Next Tuesday, in 6 days, America will witness the swearing in of it’s first Black President. The entire city of Washington is buzzing with a frenzy of activities – the kind of activity you experience in the days preceding a wedding in your immediate family. The entire District feels like one big family preparing and getting ready for this event. Even the roadside bums are part of the buzz. I will be posting each day a bit of my experiences of these once in a lifetime event.
I am currently working on an engagement for the Child and Family Services Agency for the Government of the District of Columbia. It is one of the mission critical agencies for any State or Federal Government since it deals with Child Protection Services (protecting children against abuse and neglect). As a result of the unprecedented crowds that are expected over the 1/17:1/21 period, the agency along with the rest of the Government organizations is preparing for the worst. Disaster recovery simulations are taking place across all organizations, a chain of command and emergency communication channels are being established. For CFSA, their on the field staff are Social Workers employed to conduct investigations and attend to calls of child abuse or neglect calls received by the child abuse hotline. Over the inaugural weekend, the US Secret Service has issued myriad street closures which will hamper the social workers from reaching the locations where the alleged event has occurred. The agency is taking unprecedented measures to allow the workers to get to these children and take appropriate actions such as: posting social workers in the most vulnerable of the neighborhoods, providing wireless access to it’s information systems, PDAs etc. Getting to experience this and being a part of these preparations (even though it’s a tiny tiny tiny portion of it) gives me a feeling of being a “part” of it. Going back to the immediate family wedding analogy- remember when you were ten and your uncle was getting married and you were asked to bring a basket of flowers from one room to the other, you felt like that was the most important task EVER and that it could play a huge role in making or breaking the event? Yeah, it’s that feeling all over again.
Here are two pictures I managed to take at a Metro station, corporate America is cashing in on the “change” matra. What’s IKEA furniture got to do with “Change”? Huh!
If you want detailed information of the inaugural weekend, this is the best place: Washington Post’s Inaguration Central. More tomorrow.