National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.

 ‘Why Counties Matter,’ hallmark of 2013 Legislative Conference

More than 1,300 county officials will deliver a strong, personal and multimedia Why Counties Matter message to federal lawmakers and policymakers during the National Association of Counties’ 2013 Legislative Conference, March 2–6 in Washington, D.C.

confpic.pngNACo leadership and members are rolling out an aggressive ground and digital campaign during the Legislative Conference to demonstrate that the nation’s 3,069 county governments provide the essential building blocks to create healthy, vibrant and safe communities.

This includes supporting and maintaining key public infrastructure, transportation and economic development assets; creating and sustaining a skilled workforce to meet the needs of private industry; ensuring public health and public safety needs to protect the public; and implementing a broad portfolio of federal, state and local programs in a cost-effective and accountable manner.

Through advertisements in the Capitol Hill publication POLITICO and, and the unveiling of a new 3-minute Why Counties Matter video, NACo will demonstrate how counties and the services and programs they provide are essential to the American people and communities across the country.

NACo and its members will use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to spread the county message and communicate their individual activities throughout the five-day conference.

During the conference, NACo leadership and members will meet with key congressional offices to deliver the Why Counties Matter message and offer to work collaboratively with their federal partners to meet and exceed the needs of the American people.

 “Counties matter because our services touch the lives of virtually every American,” said NACo President Chris Rodgers. “If you vote, drive to work, take the bus, get a flu shot, go to the library, go to the hospital, eat at a restaurant, get a marriage license, buy a house, play in the park, recycle, or call 911– chances are that you are interacting with your county government.

Rodgers said that counties are a critical partner with the federal and state governments to lead the country toward economic growth and opportunity. NACo believes that it is important to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction and to avoid the looming across-the-board “sequester” budget cuts, which will negatively affect counties and the communities they serve.

 “America’s counties have already shouldered more than their share of deficit reduction cuts to the federal budget,” Rodgers said. “We are concerned that that there seems to be no real momentum to finding a bipartisan solution to replace the across-the-board sequester cuts scheduled to occur starting March 1. State and local budgets have been slashed, and counties have had to balance their budgets yet continue shouldering so many of the critical programs and services that people, industry and communities depend upon.”

Legislative Conference Speaker Line-Up

Also during the Legislative Conference, participating county officials will hear from national leaders on issues important to counties and communities:

Speaking at the Opening General Session, March 4 are Mark M. Zandi, chief economist, Moody's Analytics; Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Senate Republican Conference vice chair; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Bob Woodward, associate editor, The Washington Post.

Featured at Tuesday’s Closing General Session will be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); U.S. Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack; Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.); and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), assistant House Democratic leader.