Tus Valores Cuentan: Public Service, Policing
Josephson Institute’s Six-Pillar initiative in Puerto Rico
Tus Valores Cuentan may be most widely celebrated as a character-building program for youth, but it also seeks to build public trust by promoting ethics and transparency in government.
In July 2009 Governor Fortuño appointed a Tus Valores Cuentan Steering Committee to help Josephson Institute develop the operational aspects of the program. The Committee included the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, representatives of the Governor’s Office and the First Lady’s Office, along with the Governor’s senior advisors in the areas of culture, education, sports, and family.
Later that year, Josephson Institute conducted a survey of more than 1,000 leaders in government (including state legislators, mayors, and the heads of state agencies) and education (including school directors), along with the top executives of nonprofit, sports, religious, and business associations. The results showed widespread support for a campaign to teach and reinforce ethics and values in all public agencies.
To launch Tus Valores Cuentan, Josephson Institute President Michael Josephson conducted workshops for the full cabinet and agency heads to help them integrate the ethics program into their agencies. Training sessions for other public agencies followed and are ongoing.
Advertising agencies, media outlets, and private companies have answered the call to help promote the seis pilares del carácter. With donated media time and advertising space, the island is awash in positive messages about values and character. The innovative multimedia campaign includes not only newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio coverage, but also mall kiosks, billboards, banners — even signage on gas pump nozzles. Tus Valores Cuentan signage was also prominent at the Central American Games in Mayaguez. By October 2010, the value of donated advertising coverage was over $4 million.
With nearly 20,000 officers and island-wide jurisdiction, the Puerto Rico Police Department is making Tus Valores Cuentan a centerpiece of its community-outreach activities. In March 2011, Josephson Instituteâ€™s Police Ethics Center conducted training sessions for officers and senior managers from all 13 regions of the island. The department continues to train officers to integrate the values in all its citizen meetings and in outreach programs. To remind everyone of our shared values, the seis pilares adorn the sides of new patrol cars and appear on large banners at the police academy. This Puerto Rican policing blog explains the program (in Spanish).
In Puerto Rico, all state and local executive branch employees (over 200,000) are required to take at least 10 hours of ethics instruction every two years. The nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, which is independent of both the executive and legislature, oversees this. The decision of this agency’s director to adopt and promote Tus Valores Cuentan affirms its nonpartisan credentials and the sustainability of the program beyond the current administration.
Are you in Puerto Rico and interested in getting involved?
Contact Marisol Selles at firstname.lastname@example.org.