photo illustration david hartman georgia

Staff Snapshots | David Hartman

June 3, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

David Hartman

Hometown: Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Fla.; currently living in East Point, Ga.

Role: Budget and Policy Analyst, Georgia House Budget and Research Office

NCSL involvement: Hartman is staff vice chair of the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Standing Committee and a staff member of the NCSL Public-Private Partnership on Recycling.

Years of legislative service: Six

One thing he loves about his state: “Georgia’s biodiversity is amazing. I love being able to hike through or camp in anything from marshlands to mountains to sandy beaches.”

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

I’ve always been fascinated by politics, but I gained a true appreciation for legislative staff while working for the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. I was able to see firsthand how every detail managed by staff was vital to the legislative process. After moving to Georgia, that appreciation grew when I was able to watch some of my eventual colleagues manage committees before I even joined the General Assembly. Between my love of politics and respect for those who choose to serve the legislature, it was an easy decision to pursue an opportunity with the House Budget and Research Office.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I take particular pride in my ability to synthesize new information and integrate it with what I’ve learned over my 6-plus years in this position. I like to think my ability to absorb the new info flowing into our office and to provide useful context is a skill I learned from my colleagues and one that is appreciated by the legislators I work with.
On a lighter note, I seem to be able to drink excessive amounts of caffeine without my heart exploding. It’s helped me get through some long days.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

I’m paraphrasing the same advice I’ve received from a number of public servants that I have immense respect for: “In public service, you may or may not get recognition for your work, but always take pride in what you’re able to get done.”

Who or what inspires you?

Professionally, I’m inspired by my colleagues each and every day. It sounds cheesy, but nothing gets you through a long day better than watching your colleagues march side by side with you through the same challenges.
Personally, I draw inspiration from my mother, who at one point simultaneously battled cancer and worked to support my sister and me. Her example of hard work and facing adversity is one that I carry with me every day.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

Reading: Currently reading “Flipped,” by Greg Bluestein, and “The Final Days,” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Listening to: Any one of about 10 podcasts.

Watching: Usually something funny. Recently, I’ve watched “The Righteous Gemstones,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation,” etc. However, I’d be lying if I said I don’t rewatch “The West Wing” at least once a year.

What are some of the priorities of your NCSL Standing Committee?

My top priority is simply to learn. I hope to learn from the successful initiatives of other states and work to see what can be brought back to Georgia. Likewise, I hope I can be a resource to those who are interested in the successes of our state.

I also hope to build new—and strengthen existing—relationships with legislators and legislative staff from other states. The people I’ve met through NCSL have been invaluable sources of knowledge, not to mention good friends. I hope to continue building on those connections.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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