November 5, 2018

Save the Date! NARC’s 2019 National Conference of Regions is February 10-13
NARC would like to extend an invitation to you and your staff to join us in Washington for our February policy conference. The National Conference of Regions is NARC’s forum to determine key policy issues and a legislative agenda for the year ahead, targeting topics central to our members’ missions and their local elected officials’ focus. The conference will take place at the Washington Court Hotel, located at 525 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. A registration link will be made available soon. We hope to see you there!

2018 Executive Directors Conference Photos and Presentations
Take a look at some of the photos from our Executive Directors Conference last month. You can also view several of the presentations that were made at the conference. Thank you to all those who joined us in Cleveland!

The House and Senate are on recess and will return on November 13.

NARC Conference Call on the Impact of the Mid-Term Elections
On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 3:00 PM ET, NARC will host a conference call on the results of the 2018 mid-term elections and the impact the results are likely to have on the 116thCongress’ legislative agenda. Join us on this call as we discuss any leadership changes, the issues, and specific legislation that are likely to come up, as well as the impact these changes will have on regions, counties, and cities. Later this week you will receive a separate email including an agenda and call-in information. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Neil Bomberg at

NARC Invited to Federal Agency Stakeholder Meetings
Last week, NARC staff was invited to attend national stakeholder meetings at the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Commerce. The HUD meeting allowed NARC staff to meet and mingle with HUD leadership, including Secretary Ben Carson and Deputy Director Pamela Patenaude. Several federal agencies under the Department of Commerce also invited NARC to attend a Smart Cities and Communities Leadership Forum, where we discussed federal funding and opportunities for the growth of smart cities and communities locally, regionally, and statewide.

NARC Joins Partner Associations to Request Stay on FCC’s Small Cell Preemption Order
NARC joined the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), National Association of Towns and Townships, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and other local governments in requesting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stay the effective date of its recent Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order (Order). Our shared concern was the Order’s enactment of harsh new local authority preemptions over small cell wireless facility deployment and management of local public rights of way and infrastructure. As USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran said in a released statement, a stay on this Order “would allow local governments to have their day in court and be heard on what many consider an unauthorized taking of local property and an unwarranted usurpation of elected local government authority by this unelected federal regulatory agency.”

Census Bureau Reopens Comments on 2020 Census Data Products
The Census Bureau has re-opened the comment period for the notice entitled “Soliciting Feedback from Users on 2020 Census Data Products,” which was originally published in the Federal Register on July 19, 2018 (83 FR 34111). The Census Bureau will accept comments received on this notice until November 8, 2018. You can submit your comments here.

FEMA Opens Public Comment Period for Senior Leader Toolkit
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking feedback on its recently published Senior Leadership Toolkit. The primary purpose of these documents is help emergency managers provide elected officials and other senior executives with an understanding of their responsibilities in the initial response to an incident. The toolkit was developed as a customizable template so emergency managers can modify it and create a vision unique to their locality and region. To submit your comments, fill out the toolkit’s feedback forms and email them to by November 16 at 5:00 PM ET.

Economy Adds 250,000 Jobs in October
The Department of Labor reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 250,000 jobs in October. This exceeded the expectations of the administration and many economists, who expected Hurricane Michael to slow economic and job growth. The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, which is the lowest level since December 1969. Wages grew 3.1 percent, the first time since April 2009 that growth has topped 3 percent.

EPA Plans ‘Accelerated’ Consideration of Ozone Pollution Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to implement an “accelerated‘ process for deciding whether to further restrict allowable ground-level ozone pollution limits in order to meet the legally required deadline of late 2020. The changes from previous review processes include skipping a kick-off workshop, not giving the external air pollution advisory committee a separate period to review the standard apart from the public comment period, and not writing a risk and exposure assessment. Under the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards program, the EPA is obligated to decide every five years whether to write a new standard for pollutants such as ozone.

In Less Than 10 Years, America Will Have 17 ‘Superaged’ States
By 2026, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 17 states will become “superaged,” which is having a population where 20 percent is over the age of 65 and the number of working-age people is contracting. Fitch Ratings notes that the expected impact for these states include constrained GDP growth, slower revenue growth, and greater pressure from higher healthcare and retirement cost demands. The U.S. Census Bureau has forecasted Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Montana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico to be the most aged states in 2026.

