Goodbye, D.C.

My final day at FCW was today, July 24. As of August 17, I will be attending a one-year M.S. program at Columbia Journalism School, so I will be moving to New York City sometime before then.

A few stories that I wrote while covering “the Deep State” at FCW are below that I’m especially proud of:

BLM Begins Move Out of Washington (Jan. 2020)

About how Bureau of Land Management leaders set their own agency up for failure by moving its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado. I also wrote this story not long before about how the FBI initiated almost 100 domestic terrorism cases between 2013 and 2017 due to threats against public lands employees in agencies such as BLM, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service.

FLRA pushes ahead with union dues rule (March 2020), update (July 2020)

From Day 1, the Trump Administration has waged a protracted war to neuter federal sector unions. The Federal Labor Relations Authority, which governs labor-management relations between the federal workforce and its agencies, has pushed ahead with implementing a rule that would make it easier for employees to suspend paying collective bargaining fees at any time after a year has elapsed as opposed to allowing them during very specific annual timeframes. Also known as the agency that decertified the PATCO air traffic controllers’ union during the Reagan Administration.

VA benefits backlog spikes amid COVID pandemic (May 2020)

I doubt most people who don’t work in government know what the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration) does or that it even exists. I was especially proud of this story because during the course of it I had to learn what the backlogs and appeals process was, how the processes for disability and supplemental claims for veterans worked, and what the 48-hour review process does, and I came out of it a little less ignorant than before.

As always, you can reach me via DM on Twitter @LiaOffLeash or via email at liaruss@gmail.com. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue writing more about labor, but with more emphasis on rank-and-file workers as opposed to strictly government workers.