Here’s Why We’re Celebrating Public Service Workers This Week
Since 1985, Americans have celebrated Public Service Recognition Week on the first week of May to recognize government employees at every level. However, the pandemic presented an especially significant challenge to our nation’s federal, state, county, local, and tribal government employees over this last year.
Public servants displayed a remarkable degree of adaptability and resourcefulness this year, working tirelessly to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of their fellow citizens while looking after their own families and loved ones.
Government employees brought COVID relief measures to communities and businesses in need while maintaining the normal functions of government — from ensuring buses and trains kept running to provide trips to essential workers, helped people reach their vaccinations sites on, and much more. Their dedication set the stage for our recovery efforts and for the new changes and transformations in the economy, infrastructure, racial equity, climate change and other efforts that this Administration is actively implementing.
Now is one of the most exciting times to be a public servant. As Secretary Buttigieg said during his SXSW keynote:
It’s rarely mattered more, to be willing to bring your talent to public service. I want to see the kinds of people who went to NASA in the 60s and Silicon Valley in the 90s coming into public service now. It’s going to be up to the people who choose to be in these public roles, decide what the character of this country’s going to look like. Otherwise you’re just a passenger.
In particular, we must create more opportunities and spaces for younger generations and minorities to participate in government. Only if our government truly represents the people of this country and encourages the capabilities of its employees can we meet the promises of our nation.