By Amanda Conn
General counsel, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Happy end of summer to all of the members of the State and Local Government Law Section. As the new chair of the Section, I know we will have a productive year despite all of the challenges we might face.
I have been thinking about how excited we all were at the beginning of the summer when we thought the COVID pandemic was finally coming to an end with normalcy right around the corner, and where we are now at the end of summer. One of the important lessons from these long and trying 18 months is that circumstances can change very quickly so don’t get too comfortable.
Another challenge we have faced is having to pivot based on rapidly changing conditions. We have learned to change course quickly.
We should not underestimate the importance of that achievement, given that state and local governments have been at the center of responding to the pandemic – navigating the changing conditions and charting course corrections. I often think of the challenge of change in government as trying to turn a battleship with a paddle.
Maybe one of the few bright spots from this pandemic has been that government has often proven to be more nimble than many of us thought. Who would have imagined two years ago we would end up spending so much of our time on Teams calls and attending virtual public meetings and hearings – while still managing to stay productive and provide excellent service to our clients and constituencies?
We should all be proud of the work we’ve done. And in the coming year we will do our best to help you with that mission, bringing important and relevant legal education programs to the members of the section – whether in person, virtually, or in some combination.
I only ask that you stay engaged and offer ideas about topics of interest, ideas about educators and formats that will best serve you. Thank you for this opportunity. Let’s get to work.