Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
- Posted byon September 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM EST
On Tuesday, the White House welcomed 13 Local Innovation Champions of Change from cities and counties across the country who have committed themselves to creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship.
Whether making local government information and public data more accessible; creating local environments to encourage and support entrepreneurs; or developing workforce programs to provide residents with skills for the high-tech economy, these Champions of Change have worked tirelessly to build a better future for the citizens they serve, create jobs in their community, and ensure more efficient and effective government.
As a result of their efforts, citizens across the country have access to a more transparent government, more opportunities for participation in the activities of their city or county, and tools that catalyze new types of collaboration between the public, private, non-profit, and citizen sectors of the local community.
All of the Champions honored on Tuesday showcased the amazing movement of innovation in government across America. In addition to celebrating success, the Champions of Change event provided a unique opportunity to share innovative city government products, services, and business models with other cities and discuss how to scale these innovations to others, challenging all cities across the nation to similar levels of improvement.
Check out all 13 Local Innovation Champions recognized this week:
- Phil Bertolini
- Mary Bunting
- Adel Ebeid
- Michael Flowers
- Carolyn Hogg
- Michele Hovet
- Nigel Jacob
- Doug Matthews
- Jay Nath
- Chris Osgood
- John Tolva
- Ted Smith
- Rob White
- Posted byon July 19, 2012 at 5:50 PM EST
On Wednesday in Philadelphia, First Lady Michelle Obama joined local elected officials from across the country to announce new opportunities to bring Let’s Move! to cities, towns and counties across America. Since the initial launch of Let’s Move!, the First Lady has encouraged local solutions to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. At the event, she announced opportunities for local elected officials to do just that through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns & Counties, an initiative that calls upon all local elected officials to work for changes that make their communities healthier.
Some of the new opportunities include a new website, free resources, access to experts and tracking tools and maps from the National League of Cities with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support local elected officials in achieving the goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns & Counties.
Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Circo and Councilman Brooks Visit with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric ShinsekiPosted byon July 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM EST
Recently, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki visited Kansas City, Missouri to tour the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. While there, he met with Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo and Councilman Michael Brooks along with veterans and members of the audiology profession. Afterwards, Circo and Brooks shared their views:
As members of the City Council we greatly valued this opportunity since it allowed Kansas City to highlight its Veteran Affairs Cochlear Implant Clinic. This program has had a tremendous impact on veterans in the region in just the short amount of time it has been operating.
The event was at the Veterans Affairs Cochlear Implant Clinic and it was great to hear Secretary Shinseki expand the discussion and talk about the White House’s plans for supporting veterans. Secretary Shinseki’s compassion for the men and women who have served this country was very evident when he spoke. The Obama administration has demonstrated that they care about veterans.
Here in Kansas City we are extremely pleased about the White House’s renewed focus on supporting the employment of veterans both regionally and nationally through the proposed Veterans Jobs Corps. Once passed by Congress we believe that it will greatly aid more veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan by employing up to 20,000 veterans during the next five years.
- Posted byon June 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM EST
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded nearly $500 million of Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds to 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
State and local officials across the country described the significant impact these grants will have in their communities:
"Thanks to the President Obama and Secretary LaHood, Sacramento will continue to transform our Rail yards and build upon the efforts of so many to make us known as a City that delivers on job creation, economic development and big transportation and infrastructure projects,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento.
“Our partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and rail companies allows us to strengthen Illinois’ position as a national transportation leader,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn explained the impact the TIGER program will have on his city: "We will complete the River walk, which is 20 years in the making." He continued, "Downtown Tampa will be a vastly different place as a result."
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom pointed out that in California, TIGER funds are helping by “revitalizing an entire sector of San Francisco and creating jobs. The TIGER grant for this project will build on state and local investment to support this important infrastructure.”
“These transit improvements are exactly the sort of job-creating transportation infrastructure investments that President Obama talked about in his State of the Union address and this TIGER IV award will help create the centerpiece of the 10 ½ acre privately-funded EastSide III redevelopment, bringing more jobs and residents to the area,” said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh.
David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.
- Posted byon June 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM EST
President Obama has called on Congress to act on a concrete plan which creates jobs and helps restore middle class security. This plan, or Congress’ “To-Do List,” includes items like tax cuts for small businesses, and assistance to responsible homeowners – in other words, the kinds of priorities that Republicans and Democrats have worked together on in the past and should be able to work together on to help the economy and support the middle class.
Another common sense component of the “To-Do List” is helping our veterans find jobs. That’s why just last month, President Obama traveled to the Honeywell Golden Valley facility in Minnesota where he highlighted the need to honor our commitment to returning veterans by passing legislation which creates a Veterans Jobs Corps. The Jobs Corps would honor our commitment to returning Afghanistan and Iraq veterans by helping them obtain jobs as cops and firefighters and in other fields serving their communities.
Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte shares the President’s belief that we must help those who have bravely served our Nation and that by doing so we will build a stronger middle class and a better America. That’s why she recently had this to say in an op-ed which ran in the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, and the Austin Business Journal among others:
Texas businesses would be well served by the unique combination of experiences veterans gained while serving our country. Veterans who move on to private-sector employment consistently demonstrate leadership, teamwork, loyalty and the highly valued ability to adapt to changes in the marketplace.
In addition, our armed services employ personnel managers, finance analysts and thousands of other positions important to the success of all nonmilitary, private-sector industries.
- Posted byon June 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM EST
We are pleased to announce Jay Williams as the new Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, Jay will lead our local engagement with mayors, county and municipal officials across the country.
Prior to joining the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Jay was the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, working with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to ensure that they receive the federal support necessary to help them create a more stable, prosperous economy. By all accounts, Jay’s work with mayors in this important post was exemplary.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Jay served as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio from 2006 to 2011, where he led a number of efforts to improve the economy and quality of life for the citizens of Youngstown. I had the great pleasure of working directly with Jay when he was Mayor of Youngstown, and I know he will bring an exceptional set of skills, honed through his work at the community level, to our work with America’s local governments. We look forward to continuing our work to engage local officials in the work of this White House and the federal government.
David Agnew is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
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