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The Voice: Spring 2022 Newsletter

 

Chair's Corner

Chair Letter

Hello, again! This year has flown by so far, and many of us are already completing legislative sessions and starting to plan our summer travels. Many legislatures are also starting to resume travel for legislative staff and, with this in mind, I want to bring your attention to two opportunities to connect with legislative staffers from across our country this year.

This August, NCSL will host its 2022 Legislative Summit surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in downtown Denver. The Staff Hub ATL 2022 will take place in the heart of downtown Atlanta later this fall, where LINCS and five other professional staff associations will explore one of the country’s most vibrant, soulful cities. These two conferences will offer a unique opportunity for both new and tenured legislative communicators to connect, grow and take new knowledge back to their own state capitols. The pandemic hit “pause” on most of our in-person events these last couple of years and  I hope to see you and your colleagues in these two exciting cities. More information about these two events can be found in this newsletter below.

During this year’s Staff Hub, LINCS will hold its own professional development workshop and a business meeting, and members will have the chance to select the new LINCS Executive Committee. Be on the lookout for more information. In 2017, I traveled to my first LINCS seminar in Washington, D.C., with only one year of legislative experience under my belt. Spending that week in our nation’s capital allowed me to gain knowledge specific to my profession and connect with other legislative professionals who face the same challenges as me. Our last LINCS seminar was held in 2019, which was our largest seminar to date with a record number of members in attendance. After three long years without an in-person seminar, I am looking forward to being with you all in Atlanta this fall. 

The impact of LINCS reaches far beyond our annual training seminars. With the connections LINCS provides, I have been able to contact my colleagues from other legislatures throughout the year to gain insight on ways to improve the legislative process here in Arkansas. I have also been able to share my own tips, tricks and wisdom with other communications professionals. Our dynamic leadership team also has ambitious plans to provide virtual programming throughout the remainder of the year, including a comprehensive series from our friends with the NCSL Public Affairs team to help legislators and staff navigate Facebook.

Whether you plan to travel to Atlanta or Denver or participate in our virtual programming, LINCS will continue to be here as a resource, sounding board and training hub for you and your colleagues. As the LINCS Executive Committee continues to develop new opportunities for our LINCS members, I encourage you to reach out to us with questions, ideas and input for programming that will best serve you. You can contact me directly at will.tracy@arkansashouse.org.


Meet the LINCS Executive Committee!

The LINCS executive committee is responsible for the general management and control of the business affairs of LINCS. This includes organizing the annual LINCS professional development seminar and virtual programming; keeping the LINCS membership informed; recommending formal actions as deemed appropriate; and reviewing and updating LINCS’ Bylaws as necessary.

Learn more about the four members of the Executive Committee and why the serve on the LINCS governing board and the value they find in participating in LINCS.

Chair
Will Tracy, Communicatons Specialist/Videographer
Arkansas House of Representatives

 

 

Being a part of LINCS and NCSL has helped me grow into a more knowledgeable legislative professional, and I am thankful for the many experiences this organization has given me. I’ve been able to travel to countless cities across our country and meet some fantastic legislative staffers along the way.

Secretary
Camille Taylor, Senior Media Services Specialist, Photography Manager
Georgia House of Representatives

 

 

Since I first joined LINCS in 2019, I have grown immensely as a young professional, especially in my confidence and understanding of Georgia’s legislative institution. Serving on the LINCS Executive Committee has also allowed me to utilize my professional skills on a national level. I’ve been able to build deep, meaningful connections with other professionals across the country, and those relationships have become invaluable to me as a woman legislative staffer.

 

Vice Chair
Aundrea Peterson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications Director
Utah Senate
 

 

I have benefited professionally and personally from attending the LINCS professional development meetings since I first participated in 2017 and recommend it highly. The LINCS community has expanded my expertise with my work in state government, specifically in the communication field. It has also enabled me to develop a more in-depth understanding of the legislative process while building relationships with other professionals from around the country. Serving on the LINCS executive committee as a director for two years and currently as the vice-chair has been a pleasure.

