related to this story:
Partnership for Reinventing Government
we at Vice President Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing
Government (NPR) did one of our periodic progress reviews. As
we did, we heard a number of compelling stories about how the
effort to reinvent government has touched the lives of ordinary
citizens. Some of the stories are hair-raising accounts of close
brushes with death, others are milder, but still profound. What
they share is that none of them could be told were it not for
a government reinvented to work better, cost less, and, above
all, get results Americans care about.
issue of REGO is the first of a series that will tell some of
these stories. We have included other information as well, a frankly
comical retrospective on some Federal foolishness banished through
reinvention, as well as pieces featuring business concerns.
remarkable Federal employees graciously agreed to interviews with
REGO. Both have positively influenced the lives of people in this
country. One such employee is Shirley Watkins, Under Secretary for Food and
Nutrition Services at the Department of Agriculture, who is working
tirelessly to eliminate hunger among our children, an inarguably
noble goal. While her beginning as an abandoned infant defied
the name of her hometown, Hope, her life-story typifies it. The
other is Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot the Space
Shuttle and the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission.
Col. Collins agreed to let us interview her for REGO, I jumped
at the chance to assign this story to someone who has worked hard
and long on this magazine, namely - myself. In my defense, it's
hard not to give in to the temptation to meet a famous astronaut,
visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston, climb into the cockpit of a working
flight simulator - you get the picture.
her interview with us, Col. Collins covered a wide range of subjects,
but I was struck particularly by her admonition to students to
push themselves academically. Listening to her, I was reminded
of another day in Houston, over thirty-five years ago. On that
day, President Kennedy explained to the students at Rice University,
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things,
not because they are easy, but because they are hard…"
Watkins and Col. Collins seem to have taken this attitude to heart.
Likewise, we certainly didn’t make the easy choice with our earthbound
venture to reinvent the Federal government. But, like them, we
did make the right choice. Their stories, and the other stories
in this and future issues of REGO, demonstrate why.
more information about NPR and the Federal government’s reinvention
initiatives and success stories, visit our
Internet site or email
W. Ryan, Editor
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