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Teamwork makes the dream work

January 28, 2022 by Melissa Littleton

The past two weeks at the State Board have taught me how to propose amendments, assess bill language, and the power of coalition. One of my goals during this internship is to learn how and where my voice is most impactful. So far this session I testified once, but I hadn’t yet been informed on how a public agency recommends adjustments to proposed legislation. This week I was able to sit in with a few team members from different departments to discuss a strategy for an amendment.

To make meaningful change, it is important to pull in resources from a variety of specialties to bring clear educated perspective on new initiatives. Small teams must come together to critically think about strategy and correct verbiage. In a meeting, I observed how each member from different specializations discussed different elements of the bill to build a unified proposal. I also learned details matter: the language used must be critically assessed to consider the bill’s intended and unintended outcomes. After their meeting, the proposal was sent to the legislative director to request guidance on next steps to propose it to members of the Legislature. This experience highlighted how decisions are made in community with multiple perspectives to ensure sound decision making.

Also this week, I attended the Racial Equity Team meeting. The Racial Equity Team is a body where individuals from different organizations come together on bills that impact marginalized communities. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised at the actionable items presented. The meeting is an open space that allows each person to discuss bills they are working on and how the group can be of support to them. For example, an individual will provide a bill summary, state their position, and ask that you sign in, testify, or help source an individual who will be impacted by the bill to testify.

All in all, I learned collaboration is a key ingredient in making a difference.

Last Modified: 1/28/22, 4:16 PM
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