Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
- Posted byon February 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM EDT
Following President Obama’s State of the Union Address, state and local officials shared their reactions to the President’s plan for a strong middle class and a strong America.
“There is no greater priority than getting people back to work and making America a magnet for jobs. That will happen only if Congress joins the President in putting aside partisan politics and working together. The President laid out a strong and positive message designed to cut through the gridlock and bickering. He talked about manufacturing, innovation, clean energy and investing in people. These are investments we can all endorse.”
“In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama built upon the themes of his Inaugural Address and proposed a plan to accelerate job creation, promote long-term economic growth and grow the middle class. This plan is rooted in our values: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should make it in America. His speech was also a powerful call to action against gun violence. The green and white ribbons that have come to signify the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School have now, for some, become a call to action. We have a responsibility to our children to take common sense steps now to prevent gun violence.”
“The world we now live in is more global, more productive, more competitive. It is a new world of unprecedented opportunities to create new partnerships, to sell to new customers, to innovate and collaborate in ways previously unimaginable. The President recognizes that the best way we can compete in an ever-evolving, global economy is by making smart investments in our workforce and creating opportunities to expand the number of available jobs in our country.”
- Posted byon February 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM EDT
Today is game day, and as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers get ready to take the field, the mayors from those cities are taking a different approach to the traditional, friendly wager. This year, the focus will be on volunteering and community service.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have agreed that the winning mayor would host the mayor from the opposing team for a day of volunteer service with AmeriCorps members. This service project will be done in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. (Click here to watch a video announcing the challenge on the "Today Show.")
The mayors' friendly wager further elevates the role of community service within the Super Bowl's activities. As part of the official events, the Super Bowl Host Committee also hosted a community service effort yesterday, Super Saturday of Service, in which local volunteers revitalized five New Orleans playgrounds. AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity Baton Rouge participated. AmeriCorps members also took part in service activities organized by Rebuilding Together.
State and Local Officials Across the Country Urge Action to Fix the Nation’s Broken Immigration SystemPosted byon January 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM EDT
- Posted byon January 28, 2013 at 4:55 PM EDT
During the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, DC, mayors from across the country had a chance to hear from and share ideas with Vice President Joe Biden and officials from thirteen federal agencies including Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Attorney General Eric Holder, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack .
Check out some of the pictures from throughout the week:
- Posted byon January 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM EDT
Note: This blog is cross-posted from the Council on Environmental Quality
Today, more than 80 percent of Americans live, work, and raise their families in urban areas. At the same time, much of our infrastructure, including our water infrastructure, is decades old and in need of costly repairs. As former city officials, we appreciate how important it is for the Federal government to be a good partner, and that means making it easier for cities and towns to pursue the policies that make sense for their communities.
This Administration has made smart infrastructure investment a priority, both to create jobs and to build a strong future for our cities. A lot of important work is also done at the local level, where decisions are made about building codes, local transportation options, and whether to invest in sustainable infrastructure. Communities value clean water, and a safe, healthy environment. So today, many cities are looking for more innovative, cost-effective approaches to managing their polluted storm water. Replacing concrete with porous pavement, employing green roofs and rain barrels, restoring creeks and wetlands, and increasing tree cover can help cities absorb rain water rather than funnel it to sewer systems. This kind of green infrastructure can also help beautify communities, make them more attractive to businesses and investors, and help them better withstand extreme weather. These projects are often much less expensive and less disruptive than building bigger or newer concrete storm water systems – something everyone can appreciate in a time of constrained resources.
Cities of all sizes offer living proof. Green infrastructure is helping to manage polluted stormwater and sewer overflows and providing a range of benefits in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Syracuse, Seattle and Lancaster, PA. We’ve gathered input from city managers, mayors, and policy experts about how the Administration can be helpful in this effort, including at a White House Conference on Green Stormwater Infrastructure in September. Now, we’re bringing federal agencies together to align their resources to make it easier for municipalities to build and invest in green infrastructure.
- Posted byon September 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM EDT
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
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