Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Big 7

Leaders of the Big 7 state and local government organizations sent a message to the presidential candidates a few days ago. The message: "Don't forget us! Pay more attention to state and local governments when you draft national policy."

The Big 7 are the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Association of Counties (NACo), the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), the National League of Cities (NLC), and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Together, they sent out a press release on Monday, September 29th, to remind the candidates of the vital relationship between federal, state and county governments, and to follow two main principles:

+To consult with state and local leaders on the effects of national policy and programs on the citizens of their area.

+To encourage the next administration to promote innovation at the state and local level, and to maximize flexibility by the state and local governments in implementing federal policy.

The press release was issued by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, NGA; Representative Donna Stone, NCSL; Representative Bob Godfrey, CSG; Supervisor Don Stapley, NACo; Mayor Doug Palmer, USCM, Mayor Kathleen Novak, NLC; and City Manager David Limardi, ICMA.

In addition, they call upon the next administration to take the following actions within 60 days of taking office:

• Reaffirm an Executive Order on Federalism;
• Establish an Office of Intergovernmental Affairs within the White House to serve as a conduit between the President and state and local leaders immediately after taking office; and
• Meet with members of the Big 7 state and local organizations to discuss how best to develop a strong partnership to address national policy.

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