COG News - July 2013

Congresswoman Edwards Stresses Development around Metro Stations

Donna EdwardsAt the July COG Board of Directors meeting, U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD 4th District) stressed that “all Metro stops must be ready to embrace transit-oriented development so we all have a shared equity in where jobs are located.” Transit-oriented development is a centerpiece of COG’s Region Forward initiative, which works with the area’s cities and counties to encourage concentrating transportation, retail outlets, housing and employment in Activity Centers. Video and a brief summary of her presentation has been posted on COG's Region Forward page.

Frank Principi: Time for Action on the Region's Economy

Frank PrincipiPrince William County Supervisor Frank Principi's op-ed in Washington Business Journal highlights Economy Forward, the Council of Governments' call to action for a more competitive metropolitan Washington. As COG Board Chairman in 2012, Principi spearheaded the Economy Forward effort. In the op-ed, Principi said "Economy Forward is a call to action. All of us at COG strongly urge our regional partners to come together in the months ahead to support specific and realistic actions. The groundbreaking planning is already in hand."

Regional Environmental Groups Hold First Joint Meeting

Penny Gross and Roger BerlinerOn July 24, area officials discussed the links between water resources and climate and energy issues at the first joint meeting of two regional policy committees at the Council of Governments—the Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee and the Climate Energy and Environment Policy Committee. Fairfax County Vice Chair Penny Gross and Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who serve as the respective Chairs of the two committees, stressed the need for their groups to work together to advance mutual goals, such as energy efficiency and water and electric power resiliency. Officials were briefed on a regional tree canopy progress report, which described the benefits of forest cover and urban trees to the region and highlighted local statistics and goals. In addition, a DC Water official gave a presentation on energy efficiency and renewable energy generation at the Blue Plains wastewater plant. To view the tree canopy and DC Water presentations, click here.

Charles County Hosts Energy Tour for Council of Governments

Reuben Collins and Ken RobinsonOn July 15, the Charles County Commissioners gave an energy assessment tour to Council of Governments officials, including Executive Director Chuck Bean. The NRG Morgantown Generating Station, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) solar farm, and the Charles County Renewable Energy Education Center were part of the tour. Commissioner Reuben B. Collins, II, Vice President of the County Board, and Commissioner Ken Robinson took part in the tour and were quoted in a story by Southern Maryland News Net.

Council of Governments Releases Reports on Crime Control, Foster Care

Crime Report and Foster Care ReportThe crime rate in metropolitan Washington is continuing to decrease according to the 2012 Annual Report on Crime & Crime Control released at the July COG Board meeting. Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook, D.C. Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Patrick Burke, and Metro Transit Police Strategic Executive Officer Amy Philips presented the report to the COG Board. The Washington Times and WTOP were among the outlets that covered the report. In July, COG also released the 2012 Foster Care Annual Report. It showed the overall number of area children in foster care has declined but noted that officials remain concerned about older children aging out of the system before finding permanent homes.

TPB Releases Draft Regional Transportation Priorities Plan for Public Comment

Regional Transportation Priorities PlanOfficials are seeking feedback on the draft Regional Transportation Priorities Plan, a new effort informed by the public to identify strategies that will address metropolitan Washington’s major transportation challenges. On July 24, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) released the plan for a 30-day public comment period that will close on Friday, August 23. The plan is based on extensive public input conducted in 2012 that culminated in an in-depth, online survey of over 600 area residents earlier this year. According to the survey, transit crowding, roadway congestion, and Metro and highway maintenance are the region’s most critical transportation challenges. After the July meeting, NBC4 and WAMU reported on the survey results.

Federal Government Leading Continued Growth in Teleworking in the Region

A survey of over 6,000 area commuters shows more workers in the metropolitan Washington region are teleworking than ever before and attributes its recent growth to actions by federal officials and workers. Over a quarter of commuters interviewed—27 percent—reported working from home or working remotely “at least occasionally” according to the most recent State of the Commute survey conducted by Commuter Connections, a program of the Transportation Planning Board at the Council of Governments. The federal government saw the most significant gains in the share of workers who telework far outpacing the private, non-profit, and state and local government sectors. The Washington Post and other media outlets reported the findings.

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.

September 11: COG Board of Directors
September 18: Transportation Planning Board
September 20: Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee
September 20: Human Services and Public Safety Policy Committee
September 25: Climate Energy and Environment Policy Committee
September 25: Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee
September 27: Economy Forward: One Year of Progress
September 30: Latino Health Forum

About COG

The Council of Governments is an independent, nonprofit association where area leaders address regional issues affecting the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. COG's membership is comprised of 300 elected officials from 22 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress. The Metropolitan Memo is sent to this membership as well as regional stakeholders and citizens.
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