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Home > About COG
What is COG?
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is an independent, nonprofit association that brings area leaders together to address major regional issues in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. COG’s membership is comprised of 300 elected officials from 22 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress.
Policies are set through the COG Board of Directors, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee. These three boards are responsible for a broad range of issues under the COG umbrella. Supporting committees help shape programs through the dedicated work of a wide array of public servants, from police chiefs to social workers.
Founded in 1957, the Council of Governments is supported by financial contributions from its participating local governments, federal and state grants and contracts, and donations from foundations and the private sector.
COG Vision & Mission
Region Forward is our vision. It’s a commitment by COG and its member governments, who together seek to create a more accessible, sustainable, prosperous, and livable National Capital Region.
COG’s mission is to make Region Forward happen by being a discussion forum, expert resource, issue advocate, and catalyst for action.
Key COG Documents
For more than 55 years, COG has helped tackle metropolitan Washington’s biggest challenges, such as restoring the Potomac River, ensuring the Metro system was fully built, and strengthening emergency preparedness after September 11, 2001. Today, COG’s top priority is advancing the Region Forward vision through the work of its Board of Directors, policy boards, committees, and programs.
The following video is a short history of the Council of Governments and the metropolitan Washington region it serves. It was produced for COG's 50th Anniversary in 2007 and narrated by Gordon Peterson of ABC7 News.
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