Category Archives: General

June 23, 2017
PRESS RELEASE: The Region’s Leading Business Organizations Unite Toward WMATA Reform

For Immediate Release

22 June 2017

Media Contact:

Federal City Council – Emeka Moneme, emoneme@federalcitycouncil.org, (202) 481-3258

The Greater Washington Board of Trade – Kim Horn, kim.k.horn@kp.com, (301) 816-5867

The 2030 Group – Clare Flannery, clare.flannery@deweysquare.com, 202-365-7147

THE REGION’S LEADING BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

 UNITE TOWARD WMATA REFORM

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Federal City Council, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the 2030 Group, along with several other business and civic groups, sent out a joint letter stating their support of a holistic approach to reform Metro. Over the past year, these organizations have expressed their deep concerns with the continued dysfunction of the Metro system and have supported specific proposals to reform the system.  Today’s letter demonstrates these organizations’ unified support behind a shared vision of reform.

The letter was sent to the governors of Virginia and Maryland, and the mayor of the District of Columbia expressing support of a comprehensive set of “principles” to guide efforts to reform the Metro system. The letter matches the sense of urgency each organization has professed throughout the year stating, “we write to urge the signatories of the governing compact of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to take bold and innovative action to reform our regional transit system.”

The guiding principles set the framework for sweeping changes in Metro’s governance, operations and financial policies including:

Governance Reforms

  • Right size the WMATA board
  • Require directors to have expertise in specialized areas, including transit operations, management, finance and safety
  • Ensure that the sole fiduciary responsibility of the Board of Directors is to the organization

Funding

  • Require multi-year commitments from funding jurisdictions for operating funds
  • Identify a dedicated funding source for capital improvements (to allow for borrowing)
  • Secure a continuing funding commitment from the federal government

Operations

  • Implement service and operating changes to improve safety, reliability and ongoing operational savings

Where the Federal City Council has focused most of its efforts on revising the Metro compact and governance issues, the Board of Trade and the 2030 Group have been leading regional conversations on identifying dedicated and long-term funding for the beleaguered system.

Now, as demonstrated by today’s letter, all of the business and civic organizations that signed onto the letter, are united behind pushing forward with the comprehensive reform of Metro.

_______________________________

Established in 1954, the Federal City Council (FC2) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the improvement of the District of Columbia. Since its founding, the FC2 has a rich history of achievement, having played a critical role in the creation of Metro, the renovation of Union Station, the establishment of the Verizon Center, and the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue. Comprised of the area’s top business, professional, education and civic leaders, the Council works with the District and federal governments to develop and implement solutions to important community problems. By serving as a trusted partner for civic improvement, and by bringing to bear the knowledge, experience, access, and resources of its members, the Council plays a critical role in the advancement of the District of Columbia.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade is shaping and advancing our regional economy, with a focus on improving connectivity and making better use of existing resources. The Board of Trade addresses business concerns that stretch across the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, with a priority focus on securing long term dedicated funding and governance reform for Metro and intelligently growing this region through the use of smart cities concepts. By acting more as a region, Greater Washington will enhance efficiencies of operation and economies of scale.

The 2030 Group is an organization of Greater Washington business leaders focused on regional long-term decision-making and solutions. Our mission is to increase regional collaboration and to advance a strong regional economy that can compete on a global scale, sustain economic development, strengthen employment opportunities, and provide a high quality of life for current and future residents.

Giving voice to the business community is how the Board of Trade will shape and advance a vibrant regional economy. This work is backed by sound research and over 128 years of experience. To learn more about the Greater Washington Board of Trade and its commitment to improving the region’s business community, visit www.boardoftrade.org.

Download letter here.


March 31, 2017
Clear Path Forward for Regional Leaders After Thursday’s Event, “The Roadmap for Washington Region’s Economic Future: Where Are We Now?”

On Thursday, March 30, regional leaders came together to discuss the status of the Roadmap for Greater Washington.

