By Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD (Assoc. Exec. Director, APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office)
“In every generation, action frees our dreams” (1994 Theme for National Women’s History Month).
Hi, let me introduce myself. I am the new Associate Executive Director of Government Relations in APA’s Public Interest (PI) Directorate. I am also a long-time APA member who has dedicated myself to public interest concerns in practice, scholarship, and teaching. I first became involved with the Directorate in 1999 when I joined a PI governance committee and over the years I have seen APA’s efforts have a real impact.
I would like to let you know about our overarching philosophy and priorities for the rest of this year and 2014.
I joined APA as staff at a significant milestone: the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. At this historic event decades ago, Dr. Martin Luther King described his Dream for the future. It is a dream that many of us still share, and the speeches at our generation’s commemoration of this event spoke of both the accomplishments of the last 50 years and the work yet to be done.
This brings me back to the quote above. It was not only Dr. King’s description of a dream that inspired; it was his ability – and those of the many Americans who supported civil rights around the world – to take concerted actions to bring those dreams to fruition. Action freed their dreams.
Many of same challenges remain for our generation and those to come. It is not enough to dream or to hope; we each must make a concerted effort, taking strategic actions, with others and on our own, to bring those dreams to life. The only way to achieve these goals is to never stop our efforts.
That energy is what I hope to bring to my role in APA, translating the goals of the Public Interest directorate into advocacy activities in Congress and the Executive Branch. Some of our key priorities for the rest of this year and 2014 cut across all Public Interest issues: health disparities, poverty, violence, and discrimination.
The stalemate in Congress and the resulting lack of legislative possibilities pose a serious challenge for our work. To address this, we will increase our focus on regulatory issues and Executive Branch implementation, as well as educate and inform Members of Congress, staff, and the Executive Branch on psychology’s perspective on solutions to social problems.
We need your help:
Critical to the work of this office—whatever form it takes—are the efforts of APA members. You can help us to advance science-based policies that address social issues and serve priority populations.
Here’s what you can do:
- Keep apprised of PI-GRO activities.
- Join our Public Policy Advocacy Network, become active in APA government relations efforts and learn about advocacy.
- Get involved in APA governance.
- Reach out to Public Interest Government Relations staff: firstname.lastname@example.org.