OKI Wins Award at Kentucky GIS Conference
The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) announced on Twitterthat they took home the “Best Story Map” award from the Kentucky GIS Conference. The winning story map provides a detailed overview of the Butler County roundabouts located within their region. Congratulations to the OKI staff for putting together an innovative, award-winning story map!

LVPC Launches THE LINK Trail Network
Last week, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) and partners launched THE LINK Trail Network, an interconnected network of multi-use trails offering Lehigh Valley residents and visitors year-round outdoor recreation, alternative transportation, and healthy living. THE LINK offers over 125 miles of multi-use trails, and expects 100 additional miles to be completed. Partners of THE LINK hope that the trail network will increase quality of life, generate economic growth, protect the environment, and improve population health in coming years.

Requested Membership Sample Documents from EDC Conference
NARC has had requests to collect samples of documents that were discussed during the 2018 Executive Directors Conference. Please send samples of your organization’s board meeting summaries/updates and board code of conduct/board policy documents to

Please Connect Us with Your COG Lobbyist
Do you have a COG lobbyist here on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.? NARC is planning a meeting of COG lobbyists in early November so we can connect with them and help them connect with each other on shared federal legislative priorities. Please send Erich Zimmermann an email at with your COG lobbyist’s contact information so we can send them an invitation to this upcoming meeting.

Help Us Launch Our Newest Publication: Regional Councils: This Month in Photos!
Beginning in November, Regional Councils: This Month in Photos will be published monthly to highlight the important work that is taking place in regions. Please share your photos of a regional council meeting, a board retreat, a meeting with your state or federal elected officials, the opening of a new facility, a special program, an award you may have received, or something else you view as important that you would like to share with your colleagues. Please include a brief description and the names and titles of anyone who appears in the photo. You can send your photos and related information to Neil Bomberg at

NARC Survey about Connected and Automated Vehicles
Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) are increasingly making headlines and will have profound impacts on transportation planning and the entire transportation system. NARC is conducting a survey to understand the needs, challenges, and engagement practices in considering regional priorities and varying stages of research and development in CAV technology. Please share your thoughts regarding CAVs from a regional perspective and let us know how we can best tailor our activities to your needs. The survey should take approximately 6 minutes to complete and will close for responses on Thursday, November 8, 2018. The survey can be found here.

Visit to read up on the latest NARC blogs. We invite members to submit blogs to the site too.

View full list of jobs!

RFP: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Oklahoma City, OK

Senior Transit Planner
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Springfield, MA

Director of Business Management 
Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Transportation Modeling Manager
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, Cincinnati, OH

Communications and Membership Associate
National Association of Regional Councils, Washington, DC

View full list of grants!

Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
Applications Due: November 12
Ten million dollars in fiscal year 2018 SHOP Grant funds has been made available to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities on a national, geographically-diverse basis through the provision of self-help homeownership housing programs. Applicants must propose to use a significant amount of SHOP Grant funds in at least two states. SHOP Grant funds must be used for land acquisition, infrastructure improvements, and for reasonable and necessary planning, administration, and management costs (not to exceed 20 percent). The construction or rehabilitation costs of each SHOP unit must be funded with other leveraged public and private funds. SHOP units must be decent, safe, and sanitary non-luxury dwellings that comply with state and local codes, ordinances, and zoning requirements, and with all other SHOP requirements, including but not limited to, the requirements for energy-efficiency, water conservation, and accessibility. Homebuyers must be low-income and must contribute a significant amount of sweat equity towards the development of the SHOP units.

