Lobbyist Pam Ray

Lobbyist Pamela Ray has more than three decades of in-depth experience in policy and politics, with expertise in congressional budget/appropriations and federal grant programs.

Her select policy experience includes housing and community development, housing finance, transit/transportation, taxes, and trade.

With a focus on bridging the knowledge gap between elected officials and their constituents, Pam has achieved success in her own government relations business for 16 years and for elected officials in the US Senate, US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs (1989-95), and the NYS Senate Federal Affairs Office (1986-1989).

For more information, visit www.pamrayllc.com.

A Reading List for the Next Congress

February 2012, Be Inkandescent magazineDear U.S. Congressmen, U.S. Senators, and Key Staff:

Following is a proactive reading list for February 2012. Your public approval rating of 12 percent demands changes of quite some magnitude if America is to believe you are leaders in putting this country on the right track.

This list is based on my belief that we, as individuals, communities, organizations, institutions and a nation, should always strive to improve through personal and professional growth.

I am not alone in wanting you to succeed in doing what is best for this great country, and I won’t give up my hope that one day soon you will begin to collectively work toward your fullest potential.

Here is my recommended reading list for the next session of Congress.

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Market What You Do—Not What You Need

January 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — Attention everyone who works with or in government-funded programs: Rather than focusing on what you want or need—let’s ring in 2012 by bragging about your expertise.

It’s not easy, I know. Government-funded programs are being challenged like never before to create a new mindset and to be innovative in their problem-solving.

Public housing programs are no exception.

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Empower Others to Be Their Own Best Advocate

December 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — You know the sound of fingers scratching across a chalkboard? Well, you may consider the topic of lobbying to be just as obnoxious and annoying, based on the recent media coverage.

There is much more to the profession than the negative stories portrayed in the media. And there are those of us who do without the media coverage or the campaign money—and succeed in lobbying for federal programs or projects.

The reason why is this: Our role as government relations professionals is to facilitate, to teach, to research in-depth, to collaborate, and to advocate.

Despite the growing amount of money going into political campaigns, I strongly maintain my niche in advocating based both on the credibility of my clients and their projects; and, on my credibility in providing successful outcomes. However, my target audience for developing solutions has shifted predominantly from Washington, DC, to the local community level.

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The Link Between Education and Future Jobs May Be a Program Called STEM

November 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — My recent columns addressed the issue of what type of jobs will make up our future economy—including a focus on STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math), and the prerequisite education necessary to pursue those careers.

In a recent keynote presentation to the Northern Virginia chapter of Girls in Technology, I explained the importance of public policy initiatives in defining our nation’s priorities and in determining where our resources are invested.

I believe that among the many failings brought on by the current disconnect between Washington DC and our nation’s economic needs is the lack of a strategic link between our education system and future job markets.

I attribute this to a lack of national leadership. The good news is that this important economic link is being recognized at the local and regional level by groups like the Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program, which is actively promoting the critical link between our students’ educational choices and the jobs opportunities that they will have in the coming years.

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Jobs and the Future: Are We Connecting the Dots?

October 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — For decades, jobs and economic development have been the focus of my advocacy work. The reason is simple: Investment is a multiplier that generates economic growth.

Unfortunately, we are now at a crossroads in our national policy-making that questions how to create jobs. The debate of more / less government, more / less spending, higher / lower taxes, and more / less regulation goes on daily.

Our nation’s elected officials are campaigning rather than governing, and I don’t see that changing until after the next election (go vote!). Until then, I’m confident that there will be no clear economic policy or job-creation road map for the small business, the unemployed, the manufacturer, the high-tech firm, the healthcare company, and everyone else woven into our U.S. economy.

That includes no progress toward remedying the public-policy disconnects between our education curriculum and future job markets.

Rather than focus on our country’s woes, I am putting my professional focus on job creation, education (college in particular), and workforce readiness.

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Be Optimistic: Vote!

September 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — I am always amazed that so many Americans don’t vote.

According to Voting and Registration Data / US Census 2008, voter turnout for the United States was 58 percent. That means 42 percent of people didn’t vote. Why?

Numerous studies outline the numerous reasons why, but I still don’t understand the trend. After all, your vote is your voice. It’s also your privilege, your right—and your obligation.

So I am going to issue all of our Be Inkandescent Magazine readers a challenge: Make the election of 2012 the one where you get out to the polls and cast your ballot. It just may change the direction of the country. Here are some statistics to consider.

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STEM + Community Collaboration = Enchanted Learning

August 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — “We’re not going to be at a competitive advantage here [in the United States] unless we provide the appropriate skills, tools, and training,” noted Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at a recent policy summit in Washington, DC, that addressed our changing workforce dynamics.

Among the topics discussed and frequently repeated by a very diverse panel of leaders in government, business, education, and at think tanks was the mismatch between our educational system and future job skills, with the missing component being a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.

Check out the Power of STEM.

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Lobbyist Pam Ray Helps Us Shine a Light on Local Solutions

July 2011, Be Inkandescent magazine — While thinking big is a great concept for most sectors, the zeal for government spending has led to big deficits and outrageous debt. At the personal level, the quest for an ever-bigger house, helped out by big banks eager to provide loans, led to often-unaffordable mortgage payments for homeowners nationwide.

There is enough blame to go around regarding indulgence, but regardless of your political affiliation (I’m a liberal Republican turned Independent), I think you’ll agree that the pain from big foreclosures, big unemployment numbers, and big health insurance costs is felt most deeply at the local level.

So, what is the solution?

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