Why This Work Matters was envisioned as a way of encouraging people who do the hard work of running and improving our communities. My goal with this book was to give you a portable, on-demand shot of that encouragement, sympathy, and reinforcement that you might try to get from your professional peers… if you have people around you who understand what you’re facing. I know that not everyone who does your work has that. And it’s also a way to start changing the too-common popular perception of government employees, and showcase the dedication and determination that doesn’t show up in the popular press.
In Why This Work Matters, I asked 11 community professionals to reflect on why they keep doing the hard work that they do — and what they think about or call upon when they get frustrated, when they want to give up. These folks come from all over the United States, they work in everything from local nonprofits to federal agencies, and they do urban planning, community development, government administration, downtown revitalization and a lot of other things.
These reflections are written in some of the most personal, heartfelt voices you have probably ever encountered in writing about work, and the honesty, the power of what they wrote continues to amaze me. As editor, I did my best to polish up their gems, but the beauty of the raw materials is the real power of this book.
I’m really proud of this book, and I’m really proud of these authors. Some are experienced bloggers, but for others, this was their first experience in writing anything other than a zoning report.
I think you’ll find them unforgettable. Kind of like you.