Regular Features: Social Media Updates | Upcoming Events/Meetings

COG News - February 2012

Board Makes Economic Growth and Competitiveness Plan a Priority

With significant federal spending cuts on the horizon, the COG Board is taking a proactive approach to better position the region to succeed in the future. At the February meeting, the Board endorsed a work plan that makes the development of a Regional Economic Growth and Competitiveness Plan its top priority for the year. The project will examine the region’s economic strengths, address areas of weakness, and capitalize on emerging opportunities to create jobs and enhance innovation and entrepreneurship. Each COG Board meeting from March to June will dedicate a large portion of the agenda for learning sessions with guest participants from federal, business, philanthropic, and other stakeholder groups. After drafting an action plan by July, COG will then convene a public-private-federal forum, “Building the Region Together 2,” to release the plan in the fall.

The Washington Post's Capital Business published an op-ed by COG Chair and Prince William County Supervisor Frank Principi about the regional economic growth and competiveness planning.

COG Chair Discusses Housing Issues on NBC4

PrincipiIn January, COG Chair Frank Principi appeared on NBC's "Viewpoint" program to discuss regional housing issues, including the foreclosure crisis and the need for more affordable housing. Principi took the opportunity to promote the Capital Area Foreclosure Network (CAFN) and remind people to avoid scams and use CAFN to connect them to free housing counseling advice. CAFN is a partnership created by COG and the Greater Washington Nonprofit Roundtable. To watch the Viewpoint episode, click here. To visit the Capital Area Foreclosure web site, click here.

COG Executive Director to Leave Regional Organization in 2013

RobertsonCOG Executive Director David Robertson informed the Board of Directors that he will step down from his position in January 2013 when his contract expires. “For almost ten years, I have had one of the best jobs in the National Capital Region,” Robertson told the Board. “Now in my mid-50s, my head and heart tell me that the time is right for a new opportunity for both me and COG.” COG Board Chairman Frank Principi said, “David Robertson leaves big shoes to fill and the Board will use the next few months [beginning in March] to find the best qualified person to build on his record of leadership and success.” Robertson was first appointed executive director in 2003 and has held several professional and managerial positions at COG for more than 25 years. He plans to relocate to Portland, Oregon to pursue a new career opportunity.

Go Recycle Encourages Area Residents to Recycle at Work and at Home

GoRecycleOn February 20, COG launched GoRecycle, a three week radio advertisement campaign on five local radio stations.  GoRecycle educates area residents about the benefits of recycling.  The campaign directs people to the website, an excellent resource for recycling information in metropolitan Washington showing how people can get started recycling at work and at home.  Sponsorship dollars for the 2012 campaign reached an all-time high.  Local government sponsors include the Counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Prince William as well as the City of Alexandria. Corporate sponsors include the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management Recycle America, and Covanta Energy.

COG Promotes Personal Preparedness, Incident Management Improvements on Storm’s Anniversary

On the one year anniversary of the January 26, 2011 snow and ice storm that triggered widespread, many hours-long traffic gridlock during the evening commute, COG reminded D.C. area residents to be prepared for emergencies and sign up for alerts from local governments and transportation agencies. COG recommended that people visit the recently launched web site, a “one-stop shop” with guidance and information during emergencies. Executive Director David Robertson also noted in several news interviews improvements made by regional officials since the 2011 storm. For example, ABC7 ran a story on personal preparedness and incident management improvements.

Social Media Updates

Region ForwardIn January, COG's Transportation Planning Department launched the TPB Weekly Report, an online publication designed to provide brief, timely summaries of recent Transportation Planning Board research, analysis, outreach, and planning in the metropolitan Washington region. To receive future issues of "TPB Weekly Report" via email, please visit to add "TPB News & TPB Weekly Report" to your subscriptions. People can also read the report as a regular feature on COG's Region Forward blog.

Upcoming COG Meetings/Events

For more information on the following featured meetings/events, visit the COG Events Calendar. In addition to these events, the calendar lists all meetings of COG policy and technical committees as well as some meetings of other regional organizations.

March 8: COG Maryland Legislative Luncheon
March 14: COG Board of Directors
March 21: Transportation Planning Board
March 28: Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee

March 30: Animal Services Awards Ceremony

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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