View the presentations that were featured, as well as photos, below:

Cary Hatch on  Rebranding Greater Washington – Fundraising Video

Stephen Fuller: Roadmap Update: Comparative Performance of Regional and National Clusters: March 2014 – March 2016

Ellen Harpel and Mark White: Career pathways for middle-skill jobs in the Greater Washington region’s leading industry clusters

 

 

Bob Buchanan welcomes Senator Van Hollen (D-MD) to speak

Bob Buchanan, of The 2030 Group, welcomes Senator Van Hollen (D-MD) to speak

 

Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) speaks on the importance of regionalism

Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) speaks on the importance of regionalism

Cary Hatch, of MDB Communications, presents on rebranding Greater Washington

Cary Hatch, of MDB Communications, presents on rebranding Greater Washington

Don Graham, of Graham Holdings Company, Al Grasso, of MITRE, Rosie Allen-Herring, of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Maryland Secretary of Commerce, Mike Gill, discuss regionalism on a penal moderated by Bob McCartney, of the Washington Post

Don Graham, of Graham Holdings Company, Al Grasso, of MITRE, Rosie Allen-Herring, of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Maryland Secretary of Commerce, Mike Gill, discuss regionalism on a penal moderated by Bob McCartney, of the Washington Post

Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, of The Fuller Institute, presents on the Greater Washington economy

Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, of The Fuller Institute, presents on the Greater Washington economy

Ellen Harpel, of Business Development Advisors, presents on growing Greater Washington's workforce

Ellen Harpel, of Business Development Advisors, presents on growing Greater Washington’s workforce

David Bowers, of Enterprise,  Bob Sweeney, of The Global Cities Initiative,  Emeka Moneme, of the Federal City Council/Metro Reform Initiative, and  Jonathan Aberman, of Amplifier Ventures and Tandem NSI, discuss the 2030 Roadmap for Greater Washington on a panel moderated by Bob Buchanan, of The 2030 Group

David Bowers, of Enterprise,  Bob Sweeney, of The Global Cities Initiative, Emeka Moneme, of the Federal City Council/Metro Reform Initiative, and  Jonathan Aberman, of Amplifier Ventures and Tandem NSI, discuss the 2030 Roadmap for Greater Washington on a panel moderated by Bob Buchanan, of The 2030 Group

Roadmap Event InviteGreater Washington has been recognized as one of the fittest and greenest cities in America. In 2016, Greater Washington was ranked #1 on the U.S. Census list of Most Educated Metro Areas and Bon Appetit named DC its 2016 Restaurant City of the Year. Nestle recently decided to move its new headquarters here, and US News & World Report ranked Greater Washington #4 on its list of best places to live. These are achievements to celebrate and are proof that this region is more than just the federal city.

Are we ready to come together as a region to champion this new regional identity? Are we taking the necessary steps as a region to project more than our image, but also develop our economy away from its historic dependence on federal spending?

The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Economic Future revealed that we must address our transportation and housing affordability issues, rebrand the region, and increase the collaboration between the academic sector and business community in a way that ignites the entrepreneurial culture across the region if we are to solve our issues locally and compete globally.

As we move through 2017, how are we advancing on each of these fronts? How will the new administration’s policies and practices impact the region? Are we doing enough to attract, retain, and retrain our talented workforce?

To gain a better understanding of where we are as a region and what we need to do to move forward, please join us on March 30, 2017 from 8:30am- 11:30am at the Hay Adams.

RSVP


March 9, 2017
The 2030 Group: Regional Strategies and Solutions

2030 Regional Flyer - Pg 1

The 2030 Group: Regional Strategies and Solutions

The 2030 Group: Regional Strategies and Solutions

 

The 2030 Group: Regional Strategies and Solutions


March 3, 2017
After finally wooing millennials, Washington cannot hold them
washington-post-large-logo-2
Published: March 2, 2017
Millennials have been flocking to Washington for nearly a decade, lured by the promise of plentiful jobs and high wages in the aftermath of the Great Recession.But will they stay? Researchers say it’s doubtful.

“The high cost of living, horrendous traffic and high crime levels may cause millennials to have second thoughts about staying in the D.C. region,” according to a new report by American University’s Kogod School of Business. “Only 9 percent say they will definitely not leave in the next five years.”

Two-thirds of Washington’s 20- and 30-somethings said they would consider moving out of the area for the right job. Arlington residents were most likely to leave town, with 78 percent saying they weren’t particularly wedded to the area.

“A demographic tsunami is upon us,” said Stephen Fuller, an economist and professor of public policy at George Mason University. “There are already signs that millennials are moving out as fast as they’re moving in. They’ve come here to get their tickets punched, to learn the trade, to get some experience — and now that they have that, they’re not so keen on sticking around.”

For now, though, the Washington area continues its reign as the second-most desirable U.S. locale for millennials, behind San Francisco and ahead of Boston, New York and Denver. Researchers surveyed 504 adults on 33 factors, including job availability, salary levels, housing and child-care costs.