Access & Mobility Partnership Grants
Applications Due: November 13
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Access and Mobility Partnership Grants are two separate and distinct funding opportunities that seek to improve access to public transportation through building partnerships among health, transportation, and other service providers. Further, these funding opportunities seek to fund projects that enhance mobility options through increased coordination efforts. The Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Pilot Programfinances innovative capital projects for the transportation disadvantaged that will improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation services. The Human Services Coordination Research (HSCR) Program supports the implementation of innovative strategies in the coordination of human services transportation to provide more effective and efficient public transportation services to seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grants
Applications Due: November 29, but applications are accepted on a quarterly basis
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation works to impact the lifesaving capabilities and the lives of local heroes and their communities. This is accomplished by providing lifesaving equipment and prevention education tools to first responders and public safety organizations. The Foundation’s areas of interest include lifesaving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and continued education, disaster relief, and support for members of the military. The Foundation mainly focuses its resources in areas served by Firehouse Subs restaurants, but recognizes the need of rural and volunteer departments throughout the country and will consider applications outside of the 60 mile guideline.

Save America’s Treasures Grants
Applications Due: December 3
The National Park Service has announced the availability of $13 million in Historic Preservation Fund grants for the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program. SAT grants provide preservation and/or conservation assistance to nationally-significant historic properties and collections. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process and require a dollar-for-dollar, non-Federal match, which can be cash or documented in-kind.

FY 2019 Farm to School Grant
Applications Due: December 4
The Farm to School program was established to provide grants and technical assistance to implement farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Approximately $7.5 million will be released under this solicitation in FY 2019. Planning and training grant awards range from $20,000 to $50,000, and implementation grant awards range from $50,000 to $100,000. Organizations that have received implementation, support service, or training grants through the Farm to School Grant Program in the last two funding cycles (FY 2017 or FY 2018) are ineligible to apply for FY 2019 funding. A 25 percent cash or in-kind funding match is required.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants FY 2019
Letter of Intent Due: December 12; Applications Due: January 30, 2019
Through AmeriCorps, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has helped to engage millions of citizens in meeting community and national challenges through service and volunteer action. In the FY 2019 AmeriCorps competition, CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, healthy futures, veterans and military families, rural intermediaries, safer communities, and faith-based organizations. Organizations that propose to operate in only one state must apply through the Governor-appointed State or Territory Commissions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Notification of Intent to apply for this competition, but it is not required.

Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program
Applications Due: January 31, 2019
The Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program (FMA) provides funding to states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, and local communities for projects and planning that reduces or eliminates long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. FMA funding is also available for management costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires state, tribal, and local governments to develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for Hazard Mitigation Assistance projects. Generally, local communities will sponsor applications on behalf of homeowners and then submit the applications to their state.

Base Center Program
Applications Due: April 28, 2019
The purpose of the Administration for Children and Families’ Basic Center Program (BCP) is to provide temporary shelter and counseling services to youth who have left home without permission of their parents or guardians, who have been forced to leave home, or who might otherwise end up in law enforcement, child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. BCPs work to establish or strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families. BCPs provide youth under 18 years of age with emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and referrals for health care. The award process for FY2019 BCP allows for annual awards over a three-year project period, as funds are available.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife
Applications Due: September 30, 2019
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative and grant agreements to private landowners to restore and conserve fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of federal trust resources. Partners for Fish and Wildlife program staff coordinate with project partners, stakeholders, and other Fish and Wildlife Service programs to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas. Project work plans are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from Fish and Wildlife Service field staff. Applicants seeking technical or financial assistance from the PFW program are requested to consult with the Regional PFW program office before developing or applying. Private lands include, but are not limited to: tribal, Hawaiian homeland, city, municipality, non-governmental, and private fee-title properties.

View full list of events!

NARC Webinar! Digital Inclusion for Regional Development
November 13, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
To fully realize the potential of broadband in our communities, we must ensure that all individuals have access to this technology and the skills needed to connect to the digital world. Tune in to this NARC webinar, in partnership with BroadbandUSA, for an overview of digital inclusion and how it can influence economic mobility, educational achievement, and health outcomes in your community. You will also hear examples of digital inclusion efforts going on across the country, including the regional digital inclusion collaboration that Eastgate Regional Council of Governments has been facilitating in Northeast Ohio.

NARC Webinar! NARC-LISC Opportunity Zones Webinar
November 15, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
NARC and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will hold a webinar on the Opportunity Zones program on November 15. The presentation will provide an overview of the program, how it aims to attract private investment to underserved areas, and what to expect over the next phases of Opportunity Zone implementation. Wasatch Front Regional Council will also be featured, sharing their role in designating Opportunity Zones in Utah and potential opportunities this program presents for their organization and their region.

