Dear LOCUS Member:
The recent election ushered in a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives and slimmed down the Democratic majority in the Senate. However, calls for smarter investments that produce jobs and improve quality of life has only grown louder and the need for private sector leaders to engage this new majority has only grown.
The past month has brought an interesting array of activity:
- President Obama announced his support for long-term investment in infrastructure through a $50 billion initiative.
- T4America, of which LOCUS is a member of the executive committee, drafted a detail election analysis for transportation reform that can be viewed here. We believe there is a real window of opportunity for a transportation bill in 2011.
- The debt commission co-chairs released big ideas around tax reform.
- The new Republican majority in the House allows LOCUS to be more influential with our message on economic development and growth from the real estate industry, a message we can credibly deliver.
With only 6 weeks until the New Year, this is truly a pivotal time for LOCUS to engage on transportation, tax, and financial reform and we must prepare to more fully engage in the legislative process together.
LOCUS Conference Call: Federal Financing Programs for Smart Growth
SGA in conjunction with David Rosen & Associates (DRA) is developing a proposal regarding federal financing that could be more supportive of Smart Growth Real Estate. On December 2nd at 2pm EST, we will host a call with DRA to brief LOCUS members on the project and brainstorm other possible budget recommendations. The call in number is: (218) 339-4600, code: 269892. Please RSVP with firstname.lastname@example.org for more additional information.
New LOCUS Manager
As many of you have heard, Nish Suvarnakar has left LOCUS, following his wife to Haiti to build the country’s first teaching hospital (Nish’s wife is a medical doctor). After a long and extensive search for Nish’s replacement, we’ve hired Christopher Coes as our new LOCUS Manager. Christopher brings nearly five years of experience in government relations and political consulting, most recently serving as the Senior Campaign Advisor and Deputy Director for T4America. As LOCUS Manager, Christopher will be responsible for developing and implementing the LOCUS strategic plan and managing LOCUS’ advocacy program. Prior to joining LOCUS, Christopher served as a Consultant for Government Affairs and Campaigns at M+R Strategic Services, research analyst at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and assistant to the Appropriations Advisor for Congressman Sanford Bishop. Christopher received a BA/MA in Government Politics from St. John’s University, specializing in Public Administration and International Relations. We’re excited to have Christopher’s expertise and energy. He can be reached at email@example.com or by phone 202-207-3355 x136. You all will be hearing from Christopher shortly.
LOCUS in the News:
November: Chris Leinberger co-authored the current cover article in the Washington Monthly magazine, a policy journal. It is entitled The Next Real Estate Boom; How Housing (Yes, Housing) Can Turn the Economy Around. The article is a summary of the LOCUS platform of the economic role real estate and the appropriate investment in transportation infrastructure can have, putting an economic foundation under the slow economic recovery. The difference from the past is that the transportation infrastructure must favor rail transit, biking and walking and the real estate product will be walkable urban, as opposed to drivable suburban.
October: LOCUS hosted a reception at the Urban Land Institute conference in Washington. David Agnew, Director of Inter-governmental Affairs in the White House, spoke about the President’s commitment to increased rail transit infrastructure spending. David organized the White House event in early October about transportation infrastructure where many Governors and Mayors attended. David was former chief of staff to Charleston Mayor Riley, the longest serving mayor in the country and arguably the best mayor of the past generation.
- LOCUS Conference Call with DRA: December 2nd at 2pm EST
- Steering Committee Meeting: January 2010
Christopher B. Leinberger
Locus, Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors
Arcadia Land Company
LOCUS is a network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable development in our towns and cities, in partnership with Smart Growth America. LOCUS members show how we can boost the struggling economy, provide developers and investors with valuable opportunities, while satisfying U.S. consumer demand for smart growth places to live and work.