Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
- Posted byon June 17, 2011 at 9:05 AM EDT
This week, Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman and members of the Columbus Partnership, including Fortune 500 CEOs as well as other business, community and local/regional government officials came to the White House to meet with Administration Officials. While here, they discussed economic issues with Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of Council of Economic Advisors, talked health care policy with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and shared their thoughts on small business and capital access with Jeffrey Goldstein and Don Graves from the Treasury Department.
"Central Ohio continues to be a national model for regional collaboration, economic growth and job creation. I was honored to bring the Ohio State Capitol's government, industry and civic leaders to meet with senior White House and Administration officials in Washington, DC to advocate for our priorities with one voice. We are grateful to the Administration for the frank discussion on the economy, jobs, health and workforce partnerships," said Mayor Coleman.
David Agnew is the Deputy Director for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Posted byon June 17, 2011 at 7:58 AM EDT
On Monday, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs hosted San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and leaders from San Antonio to hear about SA2020: a city-wide plan developed by city leaders and residents to set out specific goals in a number of areas including community safety, economic competitiveness, education, health & fitness, transportation and many more.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk welcomed Mayor Castro and shared his experiences from serving as Mayor of Dallas, noting that “cities are the real laboratories for getting stuff done.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ron Sims also joined the presentation and discussed the importance of engaging community members to accomplish city goals.
In all, more than 40 officials from the White House and several Cabinet agencies took part in the dialogue on how the federal government can partner with cities like San Antonio to build what Mayor Castro calls “brainpower communities” that are safe, vibrant, healthy and economically competitive.
For more information on the SA2020 project, visit www.sa2020.org.
David Agnew is the Deputy Director for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
- Posted byon June 15, 2011 at 6:20 PM EDT
How can government and business work together to create jobs? That was the topic in Durham, North Carolina this week, where President Obama met with the Jobs Competitiveness Council to discuss practical ways that government and business can partner to foster growth and encourage job creation. And they aren’t the only ones having this discussion. Cities all over America are seeing the positive economic results of investing in business innovation.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino explains the importance of government and the private sector working together: “Countries and the cities that best support collaboration will win the future. The places that best cultivate innovation will create more jobs, grow faster, and foster path-breaking new products and services that improve the well-being of people around the world.”
- Posted byon June 13, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT
Today, the President traveled to North Carolina to meet with the Jobs and Competitiveness Council at the corporate and U.S. manufacturing headquarters of Cree, a leading manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting. In addition, this morning members of the Jobs Council and senior Administration officials held five Listening and Action Sessions across the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina) to solicit input on how the public and private sectors can partner to create jobs and opportunities for small businesses. The mayors of the Research Triangle share their insights on how their cities have worked to create opportunities through innovation.
Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell of Durham explains that his city’s approach to job creation includes “strategic use of economic incentives to entice quality companies to relocate to Durham, bringing new jobs with them; creating a friendly atmosphere for budding entrepreneurs and for major corporate expansion; and using economic development grants and incentives to help support capital investment and job creation in existing high-growth industries.”
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill fills us in on how the region has spurred economic investment: “Many years ago, North Carolina’s leaders had the foresight to understand the importance of innovative research and development when they created Research Triangle Park. As a result, the Triangle has become a world class center of research and a model of forward thinking economic development. This work has ensured that the United States has remained competitive in advanced manufacturing, innovation, and research and development.”
Finally, Mayor Charles Meeker of Raleigh lays out the three pillars of his city’s investment in innovation, “Raleigh’s commitment to sustainability is a cornerstone of its vision for the future. That vision is broad and comprehensive, focusing on the interdependent relationships of environmental stewardship, economic strength and social integrity. These three fundamental elements of sustainability define the vision and will serve to guide decisions Raleigh will need to make as a 21st Century City of Innovation.
- Posted byon June 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM EDT
This week, the White House celebrates the one-year anniversary of Let’s Move! Cities & Towns – a call to action from First Lady Michelle Obama to engage mayors and local elected leaders in solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. As the First Lady explains, “The idea here is very simple: to put in place commonsense, innovative solutions that empower families and communities to make healthy decisions for their kids.” Let’s Move! emphasizes the unique ability of communities to solve the challenge locally, and the critical leadership mayors and other local elected officials can provide to bring communities together and spur action.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launched Let’s Move! Cities & Towns at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting last year: “We recognize that every community is different, and every town requires a distinct approach. We designed Let’s Move! Cities & Towns to empower local leaders to take steps that will have a real impact on their own unique communities, whether that’s building sidewalks and parks, supporting local farmers markets or bringing healthier food into schools.”
Below, we highlight a few of the many local elected officials around the country who have answered the First Lady’s call and are taking action on the four pillars of Let’s Move!: helping parents make healthy choices, creating healthy schools, providing access to healthy and affordable food, and promoting physical activity.
Students participate in a Let’s Move! event in Davenport, Iowa. March 22, 2011. (by Photo by Genesis Health Systems)
Mayor Bill Gluba helped kick-off Davenport, Iowa’s Let’s Move! initiative with an event at the River’s Edge recreational facility last May. The event showcased the Mobile Playground program that is carried to neighborhood parks throughout the City on a decommissioned Fire Truck loaded with crafts, games, sports and hobbies. The program targets parks in neighborhoods where kids have less access to recreational programs and parents may not be able to provide transportation to other facilities.
Cambridge, Massachusetts encourages school children to follow the “5-2-1” guidelines (five or more servings of fruit and vegetables, two hours or less of television time, and one hour of exercise). Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher: “The Let’s Move! campaign complements the efforts that City has been undertaking with our youth and brings to the forefront the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. By joining the First Lady’s Initiative, the City of Cambridge is providing yet another tool to assist our youth in leading healthy lives.”
In Seattle, Washington the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development assists local corner stores in providing more fruits and vegetables in low income communities. This is making it easier to grow healthy food in the city by building more community gardens, which provide 30,000 pounds of fresh local produce to residents in need, and by making it easier for residents to grow food themselves. The city is also providing food from local farms to childcare and senior programs, and creating community kitchens where people can learn to prepare food. Mayor Mike McGinn: “Let’s Move! allows us to give more help to our children and their families so they can have healthy choices too.”
Southfield, Michigan’s Mayor Brenda L. Lawrence began a summer Mayors Walk program during her first year in office ten years ago. Over the years, more than 600 residents have taken advantage of this opportunity to participate in healthy exercise as they meet new people and interact with Southfield elected officials and department heads. The Let’s Move! program provided an opportunity to reach out to the city’s youth and introduce them to the benefits and fun of physical exercise and making healthy food choices.
- Posted byon June 3, 2011 at 11:45 AM EDT
This week, the White House released a report highlighting the resurgence of the American auto industry. The report discusses the jobs created in the sector, the turnaround of the companies that are now turning a profit, and how entire communities have been revitalized by a strengthened auto industry.
In advance of the President’s trip to Chrysler Group’s Toledo Supplier Park in Ohio, we heard from local officials around the country on how the recovery of the American automobile industry has impacted their communities.
Mayor Greg Goodnight of Kokomo, Indiana told us:
The comeback Kokomo has experienced due to the resurgence of the auto industry can be seen all around the City of Kokomo. Delphi is building a $25 million new state of art facility, Chrysler is investing over one billion dollars in their Kokomo facilities and our local economy is benefitting. Those who called for liquidation of the American auto industry did not have to look into the eyes of the auto industry employees who depend on these jobs to feed their families and send their children to school. They are my lifelong neighbors and friends; I know the impact these jobs have on our community.
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