Letters to Change the World

Last October 1, I set a goal for myself: to write 180 letters to change the world in a year. Yesterday, I sent my last letter – a thank you to my mailman, who helped deliver the 231 letters I sent! 

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I don’t know what the full impact of these letters will be and probably never will. But I do know that I received some amazing responses, including from  Lin-Manuel Miranda, Reality Winner, and President Trump, among others. And I learned about some great organizations, like More Love Letters, Letters Against Depression, The Letter Project, Love for the Elderly, A Million Thanks, Send Kids the World and Postcards to Voters. Please check out these great groups and consider writing letters for them! 

Thank you to everyone who helped me through this process, especially the people who made suggestions for letters!

I know this has been a rough week for America. But please don’t give up on your country or yourself. Together we can change things.

Tips For Sleep Training Twins

My latest Twiniversity article details how we sleep trained our twins. 

Sleep training was rough, but it was the best parenting decision we’ve made. I would recommend it to any parent whose baby is at least 5 months and struggling with sleeping. 

The book we followed was Conner Herman and Kira Ryan’s “The Dream Sleeper.” My article explains some of the techniques in the book and which ones we followed and which we departed from. Check out the article if you would like tips for transforming your babies from terrible to terrific sleepers.

Attempt to Weaken New Mexico’s Whistleblower Protection Act Fails

         Albuquerque, New Mexico

         Albuquerque, New Mexico

In February I sent two letters to New Mexico state Senator Jacob Candelaria regarding his proposed amendments to the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). In the letters I described how his bill (Senate Bill 299) would have weakened New Mexico’s whistleblower protections. The letters are available here and here.

Whistleblowers – employees who disclose information about waste, fraud, abuse of power, or dangers to public health and safety – expose the truth and often save taxpayers money. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers of 5,400 companies worldwide found that whistleblowers detected more fraud than corporate security, audits, rotation of personnel, fraud risk management and law enforcement combined. It is therefore troubling that the New Mexico legislature introduced a bill to weaken whistleblower rights at a time when the state faced an $80 million deficit.

Senator Candelaria subsequently introduced a revised version of his bill that addressed most of my concerns. But the bill still had the potential to weaken protections for whistleblowers. After I sent the letters, NMPolitics.net ran an article that examined the bill’s shortcomings. The article quoted several people, including me:

Walden took issue in her letter with the requirement that potential whistleblowers first exhaust administrative remedies: “administrative grievance mechanisms can sometimes be hostile forums for whistleblowers,” she wrote. She expressed concern about institutionalizing delays and processes that aren’t favorable to whistleblowers.

The revised bill failed to pass before the end of the state’s legislative session and is tabled for now.

To learn more about New Mexico’s current whistleblower protections, visit the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility’s New Mexico Accountability Report Card.