eRegions

NOTE: NARC newsletters are typically uploaded to the website on the Friday of the week they were sent out.

NARC-header_eREGIONS_new-design_022515_575x93
December 5, 2016

Conference Note:
Energy and Environmental Director Peer Exchange & Communications Director Peer Exchange
Join NARC for two different peer exchange groups during the 2016 National Conference of Regions in February! NARC intends for these meetings to initiate a network of peer-to-peer learning and best practice sharing.

For the Energy and Environment Group, the meeting will be our second convening of environmental and energy directors from regional COGs across the country, following our initial session at the Executive Directors Conference in South Bend. If you are interested in participating, please email Cameron Herbolsheimer (cameron@narc.org) with the proper contact for your organization.

For communications and public affairs directors, this will be the kick-off meeting for a NARC Communications Committee. We want this initial convening to spearhead future efforts and engagement among member communications and public affairs directors. If you are interested in participating, please email Anna Rosenbaum (anna@narc.org) with the proper contact for your organization.

NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Congress is in session.

Overview
Tomorrow the House takes up 21 bills under suspension of the rules. Later this week, the House is expected to consider a continuing resolution for fiscal 2017 funding and a water resourcesmeasure (S 2848, HR 5303).

House leadership expect to release a proposed continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running beyond the current Friday, December 9 deadline when the current bill expires. Appropriators have been working on a bill since the election, waiting for President-elect Trump to decide whether to pass separate funding bills and how long to extend current spending levels.Right now, we expect the bill will run through April or even into May so that more Trump Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointees are in place. It is still unclear how the CR will deal with funding for Flint, MI lead pipes and other White House concerns. The Republican Congress will still need Democrats to move the spending bills amid concerns that the current spending agreement does not provide sufficient funds for defense.

Lawmakers are still meeting to make decisions on aid to Flint to address the city’s drinking water crisis. Last fall, congressional leadership agreed to the funding and continues to discussion whether it should be in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) or as part of the government spending package. The most likely scenario will be a final WRDA agreement that is expected to include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizations and policies, but not NARC supported Clean Water Act policy changes. Another key sticking point in the WRDA package negotiations includes Buy America provisions for federally funded drinking water projects to use materials manufactured in the U.S.

In the wake of the lead crisis in Flint, MI, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked over the past year to develop what it calls a “national call to action,” to reinvigorate efforts to ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe drinking water. EPA released its Drinking Water Action Plan on November 30, outlining six priority areas. Some of the actions are already underway, but EPA notes that most will require additional resources and further stakeholder engagement to initiate and complete.

Congressional Calendar
Last Thursday, House and Senate leadership released the 2017 schedules for each chamber. Check out this combined calendar to help make your scheduling needs simpler.

The Latest on Trump’s Cabinet
President-elect Donald Trump has started filling his cabinet, and here are his choices thus far:

Position Selection
Chief of Staff RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Chief White House Strategist Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon
Attorney General Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Health and Human Services Secretary Georgia Congressman Tom Price
Transportation Secretary Former Labor Secretary for George W. Bush Elaine Chao
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
Ambassador to the United Nations South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
CIA Director U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo
National Security Adviser Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn
Defense Secretary Retired General James Mattis
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson

Paul Ryan and Steven Mnuchin on Trump’s Infrastructure Program
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) briefly discussed infrastructure with Scott Pelley for an episode of 60 Minutes that aired Sunday. In response to a Pelley question on the proposed $1 trillion infrastructure program, Ryan suggested that the marketplace would decide and it  “should be decided by the needs in the particular states and communities as to what is built or rebuilt.” Speaker Ryan also noted that the infrastructure package will be “one of our high priorities” this year.

Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said Wednesday that infrastructure is a “big focus” for the incoming administration. “We need to make sure that our infrastructure is built for the 21st century, that we have roads and bridges and power grids and infrastructure that support this country, and that’s going to be a big focus,” Mnuchin told reporters. Mnuchin suggested that the administration would look at different ways to fund the program including public-private partnerships.

