Blue Campaign in Miami

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I went to the Kendall Police Station (117th Ave. & Sunset–across from Sunset Feed) on Friday afternoon to find that the lobby walls are covered with information on human trafficking.

Glad to see Miami Dade Police Department is spreading awareness about human trafficking. Now if we can just work on the front desk officer’s lack of customer service….

Image Blog: Human Trafficking

I had never heard of human trafficking until the  2008  release of the movie Taken starring Liam Nelson.  The movie is about the kidnapping of a young girl in Paris.  Her retired CIA agent father (Nelson)  goes to extraordinary lengths to recover his daughter from an Albanian gang of human traffickers.  At 22 years old this movie scared me to death!  Human trafficking can’t be real, can it?  I was much like the girl in this film– living on my own and exploring the world around me more recklessly than cautiously.  How many times have I shared too much information about myself to a stranger in bar or club?   How many times have I trusted people I barely knew?  This movie sparked my curiosity and led me to research human trafficking.  Yet, most importantly it led me to be much more careful!

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Film Review: Elysium

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Movie poster. Courtesy of Google Images.

Elysium is a futuristic, scientific thriller that was released in the summer of 2013 and stars Matt Damon and Jodi Foster.

In 2154 only two social classes exist: the extremely poor and the extremely wealthy.  The poor live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth policed and governed by rigid robots.  Meanwhile, the rich and powerful live on a lavish space habitat called Elysium.   As Earth is slowing dying Elysium is thriving. Elysium is full of lush greenery, beautiful mansions, state of the art technology, and the best government services. The citizens are all privileged, polished and well-educated.  Their wealth and citizenship on Elysium allows them to own Med-Bays that cure any illness or injury known to man.

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Man Named Kim Adds ‘Mr.’ to Resume, Lands Job

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A man named Kim O’Grady says he finally ended several months of job searching by adding “Mr.” in front of his name.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/07/man-named-kim-adds-mr-to-resume-lands-job/

Just as the article says, I am upset, but sadly not surprised.  Although Mr. O’Brady’s experience occurred in the the 1990’s, I believe it is safe to say not much has changed in recent years.  According to the article:

In the U.S., sex discrimination was the third most frequently filed charge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 2012 fiscal year with 30,356 charges, or about 30 percent of all charges.

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My First Job Interview

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It’s fun to stay at the….
Courtesy of Google Images

My first job was in high school at the Marion County YMCA .  My family had been members of the YMCA since I was in the 5th grade.  My brother and I spent so much time participating in sports and activities there that we, amongst a few other kids like us,  were classified by the YMCA employees and staff as ‘Y brats’.   Eventually my family moved to a neighbor near the YMCA which inevitably led to even more time spent at the YMCA.  My brother and I could now ride our bikes or walk to the YMCA without depending on our parents.  The YMCA staff begin to know us by our given names. During high school, I decided it was time to find a job.  I was craving independence. I was tired of asking my parents for money.  I wanted to be able to afford to go to the movies with my friends. I dreamed of driving around aimlessly in my hand-me-down Jeep Cherokee without worrying about gas money.  Yet, I didn’t know how to find a job! Would someone hire me?  Did I have any valuable skills other than scoring a goal in soccer?

One day at the gym, I started talking about the idea of finding a job with my fellow ‘Y Brats’.  The conversation accomplished very little since none of the Brats had ever had a job.   However, one of the trainers having overheard the conversation,  approached me right before leaving the gym.  He (Tony, who I will never forget) suggested I apply for a job at the YMCA.  I was there all the time and everyone who worked there liked me.  What a great idea!  How did I not think of that? I applied for a Summer Camp Counselor position.  The process started with me filling out an application; a paper application with an actual ink pen! I remember filling it out thinking:  “don’t screw up” and “don’t misspell anything”.  For a week I prayed to every spiritual being possible. I had to get this job!  I was called for an interview seven torturous days later.   I had a full week to practice for my first interview.  My Mom took me shopping for dressy clothes.  My Dad practiced interviewing me in the evening at the kitchen table.

