Regular Features: Social Media Updates | Upcoming Events/Meetings

COG News - September 2012

COG Identifies Five Key Actions to Strengthen the Region's Economy

Economy Forward Given the immediate concerns about sequestration and the long-term outlook of reduced federal spending, the COG Board of Directors made economic competitiveness its top priority for 2012. After months of input from industry leaders, area economic development directors, and experts, the Board approved Economy Forward, a five point plan to strengthen the region's economy. It calls on COG to work with its partners to advance the following actions: (1) implement the TPB's Transportation Priorities Plan to produce sustainable funding strategies, (2) implement a plan to guide more efficient investments in the region’s Activity Centers, (3) address the mismatch between available jobs and a skilled workforce with new industry and labor market data , (4) develop a new brand that promotes the region’s economic diversity, and (5) work with senior Administration officials to identify an official to serve as a federal-regional liaison to improve partnership.

Area Leaders, Experts Meet in Silver Spring for Conference on Preventing and Eliminating Gangs

Regional Gang ConferenceFrom September 25-28, COG convened hundreds of area law enforcement, gang experts, elected officials, and community leaders in Silver Spring, Maryland to discuss to eliminating gang activity in metropolitan Washington. Prevention, intervention, and regional cooperation were the key themes of the event which included sessions on topics ranging from an overview of gang trends in the region to how gangs are using social media to recruit members to how gangs raise revenue. Several news outlets covered the event, including a report by WAMU. Pictured above: COG Chair and Prince William County Supervisor Frank Principi, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (VA-10), U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), and Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal.

Crime Continues to Decline in Metropolitan Washington

2011 Annual Crime ReportCrime in the region continues on the downward trajectory experienced over the past several years. In 2011, violent and property crime fell by 6.3 percent, according to COGís 2011 Annual Report on Crime & Crime Control. Since 2007, the region has experienced a 16.5 percent decline in overall crime, with major reductions in motor vehicle theft (-45.6 percent), homicide (-38.1 percent), aggravated assault (-23.8 percent), and robbery (-20.4 percent) fueling the drop. District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Prince Georgeís County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw were on hand to discuss the reportís findings at the September COG Board meeting. They also discussed the importance of preventing young people from being recruited by gangs, ensuring that transit stations are safe environments, and continued law enforcement cooperation across jurisdictional lines.

Election Officials Encourage Voters to Visit for Local Voting Information In recognition of National Voter Registration Day, area election officials working with COG kicked off a week-long effort today to inform voters about how to register to vote and confirm the accuracy of their voter registration. Election officials are also promoting, a new regional website where people can check their information online and find out whether they need to update their voter record. They can also find other voting information, such as where and when they can cast their ballot and what questions will be on the ballot.

Social Media Updates

In September, pedestrian safety officials from two of the regionís largest jurisdictions sat down for a COG video chat on pedestrian safety. Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator for Montgomery County, MD and George Branyan, Pedestrian Program Coordinator for Washington, DC discussed a wide range of issues related to pedestrian and bicyclist safety, including street design and land use changes, models for walkability, and the impact of the Street Smart program. Street Smart is a regional media and law enforcement campaign organized by COG, aimed at reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in metropolitan Washington by raising awareness and encouraging behavior change among drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

COG Web Chat on Pedestrian Safety

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.

October 10: COG Board of Directors
October 17: Transportation Planning Board
October 24: 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 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.
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