Washington, DC – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) elected Montgomery County Council President Michael Knapp as chair of its Board of Directors. Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope Gross and District of Columbia Councilmember At-Large Kwame Brown will serve as vice chairs.
Knapp announced the COG Board policy focus and priorities for 2008 will include growth, housing, and climate change. To shape development over the next 50 years, COG is launching a Greater Washington 2050 initiative to create a compact of regional planning goals that local governments will be asked to implement. The COG Board will also focus on a regional climate change agenda and devote renewed attention to housing issues as declining home values and mortgage foreclosures affect the region.
"As a region, we might not be undertaking as many building projects as we did in the last half century with the creation of Metrorail and the highway system," Knapp said. “But our challenge now is to sustain our region and its valuable infrastructure and do a better job of managing growth and linking land use and transportation.”
Knapp has been an active member of COG since his election to the Montgomery County Council in 2002. In 2006, he served as chair of the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) housed at COG. Penelope Gross has served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors since 1996. She has served as chair of COG's Chesapeake Bay Policy Committee, Water Supply Task Force and Public Safety Policy Committee. Gross was President of COG in 2005. Kwame Brown has served as an At-Large member of the Council of the District of Columbia since 2005.
The COG Board is made up of local and state elected officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia and is responsible for the regional body’s overall policies, functions, and funds.