Stories and Resources

April Opportunities

 

 Get Involved
Volunteer with us! April Community Engagement with the Food Literacy CenterWhere: Leataata Floyd Elementary School, 401 McClatchy Way, Sacramento, CA 95818
When: Saturday April 21, 12-2pm
RSVP/Questions: meagantokunaga@gmail.com

The Food Literacy Center’s mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. They teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, environment, and economy.

We can support this great organization at the Sacramento Food Film Festival, which celebrates food paired with films about our food system! On April 21, community leaders will gather for the first public experience on the future headquarters site.

The evening will feature small plates and bites from an all-star cast of local chefs, a “school lunch” dinner prepared by Sacramento Unified School District’s Nutrition & Food Services and a feature film from America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital! (FMI: https://www.foodliteracycenter.org/film-festival)

Volunteers will come before the event to help unload equipment and supplies; set up stations for chefs, kid chefs, and Americorps; and set up cafeteria for dinner service.

Please sign up on the new volunteer form and bring a friend! Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and see you soon!

Sign Up


Monthly Happy Hour – Thursday, April 26Join us at Bottle & Barlow from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Network with NxtGov members, meet members of the NxtGov board, and exchange experiences.Check out Facebook for more details. See you there!


Updates
Inspiring students into a career in public service!

NxtGov members gave a panel presentation on March 27 to the UC Berkeley Democracy Camp which brings together college students interested in public service careers. A big thank you to those who were able to share their story with these students, including Briana Mullen who we are proud to have as one of our NxtGov Ambassadors!

A student commented after the panel: “Thank you for taking the time to really talk to me and letting me know how the process actually works. I got to say, making time for me, or anyone for that matter really makes a difference! Keep up the good work.”

If you are interested in being on a future panel, contact our recruitment lead, Carlos Aguilera, by clicking below. 

I’m Interested

NxtGov Executive Board RetreatThe NxtGov Executive Board had its first ever strategic planning retreat on March 25. We had fun brainstorming the potential and opportunities that our group has to empower public servants and break the silos of government!


NxtGov and Accenture: International Women’s Day #GettingToEqual

NxtGov was invited to help co-lead the design-thinking session at Accenture’s #GettingToEqual event at the end of March. Thank you to Accenture for the shout out on Twitter!


Our Executive Sponsors
We are grateful to have gathered executive sponsorship from department leaders and expect the support to continue to grow. Their sponsorship allows us to bring in leaders when discussing issues or themes affecting our workforce. Join the movement!

Some of our sponsors include:

  • GovOps
  • California Department of Technology (CDT)
  • CalHR
  • State Library
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Health and Human Services

March Opportunities

We’ve got some exciting opportunities for you.

Check out the latest ways to get involved, share your perspective, and learn more about what we’ve been up to.


Get Involved
Inspire students into a career in public service!
When:  Tuesday, March 27 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Where: 1130 K Street LL22, Sacramento

Join NxtGov as we partner with the UC Berkeley Democracy Camp by providing mentorship to college students interested in public service careers! NxtGov will organize a panel. It’s your opportunity to talk about your journey to public service and provide tips on how to get a state job. We have a PowerPoint presentation available for this and will work with panelists to prepare for the session. We need 4 – 5 volunteers!

If you are interested in being on a panel, contact our recruitment lead, Carlos Aguilera, by clicking below. We will need a short bio by Friday, March 9 for all presenters.

I’m Interested

March 16 – Dinner and Silent Auction to Support Thomas Edison Language Institute
NxtGov has been invited to support the Thomas Edison Language Institute – the only Spanish immersion program in the San Juan Unified School District. The majority of the students served by this program are from low-income families, and most are English learners including many refugees from Afghanistan and Syria.
Join us March 16 at 6:30 PM at the Sierra 2 Community Center to show our support for their work. Individual tickets are just $25 and includes dinner, live music, and access to the silent auction. NxtGov has reserved a table for 8 at the event! Join us there or come on your own. If you’re unavailable to attend but would like to donate to the program, please use this link.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.


Monthly Happy Hour – Thursday, March 29Join us at Bottle & Barlow from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Network with NxtGov members, meet members of the NxtGov board, and exchange experiences.Check out Facebook for more details. See you there!


Share Your Perspective – Improve Public Service
Redesigning the Individual Development PlanNxtGov hosted two sessions in February about what works and could be better about Individual Development Plans, and we’re interested in gathering even more input. Please use this survey to provide your feedback by March 30.


