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COG-Wide News

COG launches stimulus Web site

COG has launched its online Regional Information Center for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly known as the stimulus package. The address for the web site is

COG signs new purchasing agreement with Baltimore Metropolitan Council

The cooperative purchasing committees of COG and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) have agreed to work together to plan and create contracts for goods, services, and construction that would mutually benefit the two neighboring regions. COG's Chief Purchasing Officers Committee and BMC's Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee signed the agreement on April 9 at a meeting in Largo, Maryland. To read the news item, click here.

Community Planning News

Greater Washington 2050 survey released

A major new survey of area residents conducted for Greater Washington 2050 indicates that schools, safe streets, good jobs, and access to health care are the leading priorities to which residents want their tax dollars allocated. Findings from the comprehensive survey, Priorities for a Growing Region, which were released on May 1, also show that residents view transportation, education, and the economy as the most important long-term issues facing the region. To read the report, click here. To read a Washington Post article about the survey, click here.

Leaders raise awareness about upcoming Census

Area leaders like U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada, and D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson joined representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau at COG on April 30 to raise awareness about the upcoming 2010 Census and encourage all residents of the metropolitan Washington region to participate in the count.  Media from Telemundo, Univision, FOX 5 and WAMU-FM covered the event. To read the press release, click here.

Regional enumeration indicates slight increase in homeless population

Preliminary results of a recent survey indicate that homelessness is up slightly in the metropolitan Washington region. Year over year comparisons of counts taken in 2008 and 2009 show that homelessness increased by 2.2 percent over the past year. The preliminary results are based on data compiled by COG from the ninth annual point in time enumeration of the region’s homeless population. The 2008 enumeration counted 11,752 homeless in the region. In 2009, this count grew to 12,012. Although the number of single persons counted as homeless decreased by 428, among persons in families, the number increased by 697. To read the press release, click here. To read a Washington Post article about the count, click here.

Environment News

COG, area urban foresters contribute to USDA's new People's Garden

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared the entire grounds at the USDA Jamie L. Whitten Building as 'The People's Garden' on Earth Day and unveiled plans to create a sustainable landscape on the grounds.  The urban wood step planks and planters in the garden were provided through a partnership with the District of Columbia’s Urban Forestry Administration. Under a grant from the U.S. Forest Service's Wood Education and Resource Center, COG has been working with the region's urban foresters to make use of urban wood from local trees felled by storms and routine maintenance. To read the news item, click here.

Public Safety & Health News

Childhood obesity survey released

School systems in the metropolitan Washington area meet or exceed national nutrition standards but fall short of the recommended time allotment for elementary school physical education according to a COG survey on childhood obesity released during the COG Board of Directors April meeting. To read the report, click here. To read a Washington Post article about the survey, click here.

COG posts H1N1 flu updates, health links on web site

Due to the public's desire to know more about the H1N1 influenza, COG and local Health Officials created a special page to keep area residents up to date on the latest information available to the health community. To read the news item, click here.

Transportation News

Street Smart launches 2009 campaign

In a regional show of force, area law enforcement leaders and elected officials, like COG Chair Penelope Gross, launched the 2009 Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign at the bustling intersection of 14th & U Streets, NW on March 25.  New to the spring campaign is a heightened focus on cyclist safety, complementing the overall education and enforcement effort. To read the press release, click here. To read a Washington Post article about the launch, click here.

Regional vehicle inventory indicates fleet getting older

Due to the fact that an area’s emissions are very sensitive to the composition of its vehicle fleet, the TPB periodically conducts a regional vehicle inventory as part of its air quality conformity requirements. Beginning in 2005, a vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder has been applied to vehicle registration data for use by the TPB to examine the composition of the vehicle fleet in the region every three years. The region’s fleet has gotten older since 2005, and the increase in vehicle age is even greater for light trucks, SUVs, and heavy trucks than for passenger cars. Mobile source emissions will increase as a result of fewer new vehicles being purchased. To read the press release, click here. To read a WTOP News article about the inventory, click here.

 The COG Podcast: Latest Episode

Opening Remarks at Press Conference on Recent Measles Exposure in Region. Dr. Reuben Varghese, Chairman of the COG Health Officials Committee and Public Health Director for Arlington County delivers opening remarks at an April 20, 2009 press conference hosted by COG on recent exposures throughout the region.

Click here to listen to this and other episodes of 'The COG Podcast'

 About COG:

For more than 50 years, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, known as COG, has helped develop solutions to issues of regional importance. COG is an independent, nonprofit association comprised of elected officials from 21 local governments, members of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures, and members of the U.S. Congress.

The Metropolitan Memo is sent to COG’s membership of over 250 local, state and federal elected officials as well as regional stakeholders and citizens. 

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