Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
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
- Posted byon July 19, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT
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 10:18 AM EDT
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.
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