The Fels Institute of Government is pleased to announce the launch of a new Inclusive Public Leadership series. On Wednesday, January 25th, the event series kicked off with a workshop focused on how to understand and influence the legislative process.
The Inclusive Public Leadership series is rooted in widespread interest in civic engagement following the 2016 presidential election. Fels MPA students collectively identified the need to deepen their own civic skills in order to become informed and active participants in the political process. The resulting non-partisan workshop series aims to provide students of all political affiliations with a robust toolkit for action.
At the first workshop this Wednesday, Rebecca Brocato, who served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs under President Obama, explained how to understand, interpret, and influence the legislative process. She discussed the importance of understanding that members of congress decide how to vote on issues based on how it could influence their prospects for re-election; explained key process rules like cloture and budget reconciliation maneuvers; and noted that it will be important to watch key Members, committees, and dynamics surrounding “must pass” bills (like appropriations bills and the National Defense Authorization Act) to understand the trajectory of legislative actions during the new administration.
During the rest of this semester (and ideally in semesters to come), Fels will hold additional workshops intended to develop the hard and soft skills that every citizen in a democracy should possess. These workshops will include how to influence elected officials, how to organize a community, and how to run for office, among other topics.