January 16 through 19 I was in Washington.  The U.S. conference of Mayor’s met and below are excerpts of emails I sent to council.

Today (January 17) has been filled with meetings, information, and sharing of ideas.  One thing that has impressed me about the US Conference of Mayors is the level of conversation and interaction with the Administration here in Washington. There are eleven Cabinet Members who are here over these few days as well as the Vice President’s talk today at lunch. 

For instance today I was able to interact with the Secretary of Energy and President Obama’s Chief Adviser on Climate Change.

One of the top people in Yelp was in one meeting and I heard his view on start up companies.  The Mayor of Salisbury NC talked about running fiber and I intend to follow up with him on the structure they used.

So many ideas come from just networking and interactions.  The idea I shared with Larry was just one conversation.  The Mayor of Chapel Hill, Gainesville Florida, and I spent a great deal of time comparing notes and reactions.

Another idea that came from my discussion with the Mayor of Chapel Hill is to start an ACC forum of Mayors that meet periodically to discuss common problems.  We talked about places like College Park, Clemson, Winston Salem coming together to explore challenges and possible solutions.

I am finding that it is so different being with Mayors from around the country.  The solutions and initiatives they present are exciting.  From Oregon to Vermont, these are contacts that can serve Blacksburg well.

This is just a short summary of the several days of events but gives you an idea of opportunities at some of these conferences. 

While in Washington I also interacted with the First Selectwoman from Newtown as well as the Mayors of Oak Creek Wisconsin, Aurora Colorado, and Tuscon Arizona.  The opportunity to talk with others who have lived trough the same types of horrific events we have was very powerful.  We agreed to look for ways to use our experiences to help others.