Needless to say on the day of the interview my stomach was in knots.   The interview consisted of a three person panel.  Since I had zero working experience each interviewer asked a few questions about school, my extracurricular activities, and my general interests.  I was able to answer all the questions just like I practiced with my father.  I was personable and upbeat.  But was I too personable?  Was I took over the top?  It was another week before I received a call informing me to go to the police department to complete fingerprinting and a background test.   Then I was instructed to go to a lab to complete a drug test.  My mother went with me to make sure I filled the paper work at both places correctly.  It’s funny to look back now and remember how young and naive I was; I didn’t know my social security number or how to fill out a W-4.  Two long weeks later I was finally a YMCA employee!  I trained with the other counselors for three months before the summer camp began.  We were trained in First Aid, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and how to use a defibrillator. Management began to notice my eagerness to work hard and desire to be successful.  The Director called me into his office one day.  In my entire academic career had never been to the Principal’s office, but after a month of work I was going to the head honcho’s office!   I thought for sure I did something wrong which made me absolutely sick with worry.   However, the Director wanted to personally praise my work ethic and encourage me to consider training for other positions within the company.   By the beginning of summer not only was I a camp counselor, I was also a lifeguard, child care worker, coach, soccer referee, front desk receptionist, and gym assistant.  There was also talk of certifying me to teach fitness classes.  It was a very exciting time in my young life.  I was working and growing ALREADY.  Doors were opening for me in places I never expected.  People believed in my abilities.  My confidence was higher than ever before.  I really could do anything if I worked hard enough…

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e-government

What are the forces encouraging the implementation of e-government operations within established government bureaucracies?

There are several forces that are encouraging the implementation of e-government operations within established government bureaucracies.    The top motivators would include:

  •  Reduced costs.
  • Improved services for citizens.
  • Increased effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Increased accountability and transparency.

In other words, technology enables us to work smarter, not harder. Not surprisingly, the Office of Management and Budget has a division called Office of E-Government & Information Technology.  According to their website, they are transforming the public sector to be more like the private sector–more effective and convenient to customers (citizens).

 

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Blog Assignment #3 (Part 1 of 2)

Identify and describe linkages and connections offered by Baldacci’s fictional account of intergovernmental relations and that offered by Shafritz et al.

The Forgotten by David Baldacci is about Army Special Agent John Puller.  Puller goes to a small town in Florida called Paradise, to ask his aunt about a cryptic letter she sent to his father.  Once in Florida, Puller’s finds out his Aunt is dead.  Although the local police rule the death accidental, Puller investigates further to find that this sleepy, rich beach town is not what it seems.  He quickly uncovers that Paradise is a gateway to human trafficking and slavery.

Photo courtesy of davidbalacci.com

Photo courtesy of davidbalacci.com

I am an avid reader.  Therefore it is no surprise that I not only started The Forgotten before the beginning of the semester, but I also finished it.  At the time I was reading for pure entertainment, but now I can see several links and connections between this fictional story and the ideas and concepts presented in our textbook.   The six connections include: (1) street-level bureaucrats, (2) pluralism, (3) power-internal perspective, (4) cultural norms, (5) the marble cake theory/ cooperative federalism, and (6) honor. Continue reading

Blog Assignment # 2

Woodrow Wilson, the Father of Public Administration.  (Photo Credit: History Channel)

Woodrow Wilson, the Father of Public Administration. (Photo Credit: History Channel)

“The Study of Administration” by Woodrow Wilson is today recognized as the foundation for the study of public administration. The publication of his essay in Political Science Quarterly (1887) followed closely on the heels of the civil service reforms.   To Wilson (1887) these civil reforms were only the beginning but he insisted that we must “expand into efforts to improve, not the personnel only, but also the organizations and methods of our government offices” (Introduction Section, para. 1). Continue reading