Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog

  • 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.”

  • America’s Mayors: President Obama Understands the Needs of the American People

    Following the President’s State of the Union address, mayors across the country spoke out about the vision the President laid out for an America built to last.

    U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Los Angeles, California Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

    “In his address tonight, President Obama showed the country that he will keep fighting for the investments we need to turn our economy around. At its heart, the speech was about renewing the basic bargain with the American middle class, especially those looking for work or struggling to pay their mortgage. Now it’s Congress’ turn. Congress needs to do its job.”

    San Francisco, California Mayor Ed Lee

    “In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama underscored his commitment to strengthening the American economy by creating good jobs and opportunity for every family. Here in San Francisco, job creation remains my highest priority. We’re making progress getting people back to work in our small businesses and in construction jobs through millions of dollars in investment in our own San Francisco infrastructure.”

    Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock

    “What President Obama presented to the American people tonight was a blueprint for moving our country forward at this critical moment. By focusing on innovation, on common-sense solutions and on the things that matter most – job creation, workforce development and housing – we can set the course of our nation right once more.”

  • County Association Executives Engage with Administration Officials

    On Thursday, over 80 officials and state executive directors representing 38 states from the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE) joined us at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a day of dialogue and discussion with several Senior Administration Officials on topics relevant to county governments.

    Larry Dix, the President of NCCAE, thanked the White House for convening the discussion and hosting the group.

    Polly Trottenberg Speaks to County Executive Directors

    Acting Under Secretary for Transportation Policy Polly Trottenberg speaks to County Executive Directors at the White House on January 12, 2012 (White House Photo). January 12, 2012. (by White House)

    Mark O’Connell, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of Counties, introduced the day’s first speaker, Acting Under Secretary for Transportation Policy Polly Trottenberg, who talked about the importance of investing in infrastructure and many of the Transportation programs that counties across America have participated in, including the TIGER Grant Program and TIFIA loans.