Mayor Sullivan goes to Washington
It was a jam-packed two days full of meetings with not only our delegation (Sens. Murkowski and Begich, and Rep. Young), but also members of key committees and federal agencies.
The primary goal for the mayor's trip was to reaffirm the city's federal legislative priorities, and assist the delegation in personally educating other members of Congress about critically important issues. Among the topics discussed were the Port of Anchorage and its expansion plans, and why the administration believes it to be a vital project for the city's long-term supply needs. Dredging at the Port also was discussed at length, and how interruptions to that process could have serious adverse impacts on not only the city, but the entire state.
The mayor also advocated for continuation of the city's partnership with the Dept. of Justice's Anti-Gang program, which provides Anchorage law enforcement with tools to crack down on gang activity.
The mayor met with Bob Corbin at the U.S. Dept. of Energy to discuss the extension of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant for Nikiski and how its success is directly tied to Anchorage's energy supply.
Gov. Parnell's liaison in Washington, John Katz, also met with the mayor to talk about what the state is doing with its legislative program and how the mayor could complement that effort.
Rep. James Oberstarr (D-MN) is the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and he met with Mayor Sullivan to discuss the Port and other infrastructure needs of the municipality.
The mayor also had the pleasure of meeting with Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-CA) who is the ranking minority member on the House's Appropriations Committee. They were able to talk about the benefits of strategically planning for federal requests in light of the current federal deficit.
Mayor Sullivan also met with Larry Persily, the Obama Administration's newly confirmed coordinator for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. An abundant, steady source of energy for Anchorage residents has been one of the mayor's top priorities since taking office, and he and Mr. Persily were able to collaborate on which projects currently being promulgated would best serve the residents of South Central.
Mayor Sullivan also met briefly with former Sen. Ted Stevens, who is a family friend of more than 40 years and currently a consultant in D.C.
Finally, the trip ended on a high note with a visit to the Verizon Center to watch hometown favorite and Montreal Canadiens Center Scott Gomez pull off a surprise victory over the Washington Capitals. The mayor was able to greet Gomez after the game and congratulate him on behalf of all Anchorage citizens.