Several years ago, we noticed a lot of visitors to this site were looking for email addresses for DSHS employees. It seemed odd, the largest agency in Washington, and 100% public facing to provide services to the citizens could not be found to communicate with via email. WE scoured Washington’s online information, and determined they just weren’t there. Who Knew?
Washington State DIS has an online database of State Employees, that included everyone – email, phone number, etc. Oh, but there is a caviate. The Agency itself can opt out of being in that database! Apparently DSHS had opted out.
Okay, this is getting long, why am I still reading this….. hold on for just a moment, I’m almost there.
WashingtonSharedparenting.com and the Washington Civil Rights Commission joined forced and did a Washington State Public Records Request for all of the emails for DSHS. Yep, all 20,000 plus address. First, I was amazed that they have that many employee – seems a bit bloated if you ask me! We got the addresses, we created a website with an extensive database backend, and we posted those addresses. We believe it is a great service to the citizens of Washington State – and about 80 visitors a day agree – they come directly to our site to find email addresses. And, you will not believe how many come from Washington State DSHS and other agencies. Apparently, DSHS missed the boat with this policy.
So, why doesn’t this large agency not want the public to be able to contact them via email? I had the chance to ask one of their employees just today. A Jared Sagmiller, a DSHS employee, called us from 3604961078 and took the time to politely spell his name for us, informed us that we had his work email address on our website, and then demanded that we remove it! Remove it? Why would we remove that address, after DSHS informed all employees they had 30 days to get a restraining order to keep their work email address from being put onto the list, if they had legitimate legal reseason. And Jared – you aren’t the first one to request this. We had one rude woman who was a nurse at a Mental Hospital in Spokane claiming that the publishing of her business email address put her family at rist! AT Risk – your family? Because someone has your work email address? Explain that one to me?
Here is the bottom line. Employees of Washington State are hired to serve the public. Let me say it again – SERVE THE PUBLIC. When you can’t be contacted, because you don’t want your email address given out, you fail TO SERVE THE PUBLIC. Lets see, 80 people a day, 2400 people a month, or 27,000 people a day are trying to get ahold of DSHS via email – and rely on a Shared Parenting Website to get the email address to reach them. Shameful, isn’t it?
So, what are these addresses good for? Well, when you have questions for your State Employee, and you need to ask them during the day, when they don’t answer their phones, just go to http://dshs.washingtonsharedparenting.com and look them up by name. If you find we don’t have someone, let us know – we’ll contact DSHS and get it and add it to the list. If you have someones phone number – send it to firstname.lastname@example.org we will be sure to add it to the list as well. After all, someone has to hold this large agency accountable for communicating with the lowly public. We are happy to step up to the plate and do it for you.