems—including pandemics, terrorism, natural disasters and a host of complex social issues. These problems expose employees to high physical dangers, deep emotional toils and often constant media, political and citizen criticism for their efforts. This book aims to do a deep dive into not only the types of stress (i.e., work, organizational and environmental demands) that are endemic in a variety of public service workplaces, but also the effects of stress on an assortment of outcomes (i.e., performance, commitment, motivation, happiness and physical and emotional wellbeing) and potential mitigation strategies. This book also will leverage the findings of research drawn from a diversity of methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative research designs. If your research fits this topic, join the project and submit a chapter proposal for consideration.

  • Call for Papers: Public Works Management & Policy
    Public Works Management & Policy (PWMP) seeks novel manuscripts that connect core public administration theory (including policy and management) with modern challenges in the realm of public works. This includes relevant research from all subfields of public administration, including budgeting and finance, human resource management, performance management, policy change, policy analysis and so on, provided that it 1) connects to a core body of public administration or policy theory, and 2) is aligned substantively with the public works management focus of the journal. Recent developments in technology and governance lead to a broadening interpretation of public works management that includes traditional, novel and hybrid foci. For example, papers might examine core public management or policy challenges surrounding: transportation infrastructure, including: roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, intermodal shipping, parks and recreation and others; utilities, including: water, sewer, waste management, telephone, cellular and internet availability and connectivity; economic development, including: industrial parks, urban redevelopment such as tax increment finance districts, or higher education capacity building; capital construction projects such as schools, libraries, prisons and jails, government offices and military installations. Each of these topics is germane to PWMP’s focus, and when addressing core conceptual questions, is welcome to be submitted for consideration. Articles we are especially interested in publishing are those that address salient and timely questions about current and emerging problems, those that examine new and innovative forms of infrastructure and their use, adaptations of existing infrastructure to new uses, and the integration of infrastructure with the softer side of government—how it is used and how it affects governance for the better or for the worse. Click here for more information.

  • Book Announcement: Democracy's Hidden Heroes
    Written by David Campbell (University of California, Davis), this release tells the story of the local public managers and nonprofit directors who work where bureaucratic hierarchies and community networks meet and often collide. These “hidden heroes” struggle to align universal rules and compliance demands with the unique circumstances facing their organizations and communities. Retailing for $24.95 via Temple Press, use promotion code POSP24 for a discount.


Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)


American Society for Public Administration
1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036

Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.