By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold
On October 23rd I was included in a group of local elected officials from Alaska, Hawaii, and California who were invited to participate in the White House State Leadership Day Conference in Washington D.C. Over the past few months, every elected County Supervisor (Commissioner) in the United States has been invited to the White House for a similar event. Over 3,000 local leaders have attended. October 23rd represented the last of the groups to participate in this unprecedented event.
The meeting was hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. The meeting gave local elected officials a chance to discuss their jurisdiction’s concerns with those influential in crafting legislation.
Influential leaders participating in the discussion included:
- President Donald Trump
- Douglas Hoelscher, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs
- Bill McGinley, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
- Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. Department of Interior
- Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Kellyanne Conway, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor
- Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Secretary Robert Wilkie, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Under Secretary Jim Hubbard, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Issues that were discussed that could have a direct impact on San Luis Obispo County included energy production, management of public lands, water supply, forest health, transportation funding, streamlined permitting for public projects, battling the opioid crisis, reducing CO2 emissions, protecting children from lead exposure, EPA regulations, Veterans issues, and reducing wildfire risks. The President also took time to discuss the importance of vocational education in our public schools and his goals to increase vocational opportunities for students.
I was honored to have the opportunity to represent San Luis Obispo County at the White House’s State Leadership Day Conference. The White House is anxious to work with local elected officials to understand how they can help each County with their unique issues. I look forward to working with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to bring funding and opportunity home to San Luis Obispo County.