From left, Union City Mayor Vince Williams, Rep. David Scott, GMA's Becky Taylor and Union City Councilmember Brian Jones.
Several Georgia city officials traveled to Washington, DC, in March to attend the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference. During the conference, both local and federal leaders stressed the importance of partnership in advancing solutions to the nation’s biggest challenges.
In the opening general session, NLC President and Saint Paul, Minn. Mayor Chris Coleman, set the tone for the day ahead, challenging city leaders to unite behind the commonsense actions that will support communities in making positive change.
“United, we can make sure the federal government understands our challenges and is responsive to the needs of our communities,” said Coleman.
The solutions to these challenges, he went on to say, will require strong local leadership and a resourceful federal government that supports the innovation going on in cities.
While in Washington, GMA President Beth English (mayor Pro Tem of Vienna), 1st Vice President Keith Brady (mayor of Newnan), Union City Mayor Vince Williams and Union City Mayor Pro Tem Brian Jones met with Senator Johnny Isakson and the Legislative Director from Senator Chambliss’ office. They also met with the offices of Rep. Austin Scott, Rep. Doug Collins, Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Rep. Hank Johnson and Rep. David Scott.
“During each visit we focused on the internet sales tax issue and on the municipal bond tax exemption,” said Becky Taylor, GMA’s director of Federal Relations. “City officials’ efforts to keep federal legislators informed on both issues are making a difference, most notably with the internet sales tax issue where we heard more favorable comments from members of Congress than we have in the past. All the members we spoke to are supportive of the muni bond exemption.”
Georgia officials also hand delivered a copy of a letter from President English and Congressional Action Team Chairman Mike Bodker (mayor of Johns Creek) to each member of the Georgia delegation stating city support on the Savannah harbor deepening project.
Taylor emphasized that city officials’ work on GMA federal issues — whether in Washington, DC, making personal visits or working in the district — are making a difference.