Let’s get it started – Michigan’s own ELGL chapter! The title of this post is not a reference to that earworm of a Black Eyed Peas hit—rather a call to action for the Michigan ELGL group to join together and begin serving as an ELGL powerhouse.
Let me first introduce myself. My name is Bridget Doyle and I’m currently the Community Relations Director for the City of Sterling Heights. I’m a Michigan newbie; I moved here in December from the Chicago area where I was working for the Village of Lombard, Illinois. Since moving to Michigan, I’ve learned: the weather is exactly the same Illinois, bumpy cake is delicious, a municipality can issue a “Snow Emergency,” how to execute a Michigan left-handed turn and lastly, what a “party store” is.
I got involved with ELGL as soon as I transitioned from journalism to local government and I can truly say my involvement has helped land me where I am now. I’ve written columns, presented in a webinar, hosted a happy hour ELGL meet up, hosted a “Lunch and Learn,” presented at the annual Portland conference #ELGL14 and, most recently, presented at the SGR conference in Dallas on behalf of ELGL. Co-founders Kent and Kirsten are strong-willed, forward-thinking (and hilarious) leaders who offer their ELGL volunteers invaluable professional support. Along with Kent and Kirsten is a fleet of dedicated volunteer leaders from every corner of the US: Northwest, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest and California ELGL branches, to name a few.
Hopefully, you’re all already members so I don’t need to sell the organization to you (but if you’re not, you can sign up here), but just some food for thought that your level of involvement with this organization can truly help you grow your career. It’s not only the networking, but the learning, sharing and growing that comes with interacting with people all over the country.
A few things I’d like to propose for the Michigan ELGL team:
1. Let’s start regularly generating Michigan content for the ELGL website.
Whether you have a column idea you want to write yourself and submit or a topic you’d like to see an ELGL leader examine more closely, let me know if you have ideas. We can host a Twittersation (a Twitter conversation), submit a webniar topic and recruit a presenter or execute any other idea you might have floating around. Like your middle school teachers told you, “there are no bad ideas” at ELGL.
2. Start a monthly Pure Michigan column where we discuss Michigan-related topics that are pertinent to all states.
There are so many interesting and challenging things going on in Michigan in 2015 and just as many opportunities to learn form each other and showcase innovation. Detroit is an easy example, but how about this May special election on Prop 1, or “Safe Roads Yes?” What stance is your municipality taking, or are you remaining neutral? How do you tailor your communication without taking a political position? That kind of thing. Would anyone like to take the first month? We could shoot for late March or an April launch date. Let me know.
3. Let’s meet up!
I know we’re all over the state, but I’d be happy to coordinate our first Evening Buzz event in the Detroit metro area. I’m thinking of a few centrally located cities (Royal Oak? Troy?) with good watering holes. This would be a no pressure meet-up for us to discuss ELGL but also to get together and meet face to face. How about we shoot for end of April or early May? Open to your thoughts.
4. Lastly, spread the word.
ELGL is a wonderful organization for everyone ranging from student to City Manager. We can all learn from the next generation of leaders and we need the seasoned leaders to teach us what they know. Feel free to forward this post to your colleagues and friends from other organizations to join.
I know many of you are already involved in ELGL, but I’m here to offer myself as a resource if you’d like to get more involved and perhaps produce content. My ELGL email or my gmail account are both great ways to reach me. I’m excited to get MI ELGL off the ground and to work with you on this exciting new local government resource!