Protecting Tax-Exempt Status for Municipal Bonds
As the 114th Congress draws to an end, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National League of Cities continue to push for tax-exemption for municipal bonds and ask for your help, in light of concerns that exemption is at risk under congressional tax reform proposals. NACo has prepared a toolkit that provides an update on municipal bonds, as well as helpful tips for communicating with members of Congress and the media. Please encourage your members of Congress, especially if they serve on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, to protect the tax-exempt status for Municipal Bonds in any tax reform legislation.

OTHER NEWS

Creative Placemaking Book and Event
In its ongoing commitment to producing resources for community engagement with the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has published How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town. Find details about the corresponding event in the Events section below.

Staying Healthy: The Role of Aging in Community
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition recently published a working paper, Staying at Home: The Role of Financial Services in Promoting Aging in Community, through the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The paper examines how community development and public health practitioners play a critical role in ensuring that there are health, safety, and accessibility features in the homes of older adults regardless of their income. The paper identifies a number of opportunities that community-based development organizations and financial institutions can offer to ensure that older adults can age in place.

Availability of Open Source Curricula for Workforce Development on www.SkillsCommons.org
The Employment and Training Administration has released Training and Employment Notice 22-16 to announce the availability on www.SkillsCommons.org of open source educational resources to train adults for occupations in 16 high-demand fields including manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and Information Technology – as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. All teaching, learning, and supporting materials on SkillsCommons are available under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone – not just grantees — to use and adapt these materials, with attribution, at no cost.

REGION SPOTLIGHT
Henderson, KY to Receive DRA Funding for Riverport
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA), together with its federal and local-based partners, announced $13 million in new investments aimed at strengthening Kentucky’s infrastructure, workforce, and economy. Specifically in the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) region, DRA will invest $256,000 for the restoration of a 1980 125-ton electric pedestal dock crane for the Henderson County Riverport. The $914,200 project will potentially retain 10 businesses and approximately 761 jobs while also supporting and recruiting industries.

“These strategic investments help us accomplish our core mission – create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of families across Kentucky,” said DRA Chairman Masingill. “I’m proud to work with all of our partners to invest in the future of the Mississippi Delta region.”

“We are truly grateful for the continued investment from the DRA into west Kentucky’s infrastructure and critical care facilities,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “Each project encourages further community development and revitalization, and will foster economic opportunity for years to come.”

MEMBER REQUESTS
Please email responses to anna@narc.org.

FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

JLUS GIS Specialist
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

JLUS Project Manager
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

JLUS Project Coordinator
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

FUNDING
View full list of grants!

FEMA Grant Opportunity Coming Soon: Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks
Begin the Application Process Now
On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113). Section 543 of the bill and accompanying Joint Explanatory Statement provide $39 million for “an initiative to help states and local governments prepare for, prevent, and respond to complex, coordinated terrorist attacks with the potential for mass causalities and infrastructure damage.” Congress further instructed that “eligible activities for the initiative related to complex coordinated terrorist attacks shall include, but not be limited to, planning, training, and exercises to support plans, and other activities the Secretary [of Homeland Security] determines appropriate.”

To assist stakeholders in improving their ability to prepare for, prevent, and respond to complex coordinated terrorist attacks, DHS/FEMA will be announcing the Fiscal Year 2016 Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks grant. Details about grant opportunity and the opening of the application period will be made in the coming weeks. In the interim, to facilitate your application process – parts of which could take up to four weeks to complete – we are providing information on the steps you can take now:

  1. Obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number;
  2. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM; registration can take up to four weeks);
  3. Register with grants.gov as an Organization Applicant.
  4. Register for the FEMA Non-Disaster Grants System (ND). Final application submission and award management will be made in ND Grants HERE. Create your Organization in ND Grants. Multiple individuals from the same organization may register in ND grants and select their roles. Once registered, one user should create the organization in the system. For more information, review the ND Grants Training Manual or sign up for online training by emailing NDGrants@fema.gov. For more information on the registration process see Organization Applicant Registration and Tips for Registering.

