Mostly, I Will Miss the Optimism

Bullies flood the gates — I think those Barbarians back in the 1980s may have been a better option

There is no grace to be found — but I suppose we can bask in the memories of what it was to have a voice and to be a part of a system in which honesty and engagement were valued. And one’s skills — private sector or otherwise had a home within the biggest solution strategy — making sense of all the moving pieces, together.

The one that got me, the one that lifted me was a straight forward one.

Julia Beck, White House Summit For Working Families

In 2010, After ACA brought breast pumps to all women, the White House Summit on working Families, The Labor Department, States and Cities like New York all asked:

How will we protect and keep our mothers, our parents thriving in the workplace?

So many brilliant minds there to consider the question — my own words joining a chorus of those who believed the answer was there and who held a deep-seeded desire to see it sing out, make sense of and eventually change the game.

And so I worked. My teams worked. My own passion joined the challenge of those who were also eager to join in the solution. It was a remarkable time. And one that I never want to forget.

I began to gather stories. First person, raw narratives asking simply — “what is it to be a parent working and raising children in a country without parental leave and limited childcare”. We asked, gathered and listened.

From these stories, it began to spark for me. My answer was this –

I will launch the It’s Working Project to help the private sector develop strategies to bring families back to work with EASE as a matter or COURSE and with a sense of PRIDE.

And I did.

I still will.

I don’t think I will ever be able to express my gratitude as well as I would like. My years as a strategic consultant married with a distinct public need through a call to action from our remarkable Commander-in-Chief and the powerful men women that surrounded him. What an honor. What a moment.

I am grateful to this remarkable administration on so many levels. And the cavernous hole of connection and care that will be left feels like a non-negotiable heartbreak.

So for today — I will just be thank you. Thank you, President Obama, for the gift of your leadership, your family, your humor and most of all, your hope.


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