Highlights from Public Service Recognition Week

MTC_PSRWDo you know who helped Americans come to see drug addiction as a disease that changes brain function? Or who led the Curiosity rover mission to Mars? …Or who developed a new, safer vaccine for hoof-and-mouth disease to protect America’s livestock industry? U.S. government employees — that’s who. The people who accomplished these important feats were all finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals and were honored during Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW).

PSRW, celebrated the first week of May since 1985, is a time when we recognize the achievements of the men and women who serve our nation as local, state and federal employees, and we help Americans understand the valuable contribution public servants make to our communities and our country. Several great articles were written during the week to offer tribute to public employees:

Appreciating Public Servants in an Age of Cynicism, in Governing:

On April 20, I received a one-line email that read, “When have you ever, ever, ever seen citizens applaud police work?” The writer, Mark Abrahams, lives just outside of Boston, where suburban residents had lined the streets the previous evening wildly cheering the law-enforcement officers who had captured the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

My guess is that those applauding citizens were as surprised by their reaction as Abrahams was. They, too, felt pride–in themselves, in their towns and in the police officers who are their employees. Of all the positive outcomes that arose from the response to those terrible events in Boston, that may be the most important.

Recognition Week Seen as Antidote to Fed Bashing in the Washington Post:

Seriously, we will never get the government we want if all we do is tear it down,” (Max) Stier (with Partnership for Public Service) said. “Amazing things are going on by public servants and we need to recognize them if we want them to be replicated by other public servants.

State Worker Notebook in the Statesman Journal:

In this series of articles, Hoffman profiled state employees who manage Oregon’s parks, a detective who solves arson cases, a DMV employee who’s so good she twice in one week received flowers from people she helped, and more. Hoffman also sponsored a haiku contest—all in the spirit of honoring public employees.

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