This blog is by ELGL’s new employee – Allie Breyer, the Digital Coordinator!
Hello ELGL! I am so excited to be here as ELGL’s third employee and first digital coordinator. I am grateful for this opportunity and to be part of the ELGL family.
I currently reside in the beautiful Green Mountain State. Before moving to Vermont, I lived in Eugene where I received my Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Oregon. My focus was on community and regional planning, and environmental sustainability.
After graduate school, I worked for the City of Eugene’s Waste Prevention and Green Building Program. For over three years, I served as the community engagement and outreach lead for some innovative waste prevention initiatives. My greatest accomplishment was creating the annual Operation: Food Rescue event. Operation: Food Rescue is a free community event with educational speakers, music, games, and a delicious meal made entirely from otherwise wasted food that was donated by local farmers and wholesalers. But even while working on a variety of innovative initiatives, I witnessed a disconnect between how the public perceived our work versus what we actually did.
Regularly, we hear that the government is distrustful, stodgy, and unable or unwilling to change. Misinformation spreads quickly from person to person and often blows up in the public sphere. Raise your hand if you have been personally victimized by a misquote in the newspaper or misinformation at a public meeting…
From my experience, this negative narrative doesn’t align with the actuality of the government employees I know or the work we do. Local government leaders are innovative, creative, hard-working, and caring public servants who ultimately want to do good work for their community.
This disconnect is a continual challenge for us working in the public sector. But fortunately for us, unlike our predecessors in local government, with the advent of digital communication platforms, we have a unique opportunity to build the narrative in our voice, create a culture of trust and transparency, show the public we are engaged and fun, and form relationships with the community through our online presence. We just have to be willing to do the work to make it happen.
And this is why I truly love ELGL’s important work. ELGL members are fun and find joy in public service. We connect and learn from each other. We build friendships. We support each other. We celebrate our successes. We are trustworthy. And – we get stuff done. I am so excited to help support this network of government employees doing this exciting community work and working with you all to shout it from the digital rooftops!
Besides nerding out about public sector communications and marketing, you can likely find me at home reading a good book (please send me all your recommendations!), hanging out with our menagerie of rescue animals (send me all your backyard duck tips), or out enjoying Vermont’s scenic beauty by foot. I look forward to working with you all!