Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak joins a group of other young elected officials from across the country for meetings at the White House today (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with administration officials followed by a reception with President Obama.
Rudiak says a small number of members of the People for the American Way Foundation's Young Elected Officials Network were invited to the White House to discuss important issues facing states and municipalities. She says they will be talking about the $600 million cut this year from the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) nationwide...
"We actually had to cut $2 million from our budget this year because of cuts from the federal government. So this actually means hundreds of less jobs for youths in our city."
Rudiak says she's also concerned that the federal COPS program, through which Pittsburgh receives a grant to keep police on the street, was trimmed by $296 million dollars when the federal government shutdown was threatened unless spending cuts were made. But Rudiak says it's not all about money, there are policy issues as well. She wants the administration including EPA officials to understand the environmental impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on Pennsylvania's environment.
Rudiak calls the president a steadfast ally to cities...."but it's important for the president to hear from young elected officials about programs meaningful to us. There are always things we need to make choices about and I think he needs to know what our highest priorities are.