June 21, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
"As the president says, America's new foundation will be built one community at a time, and that starts with you," said First Lady Michelle Obama (pictured) in a video presentation launching United We Serve, President Obama's initiative to encourage citizens to volunteer to help their communities. The first lady, cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials will participate in service projects across the country today.
The United We Serve summer service initiative begins today and runs through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th. The United We Serve Web site will help volunteers find projects in their communities and exchange stories about projects that make a difference in their communities.
According to a release, Michelle Obama and California's First Lady Maria Shriver today will help build a public playground in San Francisco, Defense Secretary Gates is spending time with veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Commerce Secretary Locke is reading to children at La Mesita Homeless Shelter in Mesa, Arizona.
Today on the FEMA blog, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate discussed service to the community in a video, saying that the willingness to help communities is why first responders do what they do, and it goes beyond responding to disasters or problems. The new United We Serve site, said Fugate, will help citizens match their desires with what their communities need.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.