The newly announced Co-Chairs for the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition addressed upcoming regional policy priorities as they welcomed the more than 125 guests at the Northeast-Midwest Institute’s Annual Capitol Hill Reception on Tuesday, February 7. Congressman David Joyce (R-Ohio) and Congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minnesota), both just elected by their colleagues as new Co-Chairs of the Coalition, expressed particular enthusiasm for the Coalition’s potential to have real impacts and achievements in the new 115th Congress. Other Congressional leaders in attendance included Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Congressman Brad Schneider (D-Illinois).
Also highlighting the Reception’s program was Governor John Baldacci, Chair of the NEMWI Board of Directors, who introduced Mary Cronin as the newly elected Vice Chair of the Board. Ms. Cronin, who also serves as Chair of the Institute’s Strategic Planning Committee, announced the completion of the Institute’s new Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2020. She emphasized that the Institute will be continuing and strengthening its long-standing commitment to working with Capitol Hill policy-makers, in particular the Coalition in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. She noted that other Institute priorities for the future include environmental and economic needs of the region, infrastructure, water quality, and legacy cities. She also emphasized that the Institute’s mission of defending the environment, enhancing the economy, and ensuring regional equity for the Northeast and Midwest are more important than ever.
Because this was the first time that the new Coalition Co-Chairs have addressed regional stakeholders and leaders, both Congressman Joyce and Congressman Nolan discussed their priorities for the new 115th Congress. Both Congressional leaders stressed the importance of bipartisan cooperation on issues facing the Northeast-Midwest region. Congressman Joyce addressed policies of importance to the region, chief among them water quality, modernization, and economic development. Congressman Nolan expanded on these points, emphasizing the significance of infrastructure and transportation networks, which serve a vital role in the region’s diverse and vast economy. Both Congressmen expressed their appreciation for the work done by NEMWI and other organizations which work for the region.
Dr. Michael Goff, President of NEMWI, expressed gratitude to the Coalition Co-Chairs for their leadership on behalf of the region and to the attendees for their continuing interest and support.