State Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, received some good news this month, when she was selected as a Toll fellow through the Council of State Governments.
No, the fellowship has nothing to do with tolling the Interstate-5 Bridge.
The program, named after CSG founder Henry Toll, allows state government officials from across the U.S. to attend a six day training the organization calls an “intellectual boot camp.” Each year, the program selects 48 officials from all three branches of state government to attend the camp.
Wylie said in a news release that the boot camp will help her address a shift in the way politics is done.
“Traditional methods of leadership are not always effective in an era of more expectations of a more direct democracy and accelerating change,” she said. “The different philosophies that are driving the stalemates in budget, policy and revenue debates cannot be bridged through charisma, persuasion skills or threats. Engaging the electorate in a way that brings in ideas and builds trust is essential.”
Toll fellows will meet for the boot camp in August in Lexington, Ky. They will hear from a lineup of speakers, and attend work sessions aimed at self reflection and personal growth.
This year’s class of Toll fellows include 35 officials from the legislative branch of government, four judicial officials and nine officials from the executive branch. They represent 35 states and Puerto Rico.