In the field: Mayor Ramsey reports from D.C.May 02, 2022 08:29PM ● By Colin Leonard
By Collin Leonard | [email protected]
South Jordan’s elected officials have been busy, none more so than Mayor Dawn Ramsey. In an interview with the City Journals, the mayor wanted to share her experiences “in the field,” as she has repeatedly traveled to Washington, D.C. in different capacities over the past few months.
In the beginning of February, Ramsey attended the National Conference of Regions hosted by the National Association of Regional Councils, representing the Wasatch Front Regional Council as chair of their regional growth committee. The mayor acknowledged these organizations are a mouthful to say, but was excited nonetheless to bring back information gathered from two days of speakers, breakout sessions and workshops.
The biggest topic of discussion - President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed Nov. 15 of last year. The bill introduced many new programs and policy changes, and sessions were dedicated to best practice sharing to take advantage of federal funding. The participants had the opportunity to develop recommendations on behalf of NARC for the U.S. Department of Transportation, to best help the represented regions.
Ramsey became aware of federally funded grants as a result of spending time with other region delegations, and was able to include them in South Jordan’s game plan for the next few years. She said “success would be significant” as the city begins the process of applying for funding.
The mayor met with the six federal representatives for Utah, and received personal commitments from all: when these grants are submitted, they will be accompanied by letters of support from each. This will increase South Jordan’s chances of securing the funding needed for transportation, energy and development projects.
The National League of Cities had their congressional conference at the end of March, and Ramsey attended in her capacity as the acting president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
“I appreciate the opportunity to represent our city at every level, and to meet city leaders from across the country as we navigate how to stay ahead and keep up in some cases,” she said. Over 90 elected officials from Utah attended, and Ramsey was able to host events with them.
They heard from representatives of various cabinets at the federal level, learning of new and improved programs for local governments to take advantage of. Ramsey was especially excited to learn from cities of similar sizes, experiencing growing pains similar to South Jordan's. Best practices were exchanged in areas of homelessness, the digital divide and water conservation.
Many mayors have the chance to meet with the two senators and four house representatives that make up the Utah delegation. Ramsey has made the effort to develop relationships with each, closer than most. Being a part of the numerous committees and organizations has helped, and her personal ambition has also aided in these interactions. Last year she took a family vacation, on her family's own dime, to visit the delegation in D.C. The extra efforts she has put into opening federal lines of communication will most likely translate into increased funding for the city and a seat at the table during statewide needs assessments.