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Blog Posts by Roger Goldblatt

Public Service: A Life of Commitment

by Roger Goldblatt, Associate Bureau Chief, CGB
May 10, 2013

As we celebrate Public Service Recognition Week this year, recognizing the hard work and best efforts of our federal, state, county, and local government employees, it gives me pause to reflect on my experience as a career public servant .  I have been fortunate to have worked in many great agencies, and have served under several White House administrations.  My job has enabled me to travel around the country and meet public servants in all corners of our 50 states.  It has also provided me with an opportunity to receive direct feedback from our citizens. I can find no words to convey how I feel when people of all cultures, backgrounds, and ages come up and say “thank you.”  I know they are not thanking just me, but the millions of public servants throughout the nation.

I recognize that, lately, it is a difficult time to be a public servant.  You’d think that the morale and efforts of those who serve the public would be dimmed, in light of the current environment.  However, as I look around at my coworkers and those I meet in other agencies, I see their lights shining as brightly as ever. Our public servants are as dedicated, passionate, and engaged as ever — working long hours, going the extra mile, and showing a level of caring for those that they serve.  I’m proud to work with such dedicated professionals.

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Hitting the Road, Reaching Out, and Listening

by Roger Goldblatt
May 3, 2010

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Welcome to the new FCC, where our face, and the faces of our staff, are showing up not only in DC but around the nation.

The FCC has been hitting the road - going beyond the DC Beltway - busily setting up events and meeting with consumers and community groups from Charlotte to Seattle. And the nation is taking notice. What surprises and pleases me is that every time we do an event outside of the DC area, the local public seems not just excited – but thankful. We've heard comments from folks like: "I can't believe you came all the way from Washington, DC to listen to us." "Whether we agree with your actions or not, we really appreciate the fact that you're hearing us and giving us the opportunity to comment in person and to answer our questions."

On April 27th and 28th, the FCC took its show on the road to Seattle. The issue at hand was the "open Internet." Zac Katz, Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis, opened the community forum on April 27th, explaining in laymen's terms just what "open Internet" is and what relevant issues are currently facing the FCC. The audience was diverse, reflecting the broad spectrum of Seattle's constituency.

The next morning the FCC hosted a workshop, "Approaches to Preserving the Open Internet," moderated by Paul de Sa, Chief of the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski welcomed the audience by video, as did Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressman Jay Inslee. Using new media tools, the FCC was able to field live questions via the Web and Twitter.

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The FCC at CES

by Roger Goldblatt
January 11, 2010

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For the last week, the FCC has manned an exhibit booth here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and while we’re not among the electronics giants, we got lots of traffic. It’s been great - our days were filled with constant streams of attendees.  Lots of questions. Lots of comments.

So what questions and comments was the FCC getting?  Lots of Ham operators stopping by to say hi and talk about the old days getting their licenses. Consumers telling us we’re not doing enough on indecency and obscenity and consumers telling us we’re doing too much. A surprisingly large percentage of people telling us they’re glad to have us here, and a handful that ask “What are you guys doing here”.

At our booth, we told visitors about our efforts to create a broadband plan.  We showed them the FCC’s new Reboot site. We explained that we’re the FCC, not FTC. We directed them to the restrooms.

The CES show itself is a sensory overload. Biggest television monitors, smallest devices with amazing capabilities.  A very big show with lots of attendees and acres of exhibits.

Our experience here was not limited to the exhibit booth. A Saturday panel featuring Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker included a Q&A session on FCC activities and on Friday, I went to hear the standing-room only session with FCC Chairman Genachowski. It was great to hear our Chairman talk about his desire to bring the FCC into the 21st century.  Judging by the changes we’ve seen so far, I think this goal is well underway.

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