The Voice: Winter 2021 Newsletter

Chair's Corner 

Hello, all. I am Will Tracy, your new chair of the LINCS executive committee, and I am delighted to be in this position and write to you today. First, I want to congratulate my colleagues on the 2022 LINCS executive committee, vice-chair Andrea Peterson (Utah) and secretary Camille Taylor (Georgia), for being elected to serve as your LINCS officers. Together, we are eager serve you and provide resources and opportunities to help you through the next year.

As we transition our leadership team, I’d like to thank our outgoing officers, Betsy Theroux (Georgia) and Tim Bommel (Missouri). Tim Bommel, who recently completed his term as the immediate past chair, has helped LINCS grow into the organization it is today. He has also been a mentor and friend in my endeavors in LINCS and NCSL, and I will certainly miss his insight. I also want to express special gratitude to my friend and predecessor, Betsy Theroux.  Her excitement, knowledge and leadership have led to increased member engagement for our LINCS professional development seminars (PDS) and virtual programming. Betsy and I joined the executive committee together in 2017, and I look forward to working with her as immediate past chair on the committee. Under my leadership, I hope to continue their work and expand opportunities for you to build meaningful relationships with your legislative staff peers. 

LINCS holds a very special place in my heart as a communications professional, and it continues to provide incredible insight for me to this day. When I first attended a LINCS PDS in 2017, I immediately felt a bond with other legislative communicators from across the country. Each year, I look forward to reconnecting with members who understand the ups and downs of working for our state legislatures. I now have friends and confidants all over the country to call up, consult and learn from. From calling my Washington state colleagues for speech writing tips, Delaware for their podcasting expertise or Utah for press credentialing and hiring interns, this group’s knowledge and collective brainpower are unparalleled due to our different backgrounds and willingness to communicate well (pun intended).

I hope you have been able to join some of the webinars and other virtual programming offered by LINCS this last year. As the LINCS chair, I am also a member of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) and my role is to represent LINCS members on this staff advisory committee. More information about the LSCC is included in this newsletter, including some recent accomplishments.

LINCS is working diligently to plan incredible programming and resources for the 2022 calendar year, including Staff Hub ATL 2022. This large professional development seminar will be held in Atlanta, Oct. 10-12, 2022. LINCS is collaborating with five other professional staff associations for this meeting. In addition, be sure to put the Reporter’s Roundtable on your calendar, we’ll host this popular LINCS program online on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET.  

Finally, the LINCS executive committee is currently accepting applications for four director positions on the executive committee. If you’re interested in serving in this capacity, please check out the information included in this newsletter about the call for directors.

As a voice for you, I would like to leave you with an open invitation to reach out to me. Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas about events and programming for the 2022 calendar year. The LINCS executive committee looks forward to learning how we can make LINCS even better. You can reach me directly via email or by calling me at (501) 682-7771.   

I wish you the best of luck as you close the chapter on 2021 and prepare for the new year ahead. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your new LINCS chair.

--Will Tracy, Production Assistant, Arkansas House of Representatives


Announcing the New LINCS Executive Committee

Hello, from the new LINCS Executive Committee! The executive committee is honored to serve as a voice for more than 400 LINCS members serving in America’s state legislatures. The new officers were recently elected during the annual LINCS business meeting in October 2021 and will serve in these positions until Fall 2022. If you have any questions for the leadership team, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Chair
Will Tracy
Production Assistant
Arkansas House of Representatives
Term of Office: October 2021-October 2022

Secretary
Camille Taylor
Senior Media Services Specialist, Photography Manager
Georgia House of Representatives
Term of Office: October 2021-October 2022

Vice Chair
Aundrea Peterson
Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications Director
Utah Senate
Term of Office: October 2021-October 2022

Betsy TherouxImmediate Past Chair
Betsy Theroux
Director, Media Services
Georgia House of Representatives
Term of Office: October 2021-October 2022


Help Lead LINCS! Call for Directors

Calling all aspiring leaders! The LINCS Executive Committee is looking for four new directors to join its leadership team. Two to serve a one-year term (2021-2022) and two to serve a two-year term (2021-2023).

The 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.

Serving as a director for the LINCS executive committee allows you to become a more integral part of LINCS and NCSL. It will also provide an opportunity to build stronger relationships with communications staff from across the country. The time commitment is approximately one to two hours per month, or less, depending on the needs of executive committee.

If you’d like to learn more about serving as a director for the LINCS Executive Committee, please contact Angela Andrews, NCSL’s interim liaison to LINCS.


LINCS Online Programming - Past and Upcoming Events

A Look Inside Media Credentialing

LINCS recently hosted an online program to discuss media credentialing for traditional and new media during the pandemic. Participants heard from three legislative communicators from the Utah Senate, the Washington House and Georgia House about their media credentialing process. The panelists provided unique perspectives about developing their policies and navigating this process during the pandemic.

Those who were unable to participate can watch a recording of this insightful panel discussion by visiting the NCSL Legislative Video Resource Center and searching “media credentialing.” You must be logged into NCSL’s webpage to access this recording.  

Reporter’s Roundtable: Pandemic Edition

Mark your calendars for Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET

LINCS members will turn the tables on statehouse reporters and get to ask the questions. The focus on this session will be on how reporters covered the legislature during the pandemic and how communications staff can effectively connect with reporters in 2022 and beyond.  

Register Here.


Update from the LSCC

The Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC), is a 49-member legislative staff committee that serves in an advisory capacity to NCSL’s Executive Committee. Its purpose is to coordinate the work of the nine professional staff associations of NCSL, promote professional development opportunities for legislative staff and review and evaluate NCSL’s services for staff. You can learn more about how the LSCC is organized here.

The officers of LINCS, currently Will Tracy (Ark.) and Aundrea Peterson (Utah), are members of the LSCC. In addition, Betsy Theroux (Ga.) and Tim Bommel (Mo.) are members of the LSCC because of their roles on NCSL’s Executive Committee. LINCS is well represented on this committee!

The 2020-2021 LSCC, under the direction of immediate past staff chair Martha Wigton, concluded their business at NCSL’s 2021 Legislative Summit in Tampa, Fla. Accomplishments of the 2020-2021committee are many. Below are just a few successes that your LINCS representatives contributed to:

  • Assisted in the creation of the Excel at NCSL infographic. It showcases the many opportunities through NCSL that can help you advance your career in the legislature.
  • The NCSL Legislative Video Resource Ceter is a new platform that houses recorded webinars and online meetings that are hosted by NCSL and the professional staff associations. This new online video archive and library will house, and highlight, all staff association programming (including all LINCS programming).
  • Recorded interviews with previous NCSL staff officers to weave together an oral history of NCSL and the contributions of legislative staff throughout the years. The goal is to share this video within the next year.
  • Created a document that provides a overview about the role of the professional staff association officers on the LSCC. The purpose of this document is to provide clarity to those that are interested in serving as an officer of a staff association (and share more about an officer’s role on the LSCC).

2021 Legislative Summit Recap

NCSL’s 2021 Legislative Summit took place in Tampa, Fla., Nov 3-5. Seven sessions, covering a variety of policy topics, were livestreamed on NCSL’s Facebook page courtesy of the Ohio Channel. These sessions were also recorded and can be viewed here. State Legislatures News online also contains great information and summaries of some of the sessions.


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!

Suggestion Box

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

Contact LINCS Secretary Camille Taylor.