Posted on August 2, 2018

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Right Now with Stacy Schweikhart (LinkedIn/Twitter)

What I’m reading: The Buddhist Path to Simplicity

What I’m watching: No time for screens – training for a 100 mile charity bike ride

What I’m listening to: John Coltrane

I woke up this morning feeling grateful.

Grateful for all of the local government professionals around the country who found out about a first of it’s kind project to collect comprehensive diversity data on the gender, race,age and veteran status of leaders from all forms of local government and gave us a few minutes of their day because they agreed the cause was worthy.

Grateful to all of those who just learned of the effort as we released it yesterday and immediately completed surveys to get their information included in our ever growing, ever evolving data set. The survey will remain open as we work to attain more data with the end goal that the data set will be a representation of diversity in local government nationwide.

Grateful for all of the state associations and affiliated organizations who supported the importance of the work by attaching their names to the effort and using their networks to encourage participation. Just take a look at the survey responses from states like Wisconsin to see how powerful the data is as result of full state association buy in.

Grateful for our team of Research Coordinators who worked to distribute surveys, collect data and scrub results. They went back time and time again when they faced resistance and in many cases, with encouragement & assistance from ELGL members, finally broke through to gain participation by more states

Grateful to Lauren & Libby for managing the entire Diversity Dashboard data collection project.  These two young professionals took on an enormous task, broke it down in to phases, trained their team, designed the entire data collection process and met weekly with Research Coordinators to keep this project moving forward.

Grateful to OpenGov for working with us to display a remarkable visualization of this first of its kind data. We know that as people take time to explore the information, to cross reference the data by multiple factors, many insights will be gained.

Grateful to ICMA and to Marc Ott. Though ICMA had previously collected and released data on the gender of their membership, they agreed with and wholeheartedly supported our effort to collect more robust diversity data nationwide from all forms of local government.  Marc Ott signed a letter to all state associations encouraging their participation and ICMA funded half of the project.

Grateful to all of our colleagues and the organizations across the country who contributed last fall when we launched the Kickstarter campaign to fund making this important project a reality.  You proved to us and to the rest of the world that the effort is important to you and to the local government profession.

Finally, grateful to Kirsten Wyatt for having this dream and believing we could make it happen.  She’s been a tireless crusader, a cheerleader, a mentor for our research team and a true champion of sparking conversations about diversity.


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