May 29 is College Savings Day
The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN), an affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers, a CSG affiliate, wants everyone to pause on May 29 (5/29) to consider their college savings plans. Are you contributing funds toward a loved one’s future education needs? May 29 is 529 College Savings Day, a day to raise awareness of the importance of saving for future college expenses. For details about how you can contribute to or establish a 529 plan, visit the CSPN website.
Obama Congratulates NEMA on 40th Anniversary
The National Emergency Management Association was extremely honored to receive a video message from President Barack Obama highlighting the 40 years of excellent work being done by the organization and its members. The video was unveiled at the NEMA 2014 Mid-Year Forum held in March in Alexandria, Va. This marks the third time in NEMA’s history to be acknowledged by a president—the other two were former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Watch the presidential message to NEMA.
BLC Talks Economic Competitiveness
The first of four Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums scheduled along the U.S.-Mexico border by the Border Legislative Conference and members of the Congressional Border Caucus was held March 20-21 in San Diego. This forum focused on the states of California and Baja California, a mega region now often referred to as Cali-Baja, its ports of entry infrastructure, regional economy innovation and cross border economic clusters.
Kalisa to Lead CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative
Kamanzi Kalisa, a former director of Georgia’s Help America Vote Act, will lead The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative, an effort to improve the election administration for members of the military and other U.S. citizens living abroad. CSG is working with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness through a four-year, $2.9 million cooperative agreement on the effort.
Kalisa has long been interested in public service, politics and public policy issues. His mother, a South Carolina native, and father, a native of Rwanda, have long been involved in helping to make their communities better. His mother is an educator in the Atlanta area, while his father returned to his home country in the 1990s and heads up the development bank in the efforts to rebuild the nation.
Kalisa majored in political science when he attended Tufts University in Boston, then interned in then-U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s office, working with local law enforcement officials in the state to educate them on new funding available for homeland security.
He was appointed as director of Georgia’s Help America Vote Act after working on several campaigns, including the campaign of then-Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox.
Bray to Lead CSG’s International Affairs
Catherine Bray has joined The Council of State Governments as director of international affairs and director of the State International Development Organizations, known as SIDO. Bray will represent state governments to the foreign embassy community, the academic and think tank community, and relevant federal agencies such as the departments of Commerce and State.
Bray will assist state governments as they build international capacities by fostering exchanges with counterparts abroad, with a special focus on Canadian provincial government and Mexico border states. Bray will work closely with the CSG federal affairs team, as well as regional leaders, to build understanding in Congress on the value of state export promotion programs.
Bray has spent the last seven years in Washington, D.C., specializing in international outreach programs for various think tanks, other nonprofit organizations and corporations.
Aeronautics in the South
The Council of State Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference recently released a new SLC Regional Resource examining the increasing number of aeronautics companies that are locating, relocating or expanding their manufacturing operations in the South. The trend is particularly discernible in the aftermath of the Great Recession.