Testing CalHR’s Redesigned Recruitment WebsiteCalHR has invited NxtGov to test their new job wizard for the CalCareers website. This new featured is scheduled to be released at the end of March. Please request the test link and send your feedback by March 12.


Updates
NxtGov Ambassador ProgramAs a platform of change in government, the NxtGov Ambassador Program has brought together 18 rising stars from 14 organizations across California’s government. These stars represent the next generation of leaders and are a resource to incoming and current civil servants that are looking to make a difference.

Our NxtGov Ambassadors had their first meeting on Tuesday, February 27th. This meeting provided a foundation for the work this incredible group of emerging leaders in public service will be doing together over the coming year. Check out our website for more information about the NxtGov Ambassador Program and keep an eye out for updates on who the ambassadors are and the NxtGov projects they’re contributing to.


NxtGov Panel at Upward Bound – Yuba CollegeOn Saturday, March 3, NxtGov had the opportunity to meet and speak to 28 high school students in the Upward Bound Program, a pre-collegiate program at Yuba College for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program is designed to motivate and prepare students, with academic potential, for success in education beyond high school. We had the chance to share our stories from college to career and answer questions about college and public service.


Our Executive Sponsors
We are grateful to have gathered executive sponsorship from department leaders and expect the support to continue to grow. Their sponsorship allows us to bring in leaders when discussing issues or themes affecting our workforce. Join the movement!

Some of our sponsors include:

  • GovOps
  • California Department of Technology (CDT)
  • CalHR
  • State Library
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Health and Human Services

NxtGov February News

 

We’ve got some exciting announcements to share.

Happy Birthday to NxtGov!
A special message from our founder, Angelica Quirarte.

A year ago we launched NxtGov with the mission to redefine the meaning of public service and break the silos of government that impede us from adapting to a changing world. We never imagined that we’d start a movement of movers and shakers across all sectors! We are deeply inspired by the level of engagement you’ve each given and look forward to continuing to work with you to INSPIRE others to COLLABORATE and bring pride back into public SERVICE!

Join us Thursday, February 22!

We’re excited to welcome representatives from NeoGov to be our guests at our February happy hour. NeoGov works with governments across the country and would like to network with NxtGov members and exchange experiences.
Join us at Bottle & Barlow from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Check out Facebook for more details. You won’t want to miss this one!


CalCareer Chatbot Demo
NxtGov has been invited to a special preview of a new feature on the CalCareers website. A chatbot will be released to make the application process easier to navigate. Join us in being part of the team that makes this a useful feature!We will have two sessions:

  • Feb 16th at 10 am in person at CalHR
  • Feb 20th at 11 am webinar

Contact Angie at Angelica.quirarte@govops.ca.gov for more information.


Community Engagement with CalYMCA
When: Saturday, February 17 from 2:30 – 3:30 PM and Sunday, February 18 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Where: Sacramento Convention Center, 1030 5th Street

Join NxtGov as we partner with CalYMCA by providing mentorship to high school students interested in public service careers! Thank you to those who have volunteered!

Through the annual Youth and Government conference, NxtGov will speak to hundreds of high school students visiting Sacramento through two panels. The topic of our panels is your experience working for the state and the work you do to improve civil service. Why does civil service matter? How does state government improve the lives of Californians?

If you are interested in being on the panel or would like to help coordinate, contact our community engagement lead, Meagan Tokunaga, by clicking below.

I’m Interested
Redesigning the Individual Development Plan Form
In your civil service experience, have you ever filled out an Individual Development Plan (IDP)? If so, was it useful? IDPs are intended for staff professional development.

As part of the ongoing Civil Service Improvement Initiative, GovOps Secretary Batjer is inviting NxtGov to assess the form and provide recommendations for redesign and improvement.We will be forming a working group and conducting sessions in late February and early March. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please contact Angie at angelica.quirarte@govops.ca.gov.

Next Generation of Public Service (Infinite Earth Radio)
Angie and Danielle of NxtGov’s executive board had the honor of sharing why they got into civil service as young women, what younger collaborators bring to the table, and how NxtGov is empowering the next generation of public service leaders.


Our Executive Sponsors
We are grateful to have gathered executive sponsorship from department leaders and expect the support to continue to grow. Their sponsorship allows us to bring in leaders when discussing issues or themes affecting our workforce. Join the movement!