If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.

FY2016 – FY2019 EDA Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program
Through its Planning and Local Technical Assistance programs, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) assists eligible recipients in developing economic development plans and studies designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. The Planning program helps support organizations, including District Organizations, Indian Tribes, and other eligible recipients, with Short Term and State Planning investments designed to guide the eventual creation and retention of high-quality jobs, particularly for the unemployed and underemployed in the Nation’s most economically distressed regions. As part of this program, EDA supports Partnership Planning investments to facilitate the development, implementation, revision, or replacement of Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), which articulate and prioritize the strategic economic goals of recipients’ respective regions. The Local Technical Assistance program strengthens the capacity of local or state organizations, institutions of higher education, and other eligible recipients to undertake and promote effective economic development programs through projects such as feasibility studies and impact analyses.

Please see the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for full information on how to apply. Please note that applicants must apply to their respective EDA regional office. This chart is provided as a reference for the Competition ID and Competition Title information needed to complete the application process. Also note that any applicants who are in the process of developing an application under the previous FFO will need to apply under the new FFO and use the associated new forms.

EVENTS
View full list of events!

Creative Placemaking: The Role of Arts in Community Development
December 6, 1:00–6:00 PM ET
Concurrent with the publication of How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development, the NEA, Kresge Foundation, ArtPlace America, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Partners for Livable Communities, are presenting Creative Placemaking: The Role of Arts in Community Development, a convening hosted by the Wilson Center. Key sessions will be livestreamed also at the Wilson Center website. You can follow the conversation on Twitter at #creativeplace.

Family Interventions Webinar: What Do We Know about What Works to Address Youth Homelessness?
December 6, 2:003:00 PM ET
Join the Urban Institute and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the National Network for Youth and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, to learn about findings and take-aways from the new report Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or at Risk of Homelessness.The webinar will summarize findings from a project to identify the evidence behind family interventions designed to prevent youth homelessness or to reunify or emotionally reconnect youth experiencing homelessness with family. Panelists will highlight interventions identified through the project as “evidence based” or “evidence informed,” and highlight lessons learned and challenges for providers about implementing family interventions with youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Finally, the panel will explore policy and practice implications and take questions from participants.

EPA Webinar: Resilience Mitigation Financing
December 7, 1:00–2:30 PM ET
In the face of rising frequency and severity of natural disasters, utilities must use a variety of options to not only respond to, but plan for, these events. EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center and EPA’s Water Security Division will host a webinar to educate participants about the tools and financing available to enhance resiliency and mitigate the effects of natural disasters. In addition to a panel of experts from EPA and the private sector, water and wastewater utilities will be sharing their stories about planning against investing in resilient infrastructure.

Brookings Webcast: Cities in the Age of Trump and Brexit: A Conversation with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and British Member of Parliament Tristram Hunt
December 9, 10:0011:30 AM ET
The results of this month’s U.S. presidential election and June’s Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom mark a growing global trend of nationalism and populist fervor. Cities, despite being the potential victims of rollbacks of government investment and international engagement, have emerged as the continuing centers of ground-up economic, environmental, and social progress. Indeed, U.S. and European cities have proven they are not only the engines of national economies, but also are on the front lines of solving the complex challenges of our time. Whether in educating our children, improving the quality of our infrastructure, building vibrant public spaces, or mitigating the effects of climate change, many of the most effective recent interventions have come from the local level.

Bruce Katz will host a discussion with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and British Member of Parliament Tristram Hunt focused on this new nationalism-versus-localism dynamic and how cities can engage local stakeholders across the political spectrum to get things done. After the discussion, Mayor Emanuel and MP Hunt will take questions from the in-person and webcast audience. The event will be webcast live. Join the conversation on Twitter via #metrorev.

Registration Open! 2017 National Conference of Regions
February 12-15 – Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave NW Washington, DC
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. Additional information will be available soon. Capitol Hill Day is the final day of the conference, February 15, 2017.

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils