Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson was among a small group of city officials from around the country invited to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, March 12, 2012. Jackson was in Washington for the National League of Cities’ 2012 Congressional City Conference that is designed to offer local officials opportunities to hear from respected national figures, network with other city leaders, participate in innovative workshops, learn new skills and lobby on Capitol Hill.
“I was thrilled when I was invited to be among the fourteen (14) members of the NLC Board invited to talk with the President,” said Jackson. “This was not only and honor for me, but for all residents of Savannah, “she continued. Each of us was given an opportunity to tell the President about the top priorities of our areas. Mayor Jackson stressed the importance of Savannah Harbor Deepening and its impact on local economic development. She also advocated for increased federal involvement in job creation, and discussed several major employers in the Savannah area, including Gulfstream and JCB. She and the rest of the NLC leadership team then discussed the need to maintain Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, particularly in communities such as Savannah with sizable populations living in poverty.
“The moment that I said I was from Savannah, President Obama started talking about his wonderful visit to our city last year,” said Jackson. The President said how much he enjoyed the food, and Mayor Jackson told him the Mrs. Wilkes Restaurant has created somewhat of a monument highlighting his visit to that establishment.
In addition to the special opportunity to meet the President, Mayor Jackson and the other members of the Savannah delegation are attending workshops covering topics such as local innovation, job creation and training, transportation and infrastructure, civic engagement, housing, public safety and meeting the needs of families. NLC’s is calling on Congress and the President to take action to create jobs, grow the economy and invest in the nation’s infrastructure.
Mayor Jackson is a past chairperson of the Chatham Municipal Association, board member of the National League of Cities (NLC), past president of the NLC Women in Municipal Government, member of the NLC Leadership Council, a director of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), and past president of District 12 of the GMA. As a leader in these organizations, she has developed relationships and discussed municipal government issues with officials from around the nation. She hopes to use this experience and the relationships she has developed to help Savannah become even more competitive in the global marketplace, and bring jobs and other economic development opportunities to Savannah and the entire region.