As the Democratic National Convention comes to a close I find myself reflecting on the city of Philadelphia – the epicenter of where history is made.
Philadelphia, Pa is the same city where the American founders signed the Declaration of Independence and then later wrote the Constitution. Years later, twelve years ago this week (to be exact), then-Senate candidate Barack Obama took the very same stage in Philadelphia when he was first introduced to the national stage. Adding another factoid to the history books this week, Democrats made Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee to lead a major party ticket… Needless to say, the DNC venue is fitting for what will be a historic presidential election, no matter which nominee wins.
In keeping with the theme of making history in Philadelphia, SHRM hosted an exclusive member event with our media partner, CNN. The event I’m sure will be remembered long after the presidential elections by SHRM members in attendance. The program featured political commentators Alisyn Camerota, Patti Solis Doyle, Errol Louis and Ana Navarro. The commentators provided a political comparison of the RNC and DNC and reflections on former President Clinton’s speech on Tuesday evening.
Later in the day, excitement continued to build in the DNC convention hall as the evening promised an all-star line-up of political leaders from Vice President Joe Biden to the Vice President nominee Tim Kaine, concluding with the main event – hearing from President Obama. The theme of the messages - “Working Together”.
As with most of the president’s speeches and his campaigns in 2004 and 2008, his words invoked inspiration, hope, civic engagement and activism. President Obama said he’s now "ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen." Addressing the arena, the president said to Democrats "Don't boo- vote" emphasizing that “You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport."
This brings me to SHRM’s new campaign highlighting innovative, fair and competitive policy solutions: Principles for a 21st Century Workplace and how HR professionals can work together with SHRM’s government affairs to advocate for these policy priorities. SHRM’s Advocacy Team (also known as the A-Team), a network of HR professionals are already actively engaged in efforts to raise awareness of workplace issues. I would even go as far as calling members of the A-Team change makers.
So, while the national conventions are almost over, now is not the time to take a respite (although you might want to after all the political rhetoric). Instead, HR professionals must stay engaged! There are months leading up to Election Day and it’s a guarantee that the next Congress and Administration will consider workplace issues. Stay tuned to SHRM’s government affairs team for upcoming election-day related programming because working together we will advance Principles for a 21st Century Workplace!
Senior Advisor, Government Relations