America’s Governors to Gather at Conference
By Ana Gomez Salcido
Nearly 20 governors from across the country will gather at the annual National Governors Association Summer Meeting to talk about the most complex policy issues this nation faces, including transportation, technology, healthcare, trade, the opioid crisis and economic development.
The governors will spend three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from July 19 to 21 for one of the two primary NGA gatherings of the year.
On the agenda are several workshops and opportunities for governors to strategize and collaborate on policy matters from innovation to diplomacy and everything in between.
“The most important thing about the NGA Summer Meeting is that is so rare to see republicans and democrats getting together, especially right now, when we see so much partisan fighting,” said NGA CEO Scott Pattison to La Prensa San Diego. “At the NGA Summer Meeting, Republicans and Democrats get together, and they meet at every session and they politely share their ideas.”
The NGA is a bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors that promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy. The governors convene at NGA meetings twice a year, once at the Summer Meeting, and secondly at the Washington Winter Meeting.
Pattison mentioned that the Summer Meeting is hosted each year in a different place. Governor of New Mexico Susana Martinez will be the host this year. The organization’s Winter Meeting is always held in Washington, D.C.
“The good thing about the governors is that they are the ones who are having to run the state. They are not quite as involve in a partisan and polarize situation. They just want to get things done, complete a lot of policies for their states,” Pattison said. “The governors do a lot of economic development, they do things like combat the opioid crisis. The governors want a lot of information and they want to interact.”
The NGA also organizes other events beside their annual meetings, like a North American Summit, were eight governors from the United States gathered with 10 Mexican governors, and some Canadian Premiers.
“For a couple of days we had all this people of different parties and views having very cordial conversations about how to approach some very difficult issues,” Pattison added. “This is just one of the things we do in terms of trying to share ideas and information.”
Theodore Roosevelt founded the NGA in 1908 so governors could share information of their states and concerns about different issues like federal land management among other things.
“The biggest thing as we look forward is that we have (midterm elections) this year and we are going to see new governors after this November like in California, and all over the country,” Pattison said. “We are going to have a new crop of governors with different ideas and will all the new technology, interesting things will be coming out.”