Betsy TherouxImmediate Past Chair
Betsy Theroux, Director, Media Services
Georgia House of Representatives

 

LINCS and NCSL have been an instrumental resource for me throughout my time working in the legislature over the last 10 years. I have learned so much from other staffers across the country and made great connections and friendships. But, most importantly, I have been able to bring that value and insight back to Georgia and have become a more confident and knowledgeable staffer as a result. Thank you NCSL for providing and fostering such a wonderful environment for us to all come together and grow in our professions.

Interested in expanding your professional network, learning from legislative communicators from across the country and finding ways to support them? Get involved with the LINCS Executive Committee! Be on the lookout for how to become a member of the board in July or August 2022 and feel free to contact any member of the executive committee to learn more about their role!


Get To Know Your Peers!

NCSL’s “Staff Snapshots” series features legislative staff from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories. Meet five LINCS members that are sharing more about their role in their legislature, what inspires them and what they love about their jobs. They also offer some great tips on what to read, watch and listen to!


Susan Swords
, assistant director of public information, New Jersey Office of Legislative Information

Susan is the “founding mother” of the Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS) association and served as its first chair.

 


Ryan Frost
, legislative information officer, Wyoming Legislative Service Office

 


Jen Waldref
, communications director, Washington House Democrats.

Jen served as a panelist during LINCS Nov. 2021 online program to discuss media credentialing for traditional and new media during the pandemic. You can view the recording on NCSL’s Legislative Video Resource Center to hear what Jen, and other panelists, had to say.

 


Kate Heltzel
, director, Unicameral Information Office, Nebraska Legislature

 


Jill Turetsky
, director of senate media services, Texas


LINCS in 2022: In-Person Meetings Returning!

Staff Hub ATL 2022


Oct. 10-12, LINCS will meet with five other professional staff associations for Staff Hub ATL 2022, a collaborative meeting focused on a variety of topics, including communications, leadership and soft skill development. Come to sharpen your skills and network with peers from across the country and with legislative staff in a variety of different roles.

At the end of this meeting, LINCS will be hosting a half-day workshop specifically for legislative communicators. More details coming soon!

Learn more HERE. Registration is now open!


2022 Legislative Summit


NCSL’s 2022 Legislative Summit will be in Denver, Aug. 1-3. The Summit is the nation’s largest gathering of legislators and legislative staff. There are several sessions that are relevant to legislative communication professionals—storytelling, social media & civility, using Instagram reels and a roundtable discussion specifically for legislative communications staff.

Learn more HERE. Registration is now open!


Reporters’ Roundtable – Summary and Recording Available

In early January 2022, LINCS hosted a Reporter’s Roundtable online with three veteran reporters. Read a summary of the discussion in this State Legislatures News article, This Just In: Reporter’s Want to Hear from Legislative Staffers. You can watch the online recording of the session by visiting NCSL’s Legislative Video Resource Center (must be logged into NCSL’s website to access the recording).


Inform the National Legislative Dialogue

Do you have news you wish you could share with a national audience?

The NCSL Communications Division is your go-to for expanding your reach. You can now amplify your stories and share your ideas through NCSL’s online newsroom, podcasts, webinars and more.

NCSL is currently looking to collaborate with LINCS members for fresh content. Have an idea for a legislative topic you wish you knew more about? Is your legislature doing something unique on bipartisanship, legislator training or staff development? Let us know.

To share your ideas, story pitches and topics of interest, please contact NCSL’s communications team.


Questions? Suggestions?

Do you have a question for your fellow LINCSters?

For any and all communications-related questions, you can always ask NCSL or post your questions to the LINCS listserv. Please contact the LINCS Interim Liaison, Angela Andrews, for more information on how to get your questions answered by your peers!

The Voice Suggestion Box

Have an idea for a future issue of The Voice? Want to contribute a short feature?

Contact LINCS Secretary Camille Taylor.