This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Viviana Gonz谩lez 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    Learning Objective: Understand the role of checks and balances amongst the three branches of government and the citizenry.

    1. Citizens, Interest Groups and the Media As Watchdogs

    Answer the question:

      Do you consider yourself a 鈥榳atchdog鈥? How does one become a watchdog?

    Michael Wile

    I am a watchdog by virtue of being on the HFA leadership committee. We are a special interest group looking out for people with bleeding disorders. We are watching the US Government it’s agencies, insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, blood banks, hospitals, researchers and other interest groups and stakeholders to make sure their interests align with our intersts. Our intersts include product safety, data collection, accessibility, affordability, and availability of the products that we require to live well and not just survive! When our interests don’t align, we take action by lobbying congress, suing, protesting, writing letters, voting, campaigning and raising funds. That’s how one becomes a watchdog.


    Natalie Parker

    I do not consider myself a watchdog, simply because I don鈥檛 know that I鈥檓 as intimately informed with local issues as I鈥檇 like. I personally believe that a government watchdog needs to have the following elements:

    – Connected within government
    – Constant vigilance
    – Understands pressure points and keeps up-to-date with all issues
    – Isn鈥檛 afraid to make difficult decisions or call out those in power

    Here in Philadelphia, I work for a few political organizations that I would consider 鈥渨atchdogs鈥. Because of their collective power, organizations are able to hire people with many different skills and experiences to keep a watch on the government. The Committee of Seventy is well-connected within city and state government and intimately understands the processes and levers that it needs to pull to make change. It has a good-sized board and officers within the organization that develop policy platforms and keep abreast of local political news.

    I’d like to become more of a watchdog, or at the least, use the information from other watchdogs to inform my work, opinions, and actions.


    Steve Spears

    I don’t consider myself a watchdog. I just want to take action to address issues faced by families with bleeding disorders.


    Ken Martin

    A watchdog can bark at all the people it wants to as they pass by, but if it is chained to the porch there isn’t a significant impact to many other than noise.

    Take that dog of the chain and then it can make a difference.

    We are all watchdogs that have be let off the chain by getting involved with those people passing by. Some of us may wag their tail and others just might bite if provoked.


    Aidan Elliott

    We are all “watchdogs”. I would assert the only criteria for being a watchdog is an interest in the organization you are watching, some limited knowledge of the system the organization is operating in, and a willingness/ability to bark if necessary.


    Krista Davidson

    I think we may feel like watchdogs to a degree, meaning that we have interests in/want to be informed of issues that can affect us at the bleeding disorder level.


    Jen Loving

    I like to think of myself as an Activist. To me, a Watchdog implies I am constantly watching all the issues in front of me and I obviously don’t have time to do that as I am sitting here replying to these lesson waaayy beyond their due date!! ha! However, I become active when needed. When there is a plea for help sent out via HFA to notify members of Congress I do. I make sure our voices are actively heard!


    Viviana Gonz谩lez

    I never thought of myself as a watchdog, but I think I may have a growing reputation for “Mama Bear.” I’ve found that for many day to day issues we deal with, ex. insurance, I have to be on a constant look out our else we end up with no factor, no PT, and surprise bills. I love this program because I am learning how to address these issues through advocacy for our family, but also on a much larger scale for our community. I do not think I am a watchdog yet, but learning how to become one or at least a part of one.

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