On August 8, 2019, Lee County Commissioner Kirk Smith travelled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the White House State Leadership Day. Part of a series of meetings hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the event was designed to give state and local leaders from across the United States an opportunity to discuss local issues with Administration officials.
The August 8th event included state and local officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Smith was part of a North Carolina delegation of nearly 80 that included county commissioners and representatives from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC).
“I was honored to represent Lee County at the White House,” said Smith. “I enjoyed hearing directly from Administration officials regarding programs and projects that will make a difference in our local communities.”
Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture addressed the group as well as other high-level officials from key White House offices and federal agencies. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration, and Office of American Innovation discussed community revitalization. Officials from the National Security Council, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency led a discussion on building disaster resilient communities. Officials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy discussed the opioid crisis and related issues.
Several programs discussed at the White House State Leadership Day event included ReConnect, a program that offers grant opportunities to expand broadband capabilities in rural areas; Small Business Disaster Recovery Program providing loans and resources in on-going efforts to help communities recover from Hurricane Florence; and the Community Assessment Tool, an interactive database provided by the USDA to help community leaders assess how and why the opioid epidemic is impacting their regions.
“The meeting was informative and provided a unique opportunity to ask questions and speak directly to our federal government partners,” shared Commissioner Smith, “and I appreciated the underlying theme throughout that local governments are best positioned to engage the local citizenry, identify problem areas and help find the best solutions.”
For additional information regarding Commissioner Smith’s participation in the White House State Leadership Day, please contact the County Manager’s Office at (919) 718-4605.
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Photo: Commissioner Smith in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building