Thankful for the Right to Vote: Ensuring Returning Citizens Have the Right Also

Vote

Every year when November comes, I immediately think of Thanksgiving and what I am thankful for. This year, November also means midterm elections and exercising our right to vote. I recognize, though, that not everyone is able to participate in this essential part of our democratic process whether it is due to misinformation, cumbersome voter registration laws, or felony disenfranchisement laws. Being able to vote allows us to share our voice and help shape the direction of this country. Breaking down the barriers to voting is critical to making sure all voices are heard. That is why this year, I am so thankful that Florida voters passed Amendment 4, restoring voting rights to more than one million citizens with a felony conviction.

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New Beginnings – Fun and Stressful at the Same Time

packinglargeThis month is full of new beginnings for JPO and for me. JPO is packing up and cleaning out, preparing for an office reconfiguration. We’ve grown and changed over the last two years and so have our needs. We’re losing our library and conference room to create more office space to house our growing team of experts and leaders—but isn’t everything online now, anyway, and, really, who meets in person anymore? Continue reading “New Beginnings – Fun and Stressful at the Same Time”

Lead Like A Woman

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership over the past year—are leaders born or made? What’s the best way to grow as a leader? How can I inspire my team and guide JPO to new and greater successes? With it being Women’s History Month, my thoughts have also turned to what it means to me as a woman to be a leader and how can I best use the lessons I’ve learned as a woman working in male-dominated fields to mentor the women on my staff.

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From Research to Policy to Practice and Back Again

I have been lucky in my career to have a wonderful professional mentor who is also my friend. Domingo Herraiz, the director of programs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, told me the most empowering thing I can recall, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Will Smith has summed up the same advice into a great dictum:  “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.

Because of Domingo’s advice, I’ve had the courage to take risks and come up with innovative ideas. In particular, I’ve learned to embrace research. As a former prosecutor and senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), I admit, it was an adjustment, but, boy, am I glad I was willing to fail. Continue reading “From Research to Policy to Practice and Back Again”