So far we have sponsors from:

  • GovOps
  • California Department of Technology (CDT)
  • CalHR
  • State Library
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Health and Human Services

January Reminders

Happy Hour
When: Thursday, 1/25, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Bottle & Barlow on 1120 R StWe hope to see you for this month’s happy hour at Bottle & Barlow! Come and say hi to old friends and meet new ones who share the desire to make a difference in the community by improving the public sector environment.
RSVP Here
Ambassador Program

NxtGov received many applications from employees all across the public sector to be apart of the Ambassador Program! This program was designed to allow members build partnerships with other sectors, represent their organization, and share perspectives on issues California state government faces. Many thanks to those who applied. We look forward to the great work we’ll be doing together to support the mission of NxtGov.We will be accepting applications again in the near future!

                                                                    Join Here
Redesigning the IDP with NxtGov
Redesigning the Individual Development Plan FormIn your civil service experience, have you ever filled out an Individual Development Plan (IDP)? If so, was it useful?
IDPs are intended for staff professional development. As part of the ongoing Civil Service Improvement Initiative, GovOps Secretary Batjer is inviting NxtGov to assess the form and provide recommendations for redesign and improvement.We will be forming a working group. If you’re interested in learning more about this, pleasecontact Angie at angelica.quirarte@govops.ca.gov.

Executive Sponsorship
Our Executive Sponsors
We are grateful to have gathered executive sponsorship from department leaders and expect the support to continue to grow. Their sponsorship allows us to bring in leaders when discussing issues or themes affecting our workforce. Join the movement!
So far we have sponsors from:
  • GovOps
  • California Department of Technology (CDT)
  • CalHR
  • State Library
  • Public Utilities Commission
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • Health and Human Services
Join the Movement

Lunchtime Workshop: Invest in Your Future with Savings PlusThis past Tuesday, members had to opportunity to sit in on a free lunchtime workshop to learn more about your financial planning options with Savings Plus.  A ton of relevant information was shared including retirement plans that the state offers to all employees and how to go about contributing to a 401(k) plan!  The presentation material will be posted on our website soon.

Click below to see the recorded video of the presentation!

Watch Video Here
Coming Up in February
Community Engagement with CalYMCA
When: Saturday, February 17 from 2:30 – 3:30 PM and Sunday, February 18 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Where: Sacramento Convention Center, 1030 5th StreetJoin NxtGov as we partner with CalYMCA by providing mentorship to high school students interested in public service careers! Through the annual Youth and Government conference, NxtGov will speak to hundreds of high school students visiting Sacramento through two panels. The topic of our panels is your experience working for the state and the work you do to improve civil service. Why does civil service matter? How does state government improve the lives of Californians?If you are interested in being on the panel or would like to help coordinate, contact our community engagement lead, Meagan Tokunaga, by clicking below.

I’m Interested
CalCareer Chatbot Demo
When: February 12 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Where: Online WebinarAs part of NxtGov’s work we’ve been invited to a special preview of a new feature on the CalCareers website.  A chatbot will be released to make the the application process easier to navigate.  Join us in being part of the team that makes this a useful feature!If you are interested in learning more, contact Angelica Quirarte by clicking below.

I’m Interested

NxtGov January News

Happy New Year from NxtGov!

We’ve got some exciting announcements to share.

We’re thrilled to welcome several folks who have recently joined NxtGov! Thank you for being part of this community.

NxtGov Ambassador Program – Application Deadline Extended!
Since we have many new members, we are extending the application deadline for the NxtGov Ambassador Program to Monday, January 15. We’ve added additional information sessions and updated our website. Please feel free to pass along to others who may be interested. Thank you to all who have applied!
Lunchtime Workshop: Invest in Your Future with Savings Plus
Join us Tuesday, January 16 for a free lunchtime workshop to learn more about your financial planning options with Savings Plus. Click here to learn more and RSVP for the session.
Our Executive Sponsors
We are grateful to have gathered executive sponsorship from department leaders and expect the support to continue to grow. Their sponsorship allows us to bring in leaders when discussing issues or themes affecting our workforce. Join the movement!So far we have sponsors from:

  • GovOps
  • California Department of Technology (CDT)
  • CalHR
  • State Library
  • State Water Resources Control Board

Opportunities for you to be part of the change:

  • Redesigning the Individual Development Plan Form
    • In your civil service experience, have you ever filled out an Individual Development Plan (IDP)? If so, was it useful? IDPs are intended for staff professional development. As part of the ongoing Civil Service Improvement Initiative, GovOps Secretary Batjer is inviting NxtGov to assess the form and provide recommendations for redesign and improvement. Contact Angie at angelica.quirarte@govops.ca.gov for details. 
  • User Testers Needed for a new feature on CalCareers.ca.gov 
    • CalHR is inviting NxtGov to provide feedback on a CalCareers Job Application wizard that they’ve developed. They are planning a special demo for us on January 19th from 10-11pm. Contact Angie at angelica.quirarte@govops.ca.gov for details.

