MPA Student Wins GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship
Congratulations are most definitely in order for Brian Footer, who is pursuing his MPA at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service: The online network GovLoop and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) have awarded him third place for his essay, "Local Government Grant Program, " which suggests a new grant program that would make funds available to help communities that miss out on much-needed assistance in these fiscally pinched times.
"I believe government's inherent social value is establishing services essential to provide basic human needs," wrote Footer, whose essay was among the top three winners chosen after a review, by a panel of judges, of more than 1,700 entries submitted by graduate students around the country.
"This, however," he went on, "is not a mandate for government to deliver services. Rather, government should be a coordinator of parties and resources, and no one understands the unique demands of each geographic community better than local government."
Brian's honor includes a $1,000 scholarship.
The GovLoop/NASPAA announcement is here.
GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship Competition - Part II
NYU Wagner has not just one, but two finalists in the national Public Service Scholarship essay-writing competition sponsored by the GovLoop social network for government and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. He's Brian Footer, who is working toward an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in Financial Management.
Way to go, Brian!
Brian is one of 15 finalists. His essay was chosen from more than 170 submissions by judges from GovLoop and NASPAA. In the next and last phase of the competition, the three winning pieces on how to prioritize federal sending in fiscally constrained times will be picked by the GovLoop network of more than 50,000 members in an online vote, and will be eligible for a scholarship award of as much as $2,500.
"If the U.S. government had only $100 million left in the budget," Brian's thoughtful and well crafted submission begins, "I would begin devising a grant program to direct money to local governments in the pursuit of assisting the most fragile and disenfranchised populations. I believe government's inherent social value is establishing services essential to provide basic human needs. This, however, is not a mandate for government to deliver services. Rather, government should be a coordinator of parties and resources, and no one understands the unique demands of each geographic community better than local government."
The piece goes on to explain how the locally guided grant process would work.
Brian's own career as a passionate public servant is more than 10 years in the making.
He moved to New York City to work on Christine C. Quinn's successful campaign for re-election as City Council Speaker, and later served as the Speaker's Scheduler. Prior to arriving in the city, he lived in Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill, for the Democratic Governors Association as a fund raiser, and for the US Tax Court as a Clerk.
He is now a Legislative Policy Analyst to the New York City Council's Committee on Aging and Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Brian volunteers his time at the Abzyme Research Foundation, helping to advocate for development of abzyme technology in hopes of producing the world's first effective HIV vaccine and improved treatments. After two years of effort and dedication toward developing a small-donor program, Brian is a member of the Board of Directors.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Prelaw from Ohio University.
NYU Wagner Student's Essay Selected as a Finalist for GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship
A thought-provoking essay by NYU Wagner student Neil P. Reilly, positing a novel way to strengthen publicly subsidized housing arrangements, has been selected as a finalist for the GovLoop/NASPAA scholarship.
A Master of Public Administration candidate with a specialization in public policy analysis, Neil is potentially eligible for a scholarship award of as much as $2,500. His essay will be among 15 pieces judged in the final round of selection soon. The judges are from GovLoop, the online community for government, and NASPAA (the National Association for Schools of Public Affairs and Administration). Well done, Neil!
Neil's essay, "A Boost to Rentals and Public Housing," argues for creation of a federal rental insurance program. This new type of insurance would protect a tenant, and, indirectly, his or her public or private landlord, against the tenant's unexpected drop in household income due to loss of a job, say, or a marriage breakup. The tenant would pay a modest premium for this insurance, and from then on it would function like unemployment insurance - available to use during a difficult patch.
Although public-housing tenants' rents are adjusted on a sliding scale linked to income levels, Neil notes there can be a lag in the provision of rent adjustments, or a lengthy legal dispute between building owner and tenant. Housing insurance, as envisioned by Neil, would reduce housing dislocations and the dynamic of dependency between landlords and tenants in both public housing developments and other forms of publicly subsidized housing.
"Federal rental insurance," he writes, "would mitigate the unfairness of denying other housing to some households. It would avoid the game of ‘hot potato' played between landlords, which adds significant inefficiencies and costs to the process of finding subsidized housing. These costs, currently borne by the tenant, would be reduced. Important externalities, specifically the health, jobs and education outcomes of tenants, would also receive vital boosts."
As he works toward his MPA at Wagner, Neil is serving as Book Reviewer for the Wagner Review. He has experience working in nonprofit grant writing and outreach, most recently at New York Foundation for the Arts. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he is an avid writer and a musician, resides in Brooklyn, and says his coffee table is stacked with newspapers and magazines.
Using Analytics to Improve NYC Government Performance
A number of NYC agencies are using methods of performance improvement developed in the private sector, including Lean Six Sigma, a process through which groups analyze problems with performance and explore opportunities for improvement. The next Leading Large Scale Change briefing for government officials sponsored by Accenture and RCLA will focus on agencies in which managerial teams strategically explore causes of weak performance and develop and test solutions.
Panelists at the September 27 by-invitation-only event will include: Alan Aviles, President, Health and Hospitals Corporation; Richard Barth, Executive Director, Department of City Planning; Mathew Wambua, Commissioner, Department of Housing Preservation and Development; and Elizabeth Weinstein, Director, Mayor’s Office of Operations. Additionally, the panel will include a representative from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office.
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Professor Light selected as 2011 Wurf Fellow at Harvard Law School
Professor Paul Light has been selected as the 2011 Wurf Fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School.
Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, will work on a project dealing with the size and shape of the contract and privatized workforce at the state and local levels. The fellowship represents an opportunity for Light to expand his work on the "true size of government" at a time when states and localities are trying to downsize their government workforces by outsourcing headcount -- an approach some see as "penny wise and pound foolish."