Prairie Village city councilwoman Ruth Hopkins attended a full day White House briefing convened by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. The briefing provided a forum for city leaders from across the country and administration officials to discuss the potential impact of the American Jobs Act, as well as transportation, infrastructure, and immigration legislation.
“It was unbelievably wonderful,” Hopkins said. “And really unprecedented, I think, to be able to talk directly with the administration, and not have senators and congressman serve as the go-betweens.”
Hopkins was invited because of her role on the National League of Cities Board of Directors and Advisory Council.
Presenters at the forum included: Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; William Daley, White House Chief of Staff; Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency; Ray LaHood, Secretary, Department of Transportation; and Shaun Donovan, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development.
Hopkins said the event, which was attended by a group of approximately 100, fostered a two-way discussion in which administrators, who were seeking support for legislative initiatives, were able to seek feedback from local-level civil servants. The forum was closed to the press.
Following the formal sessions, Hopkins attended a reception where she was able to briefly meet President Barack Obama.
“It was so incredible to be invited,” she said. “I think it’s good for Prairie Village, good for the National League of Cities, and good for the administration.”