 

NxtGov December News

Governing Leadership Forum
Angie, Shivani, and Danielle of NxtGov’s executive board recently discussed NxtGov’s work during a panel discussion, moderated by Secretary Batjer of GovOps, at the California Leadership Forum. Thanks to this opportunity, NxtGov has received an outpouring of interest and support from executives and leaders across state and local government. The panel highlighted executive sponsorship and the NxtGov Ambassador Program as important ways to support the work of NxtGov.
Ambassador Program
Are you interested in building partnerships with other sectors and collaborating across agencies? Want a place to represent your organization and share perspectives on issues California state government faces? As a NxtGov Ambassador, you will be active in connecting public servants you know with all the opportunities NxtGov has to offer. Some of these opportunities include:
– Policy brown-bags with State Executives to bring awareness of the key issues affecting our current and future workforce.
– Representing your organization at inter-departmental round table discussions on issues, concerns, questions, and ideas to strengthen our workforce and better serve California. 
Apply Here!
Community Engagement with CalYMCA
When: Friday, February 16th or Saturday, February 17th
Where: State Capitol

This February, NxtGov is partnering with CalYMCA by providing mentorship to high school students interested in public service careers! Through the annual Youth and Government conference, NxtGov will speak to hundreds of high school students visiting Sacramento through a series of panels. Topics will range from from department area (Finance to Education to State Treasurer’s Office) to personal identity (women in public service, people of color in public service). We need your help to field enough public servants for these panels! Specific panel topics will be determined through the interest of those who sign up. Please email us if you can volunteer to speak or would like to help coordinate!

I’d Like to Participate
Children’s Receiving Home
NxtGov is sponsoring a donation drive for Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento (CRH) to help children in need. Please join us in this cause and in the opportunity to give back to the community. There are two different ways to contribute. You can receive an angel with items children need (items can vary from toys, clothing, shoes, etc) or you can donate online towards children’s activities such as therapy sessions here: https://www.crhkids.org/donate. If you are interested in the angel, please contact Shivani Bose-Varela (shivanivarela@gmail.com) or Meagan Tokunaga  (meagantokunaga@gmail.com). We will be collecting all item donations by December 15th but if you contact Shivani or Meagan we can work out logistics with you.

About CRH: Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento has been a refuge for children and youth affected by abuse, neglect and trauma. They are the first line of defense for children and youth who have been removed from their homes. www.crhkids.org

Happy Holidays from NxtGov
2017 flew by and we have been busy! In the past year we have:
– spoken to future public servants at the UC Center to recruit them into government,
– held brown bag sessions with fellow employees to discuss everyday challenges in the workplace,
– attended events like the CA Leadership Forum to discuss those very same issues with our government leaders,
– consulted CalHR and CDT on policy matters,
– volunteered with local nonprofits and
– shared our experiences over drinks at happy hour!
Our goal is to improve government and our workplace by building a network of innovators that believe in public service – from employees who are being on-boarded to top-level executives. With you and our partners we strongly believe we can make a difference. 2018 will be bigger and we look forward to having you join us with this journey.
Join Here
Happy holidays and we hope to see you soon

California Admission Day

On January 13, 1847, the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed to end the fighting of the Mexican-American War in California. The agreement led to California being under military control the following years. Subsequently, the state grew rapidly in 1848 with the discovery of gold along the American River near Sacramento. The rush of newcomers increased the population of California causing demand for a more represented government. This would lead to the first state constitution draft in 1849. Soon in accordance to the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted into the United States as a free state on September 9, 1850 (directly becoming the 31st state and never requiring it to spend a period of time as a territory).

September 9th, also known as Admission Day, used to be a celebrated day of importance for all Californians. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a measure in 1976 that would have removed Admission Day as a state holiday. However, in 1984 Governor George Deukmejian signed legislation discontinuing the observance of Admission Day.

Still, today we remember Admission Day and the value it brings to California and all its residents. We celebrate our state’s rich history built by its people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Individuals here in search of economic, social, and educational opportunities to create a better quality of life. We recognize how California continues to be a powerhouse and leader not only nationally, but also in the global community.

So tonight when you are out celebrating with friends and family remember to toast one to California. Remember that our state motto is Eureka meaning “I have found it”. Remember that these words refer to the discovery of gold in California. Remember that California is gold. Remember that we all seek happiness and freedom to live our lives to the fullest. Remember our beautiful state with its many opportunities. Remember if you are looking for a reason to celebrate, Eureka! Here’s to you California!

