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COG News - January 2012

COG Honors Regional Achievements, Welcomes Newest Member (Charles County) at 2011 Annual Luncheon

At COG's 2011 Annual Luncheon, U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia delivered the keynote address and called on leaders to set aside their differences and focus on efforts that will strengthen economic competiveness and help the region and nation succeed in the global arena. He emphasized the need to upgrade transportation infrastructure and develop and deploy alternative energy sources. In the coming year, COG will continue partnering with the Senator and his colleagues in the region’s Congressional delegation to advance these and other regional priorities.

COG Annual Meeting

Above: COG President William Euille, Keynote Speaker U.S. Senator Mark Warner, COG Chair Andrea Harrison, and COG Executive Director David Robertson.

Below: COG Chair Andrea Harrison and Greenbelt Mayor Judith "J" Davis

Judith Davis Wins AwardCOG Chair Andrea Harrison presented Greenbelt Mayor Judith “J” Davis with COG's highest honor, the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award. Davis was honored for being a collaborative, catalytic force behind many of COG’s recent initiatives, including the development of the Region Forward vision plan and her work promoting environmental and sustainability issues. Joan Brady of Joan Brady Photography received COG's Regional Partnership Award for her volunteer contributions to the Freddie Mac Foundation’s Wednesday’s Child program. The outstanding photographs she takes are used to recruit permanent loving families for children in the program. Harrison then officially welcomed COG's 22nd and newest member, Charles County, Maryland.

The COG membership also elected its Corporate Officers for 2012. District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray will serve as the organization’s President, while Gaithersburg Council Member Cathy Drzyzgula and Manassas Council Member Sheryl Bass will serve as COG Vice Presidents. Charles County Board President Candice Quinn Kelly will serve as Secretary-Treasurer.

WTOP did a story from the meeting, "Competition between local counties fierce but friendly." And the Baltimore Sun noted COG's newest member in "Charles County moves closer to D.C. orbit."

New Web Site Offers News from Local Governments, Guidance During Emergencies

Capital Region Updates

In December, the region's public information officers (PIOs) met at COG to unveil www.CapitalRegionUpdates.gov, a one stop shop for news from local governments, traffic information, and guidance during major emergencies. Residents that live or work in the region are encouraged to bookmark the page.  The site, which was highlighted in the recently released COG Incident Management and Response report, was created by Fairfax County on behalf of the National Capital Region. The PIOs also launched a winter preparedness campaign urging residents to "Stay off the roads not out in the weather" when it snows and "Get where you need to be before the weather gets bad."

COG Forum Brings Officials, Providers Together to Consider Regional HIV/AIDS Strategy

2011 COG HIV ForumOn December 9, COG brought together area health officials, experts, providers, and community leaders to begin forming a coordinated strategy for combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the metropolitan Washington region. Speakers emphasized that HIV/AIDS is a regional problem--nearly half of all AIDS cases in the region are located outside of the District of Columbia. RegionForward.org has a blog and video from the forum. The forum was also featured in an ABC7 News story, "Fighting HIV/AIDS in the Washington area."

TPB Aerial Study Pinpoints Changes in Region’s Traffic Congestion

2011 TPB Aerial Study

At the December meeting of the Transportation Planning Board, members were briefed on results from the 2011 Aerial Traffic Congestion Survey, which indicate that several areas of the region are experiencing increasing congestion. The survey, which is conducted every three years, highlights changes in congestion locations and durations in comparison to earlier surveys. The report was featured in several news stories, including "Mark Center congestion blamed on bad Army data" in The Washington Post.

Social Media Updates

Region ForwardIn December, Region Forward's blog, The Yardstick, featured a contribution from Maryland's Planning Secretary Richard Hall on PlanMaryland and Region Forward as well as several posts by WMATA on its business case for transit study.

Upcoming COG Meetings/Events

To view the complete Events Calendar, including dates for special events and meetings of policy and technical committees, click here.

January 11: COG Board of Directors
January 18: Transportation Planning Board

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 22 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. To be added to the Metro Memo subscription list or make changes to your subscription, please contact Steve Kania.
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