Post Conference Ecstasy

Posted on May 23, 2018


Right Now w/ Joey Garcia (LinkedIn / Twitter)

What I’m Reading – The Color of Law

What I’m Watching – Queer Eye

What I’m Doing – Reflecting on a great conference

I am running high from #ELGL18! I took some great notes and attended relevant sessions to my position as a Public Works Analyst. Selling an ELGL out-of-state conference was a hard sell to my manager. A lot of conferences can be filled with some fluff that make them even harder to rationalize. ELGL was filled with data compilation, data analysis, open-government, process improvement, and narratives to interpret your data.

I have started looking at our current processes to examine how we operate and if we could meet the What Works Cities Certification criteria.
One of the most important takeaways from #ELGL18 was to work within your sphere of influence. So that’s what I’m doing! I may not be able to recommend new citywide policies overnight to a city as large as Torrance but I can take a hard look at my Water Division and scale up. I’m looking at fully utilizing our Accela system and integrating it into our GIS to create heat maps to better understand our operations.
Even better than the tangible learning opportunities from #ELGL18 are the relationships you can build.

ELGL is a special organization. It’s an organization that prides itself in bringing together people who share a similar passion. ELGL members embrace and promote that passion.
#ELGL18 was a tremendous success. Sure, my tour bus was late and breakfast started late, but it was worth it. I was able to connect with people on a personal level; breakout sessions were small group and networking sessions were fantastic! Arts and crafts anyone?!

I met an ELGL member at the La Quinta, CA Roadshow earlier this year. I ran into her again in Golden last week but did not recognize her because I’m a terrible person. I thought she was another person I had just met at Golden. And to make it worse, I thought she was the other woman of color with curly hair at #ELGL18. She rightfully put me on blast. I felt terrible and tried to make up for it the next couple of days. I was able to get to know her better. What started with a terrible lapse in memory, ended with the best laughing session that I’ve had in a long time. It also ended with a new colleague and friend. Nothing beats a heart-to-heart conversation about the realities we face in local government and how we can do our work better.

For those ELGL members who suffered FOMO last week, make sure to catch up in the members-only Facebook group and stay tuned for upcoming Supper Clubs. If you are not an ELGL member, join here.

Too Long; Didn’t Read: ELGL18 was a fulfilling experience that provided tangible tools and allowed for real relationship building. 

Joey Garcia is an Administrative Analyst with the City of Torrance and he occasionally tweets.

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