Monday, March 7, 2011

Solano County leaders attending legislative conference in Washington, DC

Solano County - News Details

County leaders attending legislative conference in Washington, DC

March 7, 2011

The Solano County Board of Supervisors and two staff members are in Washington, DC this week attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference.

Board Chairman Mike Reagan and Supervisor Linda Seifert arrived last week. They are joined by County Administrator Mike Johnson and the County's Health and Social Services' Director Patrick Duterte.

The legislative conference is an annual event that draws thousands of county leaders from across the country. During the five-day conference, county officials will have the opportunity to help develop and advance NACo’s 2011 legislative agenda. The will also meet with Obama administration officials and members of Congress, and hear from prominent national leaders and commentators.

"The policies coming out of the federal government have a direct impact on county programs and services. By working collaboratively with other county leaders, we can help shape that policy to benefit local communities," Reagan said.

NACo’s 11 steering committees will meet during the conference to review and make recommendations on issues and legislation important to counties and communities. Participants will also tackle critical issues including how to increase government transparency, improve government efficiency through technology, and expand interagency collaboration to enhance service delivery.

Reagan, who sits on NACo’s community and economic development steering committee, will spend much of his time in policy discussions and meetings on job creation and the role of county governments in the nation’s economic recovery.

Seifert, a member of the NACo’s justice and public safety steering committee, will focus on county governments’ role in homeland security, emergency preparedness and vital public safety services.

Duterte, a member of NACo’s Health Services Committee and chair of the Health Disparities Subcommittee, will be discussing health care policy and social services. Duterte will also be presenting a resolution on behalf of the Solano County Board of Supervisors, urging NACo to support the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which was introduced by President Obama last year. The initiative would provide loan and grant financing to attract grocery stores and other fresh food retailers to underserved areas to expand healthy food options, reduce childhood obesity, and improve the health of families and children.

"Our representation plays a significant role in shaping the priorities of this national organization, which the federal administration uses to understand local issues," Seifert said.

The policy development process initiated by the steering committees leads to the publication of the American County Platform, which NACo uses as a guide to deliver the county government message to the administration, Congress and the American public.