Capitol Corner March 2024: DC Road Trip


In mid-February, Executive Director Geraldine Gardner traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the annual National Conference of Regions hosted by the National Association of Regional Councils. While in DC, she participated in numerous advocacy meetings, with the assistance of Centralina’s federal government relations expert, Leslie Mozingo, to discuss Centralina’s federal priorities as listed on the approved Federal Action Plan.

Together Geraldine and Leslie kicked off their itinerary with a joint meeting with staff from both U.S. Senator Thom Tillis’ office and U.S. Senator Ted Budd’s office. During the discussion they emphasized the pending Brownfields Coalition Assessment grant application and regional mobility.

After their meeting with the Senators, they traveled across Capitol Hill to meet with U.S. Representative Alma Adams’ staff. They expressed thanks for Congresswoman Adams’ support and assistance with the North Mecklenburg County Housing Preservation Initiative. They also discussed the Congresswoman’s upcoming presentation at Centralina’s Women in Government luncheon and her priorities for FY24 Community Projects Funding.

Additionally, they met with DC staff for U.S. Representative Jeff Jackson to reiterate Centralina’s request for the Congressman’s support for the Brownfields grant. Within 24 hours after the meeting, Congressman Jackson sent a letter of support to the Environmental Protection Agency.

On the final day of meetings, Geraldine and Leslie met with the Director and Deputy Director of Governor Cooper’s North Carolina Washington Office to discuss common interests and opportunities for partnership. Following that the team met with several key officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to advocate for the North Mecklenburg County Housing Preservation Initiative and to seek additional funding opportunities for Centralina to pursue.

One initiative raised by the HUD officials is the new Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE), named for former North Carolina Congressman David Price, who was also the Chairman of the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee on Appropriations. The PRICE program is a competitive grant opportunity that supports communities in their efforts to maintain, protect and stabilize manufactured housing and manufactured housing communities. Applications are due June 5th and more information is available here. Another new grant forthcoming that HUD officials highlighted is the Permanent Supportive Housing Grants, which they indicated would allow for construction projects. The NOFO for this new grant is expected to be published this spring.

Geraldine and Leslie closed out their advocacy meetings with a visit to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). They met with the Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) team to advocate for Centralina’s regional transportation priorities and to invite DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg to tour the region. Additionally, the IGA team noted that signage is available to post in front of projects that have received Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.

Cover Photo: U.S. Senator Thom Tillis’ office and U.S. Senator Ted Budd’s office
Selfie: Geraldine Gardner with Leslie Monzingo
Photo Left: U.S. Representative Alma Adams’ office
Last Photo: U.S. Representative Jeff Jackson’s office