Last week, the Joint Center hosted over 20 of the nation’s most innovative and influential state, county, and local elected officials from the South for a 3-day policy roundtable in Washington, DC. The elected officials met with leading experts and federal policy-makers at the White House, Capitol Hill, and George Washington University Law School.
The sessions focused on jobs and workforce development, the school-to-prison pipeline, health equity, and building leadership infrastructure. On the final day, the Joint Center partnered with INSIGHT America to organize a session on Flint Water and a lunch in which state and local elected officials talked over lunch with top staff from the offices of U.S. Senators from the South.
Roundtable participants came from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. They included Republicans, Democrats, and non-partisan affiliated office holders, and represented the African American, Asian American, and Latino communities.
Participants met with a variety of top government officials and other leaders, including Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI), U.S. Department of Justice Rights Division Educational Opportunities Section Chief Shaheena Simons, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Executive Director and National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Chair Héctor E. Sanchez, and several others.
Based on the discussions and feedback provided by the roundtable participants, the Joint Center will publish policy briefs and produce a series of 3-minute videos on the issues highlighted.
The selection committee that chose the innovative state and local elected officials who participated in this event included Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta) Stephanie Cho, Former White House Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement and Counsel with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP Charles Galbraith, Austin, Texas City Councilwoman Delia Garza, former Kansas State Representative Raj Goyle, San Antonio, Texas City Councilman Cris Medina, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies President & CEO Floyd Mori, Port Madison Enterprises General Counsel and DNC Native American Council Chair Rion Ramirez, Hollister, California Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, and Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Program Director Amy Watanabe.
The Joint Center thanks the following entities for their generous support: the Annie E. Casey Foundation, AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast NBCUniversal, CTIA, ExxonMobil, Google, GW Law, the Hewlett Foundation, Home Depot, Honda, The Joyce Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, MasterCard, Microsoft, NEO Philanthropy, PepsiCo, Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C., Southern Education Foundation, Venable LLP, Verizon, Viacom, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Pictures can be found here.
- Tennessee Representative Karen D. Camper
- Tampa, Florida City Council Transportation Committee Chair Yvonne Yolie Capin
- El Portal, Florida Mayor Claudia Cubillos
- Forth Worth, Texas Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino
- Memphis, Tennessee City Council Vice-Chair Edmund Ford, Jr.
- Edinburg, Texas Mayor Richard Garcia
- Arkansas House Assistant Speaker Pro Tem Monte Hodges
- Osceola County, Florida Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer
- North Bay, Florida Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps
- Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles
- North Miami Beach, Florida City Councilwoman Marlen Martell
- Brownsville, Texas Mayor Tony Martinez
- Kentucky Senate Minority Caucus Chair Gerald Neal
- Georgia House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Vice Chair B.J. Pak
- South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford
- Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Horacena Tate
- Texas Representative Hubert Vo
- Mississippi Senator Tammy Witherspoon
- Texas Representative Gene Wu