WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commissioner Julie Ehemann joined 2,000 county leaders and partners from across the country for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference Feb. 11-14. President Joe Biden headlined the conference, along with four cabinet-level speakers, key senior administration and congressional officials, and dozens of issue-area experts. Participants shaped NACo’s legislative priorities, attended policy workshops, and met with representatives from federal agencies and Capitol Hill.
“I was fortunate to make several direct connectionsthat will hopefull help us achieve our goals here in Shelby County through my attendance at the conference. Whether its broadband, workforce development, or assistance with grant-writing, NACo continues to be a great resource for me,” said Ehemann.
Issues covered in this year’s conference ranged from housing affordability, to behavioral health and justice, to infrastructure, with a focus on leveraging intergovernmental partnerships to build resiliency and help counties plan for the future.
Three issues were spotlighted with summits: mental health, broadband access, and wildfires and public lands. Across the conference, attendees and federal officials talked about the role of counties in implementing policies like the American Rescue Plan, which counties are using to strengthen our communities.
“As a vVice chair to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I was pleased to participate in steering committee meetings where we were updated on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to get federal resources to the local level,” stated Ehemann.
The final day of the conference featured a Capitol Hill Day of Action along with a special session for members of the Rural Action Caucus. “We had a focused session on preparing for Farm Bill negotiations, and the importance of local advocacy efforts . Our topics included such priorities as Broadband, Water Infrastructure, Workforce Development, and enhanced access to specialty markets.”
Conference participants connected with 67 offices across 23 federal agencies at the Federal Agency Expo and through business meetings and general sessions heard from speakers including:
“NACo’s Legislative Conference is an essential opportunity for county officials to make our voices heard in Washington,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “Counties are working alongside our federal partners to help communities rise to new heights.”
“I am always glad to meet with county officials from throughout the country. It is amazing how our problems are similar, and I value being able to share ideas and solutions with the other attendees,” said Ehemann.
For more details about the 2023 Legislative Conference, visit https://www.naco.org/node/257320.