Restoring Neighborhoods Task Force Webinar
November 7, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
The November meeting of the Restoring Neighborhoods Task Force, hosted by the National Housing Coalition, will feature a presentation from Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, on his new report “The Empty House Next Door.” The report lays the groundwork for exploring the issue of vacancy by defining what is meant by a “vacant” property, what constitutes a “healthy” vacancy rate, how vacant properties are measured, and why properties become vacant and abandoned. It also discusses the impact of vacant properties on the communities in which they are situated.

Building the Government of the Future
November 8, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
It’s time for government to move at the speed of technology. Sophisticated retailers are advancing at a relentless pace and setting the bar for convenient and seamless digital transactions, which drive citizen expectations for the same frictionless experience with public agencies. In this environment, government needs to be a platform for innovation and action. Join Governing for an engaging, hour-long webcast where their panel of government trailblazers will outline a framework for digital transformation that gives agencies the speed and agility they need to adapt.

2018 State and Local Election Results
November 8, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
On Election Day, much of the national media will be focused on the Congressional midterms. But count on Governing for all the news and analysis you need to know about this year’s races at the state and local level. With 36 governor races and nearly two dozen state legislatures up for grabs – along with a slate of important ballot initiatives – this election promises to be a pivotal one. Join Governing’s editorial team for all the state and local news and trends from this year’s races.

Midterm Elections and the Future of Water
November 14, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Earlier this year, the US Water Alliance released the One Water for America Policy Framework, with policy suggestions at the national, state, and local level. No matter how you may be interested in advancing One Water policies, elections matter and water is no different despite its bipartisan support. In the 2018 election cycle, control of both chambers of Congress is in play, 36 governorships are up for election (many of which are term-limited open seats), and many state legislative and local election seats are up as well. Turnout is already expected to be well above average for a midterm year. Learn from a bipartisan pair of panelists what the results of the election are and what practical and policy impacts might result from changes in the federal government and in the states.

Broadband Connectivity is Transforming Healthcare
November 14, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Broadband connectivity is critical for many reasons, including access to quality healthcare. From remote patient monitoring to mobile health applications accessed via smartphones, tablets, or other devices, advances in telemedicine and telehealth technologies have impacted patient care and health outcomes far away from hospitals and doctors’ offices. Connected-care services significantly reduce economic and administrative costs for patients and health care providers. This Broadband USA webinar will explore innovations in telehealth and telemedicine applications and programs that two leading universities have developed to improve patient health in their states, especially in rural and remote areas.

Impacts of Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs
November 14, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Established by state legislation and enabled by local governments, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing leverages private capital to upgrade existing homes and buildings to reduce energy consumption, promote renewable power, and mitigate the effects of natural disasters. The improvements are repaid over time through a special assessment on the property owner’s property tax bill. Join this REMI webinar to hear the impacts PACE financing has on the built environment, natural environment, and economic vitality in communities that these programs serve.

Gaining Project Support from Your Team, Elected Officials, and the Public
November 14, 2:00-3:30 PM ET
This International City/County Management Association (ICMA) webinar will cover the following topics:
1. What’s key to presenting your idea or project effectively?
2. How can everyone play a role in leading and supporting productive change?
3. What can we learn from case studies about how to navigate and serve successfully?

FCI Briefing Series: Census 2020 Messaging Testing Results
November 14, 3:00-4:30 PM ET
For this Funders Census Initiative (FCI) webinar, Monica Vines, a Census Bureau researcher, will be giving an overview on the messaging research conducted by the Bureau and their findings. This research included the 50,000-person Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Survey (CBAMS) as well as many additional focus groups. Please attend with your questions – they are leaving most of the 90 minutes with the Bureau for a robust discussion.

Addressing Inequities in Health: Key Concepts for Counties
December 6, 2:00-3:15 PM ET
Join the National Association of Counties to learn how counties can use health equity as a framework to develop programs and policies to improve the health of their residents. Experts from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity will share strategies and tools for counties doing work to create positive shifts in health for their residents. You will also hear from Boone County, MO on the work they are doing to create more equitable health opportunities in their community.

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