Mayor McGlashan: Shoreline delegation at the National League of Cities conference

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In "the other Washington" left to right: Terry Scott, Doris McConnell, 
Will Hall, Congressman Jay Inslee, Keith McGlashan
From Shoreline Mayor Keith McGlashan

Deputy Mayor Hall, Councilmember Scott, Councilmember McConnell and I attended the National League of Cities Congressional Conference in Washington DC last week, along with City Manager Julie Underwood and Intergovernmental Relations Manager Scott MacColl.

The other purpose of the trip was to lobby our congressional delegation on Capitol Hill for our priorities, which primarily includes advocating for funding to finish the Aurora Corridor Project. We personally met with Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Congressmen Inslee, Congressman McDermott and Congressman Reichert. In addition, we also met with Gov. Gregoire’s representative in Washington DC.

We specifically requested three action items during our meetings:
  • To fund the federal budget so that federal agencies have funding for grant programs that benefit the project;
  • To ensure that the Federal New Starts program remains, as we are awaiting funding for a grant award for the Aurora Corridor Project; and
  • To pass a new Transportation Authorization bill, which could also include funding for the Aurora Corridor Project
In addition, we were also advocating for retaining funding for the Community Development Block Grant program. CDBG funding supports many of our human services programs.

The message we heard from the federal delegation is that the federal funding picture is unclear at this time as earmarks are a question and there is still no budget for Fiscal Year ‘11. Grants and regular funding processes cannot proceed until agencies know there is funding available for the year, which means that Shoreline's portion of the Small Starts Grant award for Aurora cannot proceed until the budget is passed. There is also speculation that a new Transportation Appropriation bill will be developed this year (which is a five year spending bill to allocate federal gas tax dollars), but nothing is concrete at this point.

Rockville, Maryland Town Center
The last day in DC, Julie, Scott and I took a side trip to Rockville, Maryland before catching the flight home. Julie had set up a tour of their town center. The process started ten years ago and it has now been mostly developed. It was interesting to see first hand what opportunities are possible when a community comes together, sets a vision, and "works hard" to make it happen.

The meetings were very successful and I would like to thank my colleagues for working together during our meetings to present a coordinated message. We will continue to work hard with our congressional delegation to advance our federal priorities for the citizens of Shoreline.

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