Twenty-eight Florida municipal officials representing all regions of the state recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for the fall 2015 Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team (FAST) Fly-in. During their time in our nation’s capital, FAST members met with Jerry Abramson and Rohan Patel from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to discuss the League’s federal issues agenda and had meetings with 21 members of Florida’s congressional delegation (and/or their staff).
This year’s advocacy efforts focused on support for a long-term federal transportation bill, closing the online sales tax loophole, improving the FEMA public assistance process, protecting municipal bonds and regulating the sober home industry.
“The FAST trip is the best way to meet face-to-face with the decision makers. This trip in particular was important to Coral Springs as I had the opportunity to speak with FEMA agency heads about the potential $3 million dollar clawback that would negatively impact our City. It’s important that we put a face to this and other issues facing Florida cities,” Commissioner Dan Daley said.
The group visited the National League of Cities (NLC) offices for a federal briefing where they met with Alex Amparo from FEMA and heard from the NLC Federal Relations Team for the latest on transportation and e-fairness legislation. FAST members were also in attendance for testimony by Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He spoke on behalf of local governments on removing barriers to broadband deployment.
“Having face-to-face meetings with our congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., has provided an opportunity for city officials to strengthen their relationships with members of Congress,” said Scott Dudley, legislative director for the Florida League of Cities. “It gives our membership a chance to provide real-world examples of how the decisions made in Washington affect their cities back home and ensures that members of Congress know their city officials are paying attention to what is going on in our nation’s Capital.”
The FAST committee was created in support of the League’s strategic plan objective to strengthen its federal relations. The primary purpose of this committee is to establish proactive and reactive communications with the Florida congressional delegation in support of federal municipal policy. The committee takes its policy positions and direction from the League’s resolutions and the National League of Cities (NLC) policy priorities, as well as from the officers and board of the League.
FAST members meet throughout the year, at the two FLC conferences in Florida and two delegation visits to Washington, D.C., each year.
About Florida League of Cities
Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities. Florida’s cities are formed by their citizens and governed by their citizens. The League is founded on the belief that local self-government is the keystone of American democracy. For more information, visit www.floridaleagueofcities.com.