Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog

  • Administration Joins Local Officials to Create an America Built to Last

    Following the President’s State of the Union, Administration officials hit the road to talk about how the proposals in the President’s speech will help Americans across the country. At many stops, mayors joined the Administration to talk about the local impact of these proposals and make the case for an America built to last.
    Secretary LaHood Breaks Ground on Atlanta Streetcar

    Secretary Ray LaHood joins Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at the groundbreaking of a new streetcar line. (Photo by Creative Loafing Atlanta) February 2, 2012. (by Creative Loafing Atlanta)

    In Atlanta, Secretary Ray LaHood joined Mayor Kasim Reed for the groundbreaking of the new streetcar line in downtown Atlanta. This project was made possible by a 2010 TIGER grant and will provide accessible public transportation to downtown venues and be a catalyst for business growth in the areas it serves. In the State of the Union, the President called for more transportation investment and job creation through a 6-year transportation bill.

  • Scenes from the Conference of Mayors

    During the week of January 16, over 250 of the nation’s mayors traveled to Washington D.C. for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting and events with President Obama and the Administration.

    On January 18, President Obama hosted the mayors at the White House for a reception with several members of his cabinet.

    President speaks to Villaraigosa

    President Barack Obama greets Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a reception with U.S. Mayors at the White House, Jan. 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Helping America's Homeowners

    Gov. QuinnLast week, in his State of the Union address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last.  And on Wednesday, as part of that blueprint, President Obama called for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery.  We in Illinois support the President’s efforts to jumpstart our housing market recovery.

    The President and I both know that we must focus on continuing to move our recovery forward, and housing is key to our continued economic growth. In Illinois, we’ve led a coordinated effort by many of our state agencies to support homeowners and aspiring homeowners. On Wednesday, in my State of the State address, I proposed a number of additional housing initiatives to promote affordable housing and help families facing foreclosure. Government cannot fix the housing crisis on its own, but we can help families access affordable housing and give them resources to avoid foreclosure. 

    For instance, we can make it a little easier for homeowners that receive a foreclosure notice. Earlier this week I announced the formation of the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). The IFPN is a web and hotline hub for all state and federal resources available to struggling homeowners – a one-stop-shop for counseling, legal assistance, mortgage relief and other tools to help families keep their homes.

    But we also need to develop new, affordable housing to help families starting out or starting over. I share President Obama’s goal of transitioning foreclosed properties into rental housing. This will create jobs, improve home prices, lower crime and stabilize neighborhoods. And today, we are announcing a new major housing initiative that will help return vacant properties to good use in Cook County. 

    The President is right: we can’t wait. These initiatives – outlined by the President in Falls Church, Virginia and that I proposed in Springfield, Illinois – can and will make a meaningful difference to struggling homeowners and keep families where they belong – at home. 

    The housing crisis has impacted us all – our families, our communities, and our economies – and, working together, we’ll help stabilize our housing market and keep our recovery going strong.  

    Pat Quinn is the Governor of the State of Illinois

  • Meeting Our Generational Responsibility

    Right on, President Obama! The State of the Union address he delivered this week was both powerful and inspiring – exactly what our citizens are craving.  These are challenging times for so many of us and on Tuesday, before the Congress and the American people, the President demonstrated once again why he is exactly the right leader at exactly the right time.

    One of the most pressing challenges confronting the country is a skills gap that leaves hundreds of thousands of jobs unfilled while millions are out of work.  President Obama is offering a solution – leverage the talent and resources of our community colleges to develop programs that fit the needs of the workplace and put people back to work.  We’re doing the same thing here in Massachusetts, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the President on this initiative.

    I also wholeheartedly support the President’s continued commitment to investing in our schools.  Our children’s education is the single best investment we can make in our collective future.

    The President is also right to ask everyone, including the wealthiest, to contribute to the country’s strength.  Tax reform is not about division, or jealously.  Like the President, I celebrate the good fortune of others.  But the answer to good fortune is not guilt – it is responsibility.  We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our communities, and our country, to pay our fair share.

  • #SOTU: State and Local Officials Share Reactions to State of the Union on Twitter

    During the President’s State of the Union Address, thousands of Americans shared their live reactions on Twitter with #SOTU. Below are some of the tweets from state and local elected officials sharing their thoughts during the address.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
    @AGSchneiderman: Would like to thank @whitehouse@TheJusticeDeptfor creating a joint investigation to bring justice for victims of the mortgage crisis #SOTU

    Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon
    @LtGovSimon: At a time when we need inspiration, President Obama supplied it. I'm ready to get to work and grow a state and nation that's #builttolast.

    Colorado State Representative Mark Ferrandino
    @MarkFerrandino: Great speech Pres @BarackObama, lays out a great vision for moving country forward. He is right, working together we can accomplish anything

  • America’s Governors: President Obama Offers a Clear Path Forward

    After President Obama’s State of the Union address, governors from across the country voiced their support for the President’s vision of an America built to last.

    Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper

    “The President tonight hit a tone about working together that is familiar to Coloradans. People here know that partisanship is a significant roadblock to partnership. We must use collaboration as a means to finding solutions to keep pushing our state and our country closer to full economic recovery. We join the President in the pursuit of unnecessary regulations that handcuff aspiring entrepreneurs, and we applaud his support of great teachers and our nation’s military. We were also encouraged to hear the President talk so much about clean energy, as Colorado is leading the nation when it comes to renewable energy research and development. Many of the new jobs the President talked for this industry will be created in Colorado – and we are ready.”

    Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy

    “The President is right, now is the time to rebuild our nation’s aging infrastructure.  Now is the time to restore the United States as the best nation in the world for advanced and precision manufacturing.  Now is the time to once again make our education system the envy of the world through long overdue reforms.  Now is the time to restore our bargain with our citizens, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it in America.  This President has challenged Washington to get it done.  We can’t wait.  We shouldn’t have to wait.  The time is now.”