In recent years, American attitudes about government have become increasingly disaffected and critical. After the 1995 bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City, a newspaper ad sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees brought to the nation's attention the heroism of government workers' rescue efforts, with the reminder that "This is our government."
This volume, the result of collaboration by practicing administrators and academics, explores the current anti-government climate and its effect on the work and working lives of public employees and their relationships with citizens. If offers economic, political, historical, and philosophical perspectives on citizen discontent and tells stories of actual working relationships between public agencies and citizens. The collaborators maintain that while government workers cannot control the economy or the bureaucracy as a whole, they can take practical steps to improve their interactions with citizens.
While many books advise citizens how to get what they want from government, few have been written to help career civil servants work better with citizens. In a time of public negativism, Government Is Us is about building relationships, listening, making connections, and hope.