At COG’s annual membership meeting on December 13, government, business, and nonprofit leaders gathered together to celebrate the organization’s 60th anniversary and highlight the importance of regional partnership.
COG Board Chairman and District of Columbia Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie noted regional work in 2017 that built on COG’s legacy, including the Regional Opioid and Substance Abuse Summit, the creation of the Metro Safety Commission and efforts to forge agreement on new dedicated funding for the system, the continuing positive trend in air quality, and greater coordination to boost the region’s economy.
Virginia Lieutenant Governor-elect Justin Fairfax also provided special remarks at the event.
“We all rise together… We have to work together to make this region as great as it can possibly be,” said Virginia Lieutenant Governor-elect Justin Fairfax, who told the audience about his close ties to the region. As a child, Fairfax, along with his mother and three older siblings, moved into his grandparents’ house in the District of Columbia, until his mother could save enough to buy her own house across the street.
Virginia Lieutenant Governor-elect Justin Fairfax and COG Board Chairman Kenyan McDuffie (Laisha Dougherty).
In addition to Fairfax, other area officials helped celebrate COG’s anniversary—District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser provided a video greeting and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan sent a Governor’s Citation, which was read aloud.
The meeting also featured COG’s annual awards. City of Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton won the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award for her work as Chairman of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). DC Water General Manager and CEO George Hawkins was honored with the Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership for his achievements at the water and wastewater utility. The Coalition for Smarter Growth received the Regional Partnership Award for helping advance goals in COG’s Region Forward Vision.
2017 TPB Chairman Bridget Newton accepts the Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award (COG).
MORE: COG recognizes three local leaders for partnership, collaboration, and service to the metro D.C. region
COG recognized two students from Trinity University and Northern Virginia Community College for essays on what they believe the region will be like in the next 20 to 30 years. COG partnered with the Consortium of Universities to sponsor the contest as part of its 60th anniversary.
The meeting was held at Gallaudet University and the university’s president, Roberta Cordano, provided welcoming remarks. During the meeting, COG members also voted for new corporate officers. District of Columbia Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will serve as COG President.
Prince George’s County Council Member Karen Toles and Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall will serve as Vice Presidents. City of Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart will serve another year as Secretary-Treasurer.
MORE: Photos from the 2017 COG Annual Meeting