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COG News - July/August 2010

Region Forward Nets 21st Local Government Endorsement

Region ForwardThe summer months didn’t slow down Region Forward or its campaign for a more accessible, sustainable, prosperous and livable National Capital Region.  The COG-led effort continued to amass endorsements and was featured in The Washington Post and community outreach meetings.  In July, COG announced that all 21 of its participating local governments had endorsed Region Forward and its voluntary Greater Washington 2050 Compact agreement. These endorsements followed several months of outreach by COG staff at City and County Council meetings throughout the region.  In addition, the Sierra Club held two community outreach meetings in Arlington and in D.C. (at COG) to discuss how stakeholder groups and members of the public could advance the goals in Region Forward. In August, University of Maryland Professor Roger Lewis featured Region Forward in his Shaping the City column for The Washington Post, and COG used Region Forward as a key part of its grant application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create a regional plan for sustainable development.  To read The Washington Post column, click here.

Task Force Continues Gathering Input on Metro Governance

Metro GovernanceThroughout July and August, the WMATA Governance Task Force has invited officials, experts and stakeholders, including current WMATA Board members Peter Benjamin, Mortimer Downey, and Bill Euille, Interim General Manager Richard Sarles, and former General Managers John Catoe and David Gunn, to hear their views on the transit system’s governance.  The input process began at a July 1 open meeting at COG where members of the public addressed the Task Force, and it has continued in work sessions at the Board of Trade over the following weeks.  On September 17, COG will be hosting an open work session at 8:30 a.m.  Soon after this meeting, the Task Force will complete the input phase of its work and begin preparing a final report and recommendations, which are expected to be released this fall.  To read resource documents being shared with the Task Force as well as meeting summaries, click here. Public comments continue to be accepted and shared with the group.  To submit a public comment on WMATA governance, click here.

COG Grant Proposals Seek to Shape a More Accessible, Sustainable Region

This August, COG submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand the current and planned systems in the District of Columbia and Arlington, and connect the region’s extensive transit and bicycle networks.  Also, as previously mentioned, COG submitted an application to HUD to create a regional plan for sustainable development.  The application proposed taking Region Forward to the next level by developing a detailed plan to create 'Complete Communities,' mixed-use, compact and walkable centers of activity throughout the region. The proposal also included plans for an aggressive scenario planning and public outreach campaign to build community support for the effort.  The grant applications will be summarized in the September meetings of the COG Board and Transportation Planning Board.

COG Looks for a New Neighbor

777 N Capitol StIf you are a non-profit or member organization looking for affordable office space in downtown DC, please give COG a ring.  COG is currently seeking a new tenant to occupy its 3rd floor corner suite.  The suite is Class A office space, approximately 2,100 square feet, steps away from Union Station, and features private offices, a reception area, conference room and storage space.  For more information, click here

Commuting Survey Shows Rise in Transit, Teleworking; Crime Report Shows Drop in Offenses

More people in the National Capital Region are taking transit to work or teleworking than at any point in the past ten years, according to Commuter Connections 2010 State of the Commute survey.  The triennial report also showed driving alone to work has declined from 70 percent to 64 percent since 2001. The Annual Report of Crime and Crime Control showed Part I offenses, which include violent crimes, like homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, as well as property crimes, are down by almost 8 percent in 2009 as compared to 2008.  The report noted that while crime rates have been falling nationally, this region has experienced a shaper drop in crime. To read Dr. Gridlock’s feature on the State of the Commute in The Washington Post Commuter Page, click here.  To read more findings from State of the Commute, click here.  To read the Annual Report on Crime and Crime Control, click here.  

Census Bureau Recognizes COG for Commitment to 2010 Count

Census 2010The U.S. Census Bureau and the Census in Schools program honored COG for its work to ensure a successful 2010 Census in the National Capital Region. (pictured: David Robertson, COG Executive Director and Paul Reyes, U.S. Census Bureau – Census in Schools) COG hosted and helped coordinate meetings for U.S. Census Bureau officials and area elected officials, which focused on outreach to hard-to-count populations, participation in the Census in Schools program, and helped draw media attention. COG uses Census data on a variety of reports and studies that inform local governments and the public.  

Social Media Updates

The COG PodcastIn September, listen to The COG Podcast for new episodes on Car Free Day, which will be taking place across the region on September 22. The episodes will feature TPB members, like Prince William County Supervisor Michael May and District of Columbia Planning Director Harriet Tregoning.

To listen to episodes of 'The COG Podcast', click here.

To visit COG's Facebook page, click here.

Upcoming COG Meetings/Events

Click title to view agenda and other information. To view the complete Events Calendar, including special events and meetings of policy and technical committees, click here.

September 8: COG Board of Directors
September 15: Transportation Planning Board
September 17:
Open Meeting of the WMATA Governance Review Task Force
September 22: Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee

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