“We hear a lot about millennials as though they’re mythological creatures from another planet — a planet with beanbag chairs and foosball tables in every office,” said Dawn Leijon, executive-in-residence at the Kogod School of Business and the report’s lead researcher. “But they have the same working-stiff concerns that previous generations did: Are there enough jobs? Can they make enough money to pay the bills?”

And, she added, they’re increasingly finding it difficult — and expensive — to put down roots in the Washington region. Even with an average salary of $65,910 — a 39 percent premium on the national average of $48,320, only 12 percent of millennials said they felt they could afford to buy a house in the area, according to the second annual Kogod Greater Washington Millennial Index.

“The high cost of living makes it very, very difficult to save money towards retirement,” one survey respondent said. “Many people are living paycheck to paycheck.”

Traffic was another source of frustration. The Washington area has the second-worse commute, behind New York, according to Leijon. It turns out, for all of the talk of public transportation, ride-sharing and cycling, 60 percent of Washington’s millennials drive themselves to work each day. Many — 57 percent of those surveyed — said they could commute using Metro, but chose not to do so because it is unreliable and inefficient.

“Traffic is horrendous,” Leijon said, adding that 32 percent of survey respondents said congested roads were the worst part of living in the area. “About one-third of millennials said their commute is ‘killing’ them.”

The Washington region should work to retain its concentration of 20- and 30-somethings, Leijon said. By 2020, millennials will make up half of the U.S. workforce, making it especially important for the region to be able to attract — and keep — well-
educated workers.

In practice, many millennials said that means having employers who match their contributions to 401(k) plans and subsidize their health insurance. They also said they would like a paid, two-month sabbatical after five years of employment and the option to telecommute at least one day a week.

“Washington has traditionally been all about workaholics,” Fuller said. “But millennials don’t want that — they want work-life balance, and it is essential that companies pay attention.”

American University’s Kogod School of Business Greater Washington Index 2017 Millennials


October 26, 2016
Bob Buchanan: Our leaders must show more than lip service to regionalism

WashingtonBusinessJournal

When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was asked at the 2016 Capital Region Business Forum what advice he would give to the president-elect, he said: “Let’s put aside partisanship and let’s try to figure out a way to work together better than we do.”

This is good advice that needs to be applied not only in Washington, but also in Greater Washington.

Many of the issues facing the country and this region require timely action. It will take working across party lines and jurisdictional boundaries to put our economies on a positive trajectory, strengthen employment opportunities, fix our aging and inadequate infrastructure, and provide a high quality of life for current and future residents.

Unfortunately, as the Oct. 12 regional business forum showed, working together is easier said than done. Hogan, D.C. Mayor Bowser and Virginia Gov. McAuliffe were asked questions about the region that are on everyone’s mind — the state of Metro, infrastructure projects, economic vitality and global competitiveness — but any real sense of regionalism could not be ascertained from their interactions with one another or responses to the questions.

This was particularly evident when discussing the most pressing issue facing our region: how to fix Metro. Mayor Bowser put forth the idea of a 1-cent regional sales tax, which could yield $500 million annually for the region’s Metro system. McAuliffe was hesitant to embrace this suggested solution, and Hogan initially rejected the idea. After the event, The Washington Post editorial board admonished both governors for their lack of leadership on this matter, stating that, “Rescuing Metro is a heavy lift, but failing to rescue it will saddle the region with a crushing burden.”

And while this is only one potential solution to one of the many issues facing Greater Washington’s economy, it illustrates a larger point: We need to demand more accountability and action from our political leaders when it comes to acting regionally. Bowser, Hogan and McAuliffe have all acknowledged that there are benefits to thinking regionally, but lip service and a once a year commitment to a breakfast are no longer enough.

As jurisdictional competition remains our reality, the overriding reality Greater Washington faces is that our region’s transportation issues have become a transportation crisis and our regional economy grew the least among the 15 largest metro areas in the country last year.

We simply cannot afford to lose any more traction. But with the Bowser, Hogan and McAuliffe’s responsibilities being to advocate and advance their jurisdictions and their priorities first and foremost, who is advocating for the greater good of this region and its collective future?

If we want to be competitive in the increasingly global economy and maximize the potential that this region has, we need to create a strong public-private entity that is dedicated to moving regional priorities forward through increased awareness, cooperation, and action.

The business community and other sectors are ready to step up. They need leadership and direction, but there is a common understanding that the time has come to get off the sidelines and into the game. To move the region forward, we will need our political leaders to do the same.

Regionalism can no longer just be a theory, it must be practiced.


Bob Buchanan, a partner at Buchanan Partners, a Gaithersburg developer, is president of The 2030 Group, a regional business group.