'Government Doesn't Suck' march planned:The Feds employees have had enough (Yea well --so have we)
October 25th, 2010
Washington Post/Federal Eye
By Ed O' Keefe
Amid growing dissatisfaction with federal employees, a group of younger, web-savvy feds are planning to march on Saturday in defense of their coworkers on the sidelines of Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity."
Organizers of the "Government Doesn't Suck March" (their choice of words, not ours) were inspired in part by last week's Washington Post poll that revealed widespread negative perceptions of federal workers.
"We hear it day in and day out: the government sucks, federal employees are lazy and their positions are redundant," said march organizer Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop, a social networking Web site for public servants.
"It's time to turn the tables and remind the world that government employees just happen to be people -- people that don't suck," Ressler said in a message sent to The Federal Eye on Sunday announcing the march. Government workers "are a lot of cool cats" who work hard, listen to good music and watch Stewart's "The Daily Show," "but that's all after they've spent a whole day keeping the country running," he said.
Ressler's attempt to raise awareness while having fun jives with the spirit of Saturday's "Sanity" rally and the mission of GovLoop, a site he launched in 2008 (around the same time The Federal Eye began!). The site counts tens of thousands of members -- most of them under age 35 -- across the country and around the world, who swap ideas, share tips and arrange to meet virtually or in person with counterparts from local, state, federal and international government agencies. Ressler launched the site while working as a Department of Homeland Security employee in Florida, but it grew quickly and last year he sold GovLoop and quit DHS to run it full-time. The Washington Post maintains a content partnership with GovLoop as part of our coverage of the federal government.
The "Government Doesn't Suck March" to Stewart's "Sanity" rally is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the North end of the National Air and Space Museum. Government workers and their friends and family are encouraged to join up and march together to "put a human face on governmental bureaucracy, to show the country that you're capable of having a laugh and "to send a reminder that we're not red tape, we're not slack-jawed desk jockeys and we don't suck," Ressler said. (You couldn't have used "stink" could you, Steve?)
It's unclear how many people plan to attend Saturday's rally, but more than 200,000 people have said on Facebook that they will be there. Several notable figures have donated their time and money to the event: Arianna Huffington donated buses for folks traveling from New York, Oprah Winfrey agreed to provide transportation for some of Stewart's fans and Larry King donated a porta-potty. Yup, really.
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