About Reclaim Illinois and Patrick Beaird
My name is Patrick J. Beaird; I'm a citizen and state employee.
Strategy | Goals
So what does Patrick Beaird hope to get out of the Reclaim Illinois effort!?!
I live and work in Springfield and am currently employed as a project manager for the Bureau of Communications and Computer Services (also known as BCCS), which is part of Central Management Services. I have over 17 years with the state starting in 1991.
After graduating from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, I started with the Secretary of State's Office through a fellowship in September of 1991 and was offered full time state employment in August of 1992 as a graphic artist.
Through my years of public service as a graphic artist, web developer, web team manager and project manager I can say I'm truly proud to have been part of a number of fulfilling efforts as a state employee. These efforts ranged from leveraging the internet to provide information and state services to improving web usability and accessibility, e-forms and most recently a formalized structure for project management. While working on those efforts, I have also had the privilege of meeting and working with many good people who are true public servants. It's always rewarding to be part of an effective team, working toward clear goals in which you can see benefit to the public.
However, in contrast to those personal experiences of fulfilling state service, have been years of increasing state government scandal and questionable direction and tactics from leadership, all of which have had increasingly negative impact on morale from my experience.
Personally I have found it, at times, difficult to be upbeat and enthusiastic in the work that I do while word of corruption or questionable activities by leadership comes regularly from the media and through office conversation. It is an absurd reality to face as an IT project manager and public servant to have the Governor's impeachment as a potential risk to the success of my projects. Even if it is not officially part of my project documentation.
As I step back and look at my career in state government it's easy to see an increasingly disappointing trend of questionable leadership, a culture of corruption.
First there were the years under the leadership of George Ryan, whom I once thought of as an honorable public servant and supported enthusiastically. Revelations of his misdeeds as well as those close to him turned me off of politics with a feeling of betrayal.
Then Rod Blagojevich, who talked of reform but through his actions has made it crystal clear that corruption remains alive and well in Illinois Government.
Surely these men have not been part of all improper activity under them, however, I believe their example has been the catalyst.
As scandal and questionable integrity swirled around the Blagojevich administration, the Governor was amazingly re-elected and my feeling of personal betrayal and despair for this state deepened.
Through 2008 as more Blagojevich administration scandal swirled, I began to think about speaking out but was held back by fears of jeopardizing my job and thus my ability to care for my wife who has Multiple Sclerosis. After all the years of scandal I thought the administration was unstoppable.
More recently however, as details of the criminal complaint came to light followed by many jokes and jabs from around the nation, I came to the conclusion, along with my wife, that there is some justice, action is dearly needed now by the average citizen and it should start with me.
To that end, I have made it my New Year's resolution for 2009 to do all I can to return Honor, Integrity, Respect and Authentic Public Service to State Government by becoming an active agent of change! I've created a web site called ReclaimIllinois.com, started informing friends and have begun to reach out whenever and wherever I can to inform citizens, start dialog and encourage others to action.
Every citizen, regardless of where they are and what they do, must act. We must become informed and vote accordingly as agents of change holding our public officials accountable for their actions or the lack there of.
Specifically, I want to encourage those authentic public servants out there, some of which I'm proud to work with to this day, Keep up the good work, don't get discouraged AND don't be afraid to come forward and stand for integrity without fear of reprisals should you know of improprieties. I long for the day when weekly office conversation is dominated by talk of success not talk of corruption.
As citizens we must all act and vote for REAL CHANGE!
In conclusion I have a story:
I was talking with my 9 year old son the other night before bed about coming to talk to the commission. I briefly explained that the trip would be about standing for honor, Integrity and truth and that I'm trying to be a good example to him and his sister. My son, who is a kidder, gave me a funny smile and said,
"Dad, you're going to join the Justice League?!"
I just laughed, gave him a hug and told him good night. As I walked away still smiling about his comment, it suddenly struck me as profound!
My kid, while trying to be funny, painted my interaction with this gathering as that of a super hero joining other super heroes to battle injustice. To that end, I'm hopeful that our collective impact as citizens, state employees and commissioners will be greater than that of the Justice League and make all of our kids proud.
Copyright 2008 Patrick Beaird