Reflections on a trip to Washington DC
This past Friday, we finished a small and short trip to Washington DC. Eight community leaders were able to meet with two Senators and two Congressmen. We felt like our time there was well spent.
It was kind of a suprise that much of what we had to talk about wasn't involved in the economic stimulus legislation. NCLB, Card Check, Corps of Engineers specific to our community were among the topics.
We also focused on FY 09 and FY 2010 appropriation requests knowing that (for better and for worse) the decisions about where to spend stimulus money were out of the hands of elected representatives.
Now is certainly not the time to retreat from advocating our community needs - and I would guess the same statement can be made for every city.
We continue to work on making sure our local partners and the community at large understand that working with the federal government is a marathon and not a sprint.
At some point, I might share the story of how my city manager and I went jogging at 5:15 am with a former boss of mine, US Senator Charles Grassley. A taxi ride to his house for the ages! The low point of a taxi ride is when one of the passengers has to get out of the cab and ask a police officer for directions!