We all come from different parts of the country, but we share the common goal of supporting the administration of justice. The importance of living in a society that respects the rule of law becomes more evident in a pandemic crisis, particularly when individual preferences must yield to the greater good. You all are to be commended for the way you seamlessly adjusted to a new way of doing business, keeping the doors of courthouses open to serve, both physically and, as circumstances have warranted, virtually. And, as you have continued to faithfully fulfill your oath to the public, you have had to keep your own stress in check. Some of you have directly battled COVID-19 or have directly supported family and friends fighting the disease. You are superstars.
The FCCA joins with our members and co-workers, remaining hopeful that a bright and positive future lies before us. We have been entrusted with sustainment of the federal court system, more now than in recent memory. Personal accountability is apparent in the way each of you have adapted.
No matter what challenges you face, remember that we are all in this together. Having friends and colleagues in the FCCA to call upon, to brainstorm new ideas, and to obtain guidance is one of the things that makes the FCCA so valuable, especially now. Think of the FCCA as another important tool in your personal toolbox.
Regrettably, the board had to cancel our 2020 national conference. This was largely because of the responsibility we feel for the well-being of each FCCA member. It was particularly disappointing since the conference has been held annually since the creation of the FCCA, except during the years surrounding World War II. But, the FCCA has significance far beyond a single conference. We are already working together to build a 2021 conference that will be bigger and better! The 2021 Denver, Colorado conference promises to be an exciting adventure for all association members, marking our 99th year as an association! I hope you will all have new experiences to share, new procedures, new innovations, and a fresh new outlook on what the FCCA can become. We are fortunate to already be a few steps ahead on 2021 planning; some of our excellent 2020 speakers will make their presentations in Denver. We all certainly look forward to welcoming you, not only as members, but as family and friends. Tell us what topics you want to cover at the conference and what fun things you would like to do after hours (if it does not involve too much uphill climbing in thin Colorado air). We really want to hear from you.
In conclusion, we can smile as we think how “Bring Your Child to Work Day” or “Bring Your Pet to Work Day” has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020! Most of you have transported your workplaces into your homes and have experienced what it is like to “Take Your Office to Home.” This has required you to concurrently balance work, school, and home responsibilities. The children and pets are undoubtedly ready for you to go back now! Online professional contacts and friendships with people who understand your work challenges have been even more important as we have faced uncharted territory together. Your resiliency and courage to work through obstacles is taking your professional lives to a whole other level.
Remember to laugh more than you cry, and never forget that the FCCA is there with you every step of the way. Keep up the communication and the good work. Tell us the things that have kept you encouraged and engaged. But, more importantly, be safe, be healthy, and be there for each other. That is what the FCCA is all about.
See you all in Denver next August, bigger and stronger.
Karen Mitchell, President
Federal Court Clerks Association