9 facts on 9/9 in honor of California’s Admission Day

1. Like Fine Wine: California is the largest grape and wine producing state in the United States. Over 99% of grapes commercially grown in the United States come from California. Remember to toast a glass of wine tonight, which most likely came from California.

2. Supply and Demand: California is the first state to ever become a trillion dollar economy. The state has the sixth largest economy in the world!

3. Half/Half: If you were to cut California in half along Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles (from the Pacific Ocean to the Arizona border), half of the state’s 40 million population would fall below Wilshire and the other half above it.

4. Californians Everywhere: California is the most populous state with approximately 40 million people. This equals to about one out of every eight individuals in the country being from California. California has four of the top 15 most populous cities in the United States. These cities include Los Angeles (2nd), San Diego (8th), San Jose (10th), and San Francisco (13th).

5. Grizzly State: The state was originally known as the Grizzly Bear State. As growth continued and the bear population went extinct, California became known as the Golden State.

6. The Highs and Lows: The highest point in California is Mt Whitney (elevation of 14,505 feet) and the lowest point in California is Death Valley (282 feet below sea level). These two locations are only 109 miles apart from each other!

7. Natural Beauty: The world’s tallest tree is Hyperion, a coast redwood standing 379 feet, at the Redwood National Park in California. The exact location of the tree is kept a secret to protect the 800-year-old landmark.

8. NorCal and SoCal: There is a palm tree and pine tree planted together along Highway 99 (State Route 99) in the San Joaquin Valley. These two trees serve as an indicator at the midpoint of California. The pine tree represents Northern California’s beautiful landscape and the palm tree represents the gorgeous sunshine of Southern California.

9. The Jock: California has twenty major professional sports league franchises. This is far more than any other state. It has also been the only state in the country to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. In 2028 California will once again host the Summer Olympics which will take place in Los Angeles.

8 WAYS to ADD VALUE to PUBLIC SERVICE and STAY INSPIRED

Authors: Isabella Blasi and Angelica Quirarte 

Public service is a humble profession that impacts the lives of millions and intersects all industries. The concept of being a “state worker” has a negative connotation that is not reflective of the amazing work that civil servants do every day. The bureaucracy of our government sometimes prevent us from being the most effective in our daily work and service delivery and social impact seem slow. However, the people behind the scenes are part of something greater, even when they don’t know it.

As public servants we have the power to change the world, if we can break our silos, build connections and embrace our mission to serve the public.  Below are eight actions that we as public servants can do to collaborate, serve and inspire: 

1. Listen

Serving the public means serving individuals, families and communities. Be active in learning about the people you serve. Listen to what are their needs, challenges, strengths and values. Engage with clients when appropriate, keep up with community news, be an advocate for your public and serve as the link between the public and the big bureaucracy.

2. Be a program expert

As a public servant you have the power to use your skills and knowledge to help make Californians’ lives better. The public depends on you to apply your skills into programs that affects millions of lives. Being an expert in your field shows that you play an essential role in ensuring that people are being served. Don’t shy away from the opportunity to use your knowledge!

3. Know the little things matter

Seemingly mundane tasks can go a long way, especially when interacting with the public. Something as simple as redirecting a phone call to the right department can mean helping put food on a family’s table. Simply listening to a client’s backstory can help him or her feel confident that they are heard and matter to the government.

4. Be a connector

We depend on relationships and collaboration to truly drive effective change. It is through the shared opportunities and resources that we can help bring others along when working on complex issues. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information we do not know within the bureaucracies of government. Playing an active role in connecting people to resources when you find those opportunities will create synergy in our work.

5. Be nice to yourself

While your work is invaluable, it is not your sole responsibility to save the world each and every day. Know your sphere of influence, constantly work towards expanding it and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t solve climate change in one day. Instead, collaborate with your fellow public servants and keep trying.

6. Be solution-oriented

Don’t be discouraged by the “big bad bureaucracy” or the seemingly insurmountable public issues we are responsible for solving. Be creative when thinking of ways to address the issues that arise.

7. Be a mentor

You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. What are lessons learned that would inspire our workforce? Know of someone close to you that has potential? Most of us have been able to find opportunities with the support of mentors. Find the opportunity to mentor someone and give back. Our experiences serve as lessons learned for others.

8. Give back to your community

If you are looking to collaborate, to serve, and to inspire others, join us. NxtGov is here to stay, because our work is never done and we always need peers and partners to effect change.