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Summit

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Our American States

podcastNCSL’s Legislative Summit is back Nov. 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.

On this podcast, we talk with three of NCSL’s experts about some of the sessions coming up at the Summit.

Natalie Wood, director of NCSL’s Center for Legislative Strengthening, discusses a session on legislative oversight during an emergency, lessons learned by legislatures during the pandemic and why tension between the executive and legislative branches is actually a sign of a healthy state government.

The second guest is Erica MacKellar, a fiscal expert from NCSL, who previews a session on the state of state budgets and some of what attendees will hear from economist Dan White, a speaker at the Summit.

Kate Blackman, director of NCSL’s Health Program, rounds out the group. She highlights sessions planned for Summit that will look at the pandemic and its effect on the health care system, mental health and child care.

Resources

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For the last 32 years, the National Conference of State Legislatures was led by Executive Director William  Pound. He worked for NCSL for 44 years, starting soon after the organization was started in Denver. He retired in mid-July and is being honored at NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Nashville this week.

We asked him to share his thoughts on legislatures, legislators, state legislative staff and other areas of interest. He provides us with a history lesson of the organization and reflects on his tenure as the leader of one of the country’s best known and respected public interest groups.

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One of the nation's respected historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin, is now researching a book on leadership. Her subjects over the years have included Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft. She believes there are lessons to be learned from these great leaders that can apply today to not only public servants, but to professionals in other industries and young people.

She spoke with "Our American States," before delivering a keynote address to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Legislative Summit in Boston. We asked her to define leadership, let us know who she would like to have been able to interview, and even threw in a question about another of her favorite topics, baseball.

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With 5,000-6,000 legislators, legislative staff and those interested in public policy expected to descend on Boston for the 2017 Legislative Summit, our guest today recommends being prepared to being engaged.

Catherine Johns, a communications expert with experience as a Chicago talk show radio host, gives honest advice about how to start conversations, how to follow up with those business cards you'll get and even how to do a proper handshake. You'll learn how to listen in conversations, create a better approach to Elevator Speeches and how to gracefully get out of those conversations that have gone too long.

“A good part of good conversation is really being present with the person I'm engaged with,” she says. See if her advice helps you prepare for the Summit on this edition of  “Our American States.”

Catherine Johns will lead a workshop, “Making Your Case: Effective Communication,” at the 2017 NCSL Legislative Summit in Boston on Sunday, Aug. 6, 8-11 a.m.

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In this episode, we take a look at national and state politics from the viewpoint of someone who has been in the trenches providing polling data and message development for the last 25 years.

Renowned national pollster Frank Luntz shares results from a national poll he recently conducted regarding the public’s faith in government at both the federal and state level. While he says the public has more faith in governors and state legislators than their federal counterparts, they are not happy about the acrimonious nature of government today.

In addition, he provides advice for candidates running for office and provides insight on what the public expects from elected officials.

Luntz is a featured speaker at NCSL’s Legislative Summit this August in Boston.

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