NLA appreciation:one more for Bob
ahartman at nifl.gov
Mon Nov 17 14:38:31 EST 1997
The NIFL's Internet connection was out of service for over a week as a
result of some work on our local area network. So, until I was able
to read the archived material, I had missed the discussion of Bob
Bikerton leaving his post as legislative representative. I really
felt the need to "jump on the pile."
While you can never go back and lay blame or credit to one person or
event when you are talking about legislation over a several year
period, it is safe to say that Bob was first among equals when it
comes to the incredible string of successes literacy has had over the
that time. Tireless, determined, aggressive, strategic...that was
Bob. We would have strategy conference calls at 4:00 pm and by the
time I got into the office the next day everyone had a draft of what
we had said we needed to move forward.
People who know Bob know how passionate he is about literacy and how
strongly he will argue his positions. I think it is less well known
how much he worked to find consensus, so that the entire literacy
field could get behind the same set of recommendations. I did not
agree with Bob on all his positions, but I agreed completely with his
vision of a united and strong literacy advocacy movement.
You know that a lot was sacrificed on the work and personal front in
order for Bob to do so much national work "on the side." What is
clear is that the good things that happened for literacy on the
national level did not happen by accident. It took a lot of work by a
lot of people across the country, and Bob was a leader in that effort.
If we want that kind of presence and success to continue, others will
need to step up and fill the gap.
Bob -- thanks for everything, but don't think we are going to let you
out of this entirely!
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