Mixin’ It Up with Genesis Gavino, City of Tacoma, WA

Posted on July 11, 2015


For the second year in a row, ELGL will be co-hosting an event at the ICMA Conference. This year we’re bringing a couple of pianos and booking a much larger room. More than 500 local government professionals from all areas of local government will attend. Registration will continue until we reach maximum capacity. We recommend registering as soon as possible.

Let’s get prepared for the ELGL and ICMA “Mixing in Perfect Harmony” event by hearing from our guests.

Genesis Gavino (LinkedIn) – City of Tacoma, WA

Seal of the City of Tacoma
If you could pick any three bands (dead or alive) as the opening act for the Dueling Pianos event, which would you choose?

  • Journey
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • The Backstreet Boys

(Complete the sentence)When I learned the ICMA Conference was being held in Seattle, I thought….

perfect! I don’t have to travel.

(Complete the sentence) I knew local government was the career for me when….
I decided I wanted to know more about how local government functioned (or not) so that when I open a nonprofit to serve my community, I will be a better leader and change agent.
Our #13Percent Initiative focuses on increasing diversity in the local government workforce. Give us your perspective — does local government have an issue? what, specifically, can we do to increase diversity in the workforce?
Local government has an ‘older white male’ problem.  But that’s not news to you.  Aside from gender, the diversity lacking in local government is apparent in the membership at ICMA.  How do you recruit for future managers?  Or even future leaders who don’t want to be managers?  The answer would probably be through school programs and job listings on websites.  Who are more likely to be enrolled in these school programs or searching through these listings? People who already know, people who have access, people who have no barriers to access.  What if the institution (ICMA) went further and started them early.  Thinking from a high school student’s perspective, I don’t know that I want to work in local government unless someone tells me that’s an opportunity and I see someone like me (person of color, woman, LGBTQ, etc) telling me I can work in local government.  The opportunity is there, there’s just no effort from the profession to really engage and highlight diversity, especially in an equitable manner.
The Seahawks lost the Super Bowl by passing instead of running from the 1-year line. Give us your best tip(s) for rebounding from difficult situations.
Get constructive criticism from someone outside of your immediate professional circle.  Fresh eyes on the issue can help you catch where you may have gone wrong and where you can improve.Lucille

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