Vol. 27 Iss. 9 - January 03, 2011



Establishing the Urban Policy Task Force

Importance of the Issue

The Commonwealth has long faced the challenges of urbanization in a diverse range of policy areas, including but not limited to economic development, education, transportation, public safety, and human services. In particular, recent economic difficulties throughout Virginia, including high unemployment rates and slow economic growth, have had a severe adverse impact on urban communities. The challenges facing local governments and state government in these urban and urbanizing areas have required significant efforts on the part of appointed and elected governmental officials at all levels. In addition, the modernization, expansion, and diversity of new businesses has placed demands on governmental leaders at all levels to provide, in an efficient and timely manner, a full range of relevant and affordable public services.

Establishment of the Task Force

Section 2.2-206 of the Code of Virginia requires creation of a cabinet-level task force on urban policy. By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to Section 2.2-206 of the Code of Virginia, and subject always to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby establish the Urban Policy Task Force. The Secretary of Commerce and Trade or his designee shall chair the Task Force. Other members shall consist of the Secretaries of Education, Health and Human Resources, Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Transportation or their designees. Additional members may be appointed to the Task Force at the Governor's discretion.

Responsibilities of the Task Force

The Task Force shall develop a comprehensive state urban policy that will give particular attention to actionable, top priorities and establish specific quantifiable benchmarks to address economic and social conditions and inequities within urban areas. It shall include but not be limited to establishing such methods, processes, and approaches as are necessary to recognize the importance of interdependence of localities within metropolitan areas and make recommendations to increase collaboration within all areas. All executive branch agencies shall cooperate fully as requested by the Task Force or its staff. The Task Force shall report to the Governor by January 14, 2011, and include in their report the performance of each agency in meeting established benchmarks.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until for one year from its signing, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 8th day of December, 2010.

/s/ Robert F. McDonnell