CL Mayor attends White House Conference

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Mayor Warren thanks a veteran for his service during a visit to the Lincoln Memorial. Photo provided by Vicki Warren

Canyon Lake Mayor Vicki Warren was among 98 mayors from 27 states selected by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to attend the Women Mayor of America White House Conference in Washington D.C. for a discussion with key administration officials and policymakers on shared priorities. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs serves as the primary liaison between the White House and state, county, local and tribal governments. The office focuses on building and maintaining relationships with state and local offices.

After a morning of touring the White House, Mayor Warren spent the afternoon hearing from Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Assistant to the President Kellyanne Conway and other key administrators.

“I arrived at the White House fully expecting to come away with a good feeling about what the White House can do for our small city. What I didn’t expect is finding out what the White House will do for our small city,” said Mayor Warren.

“This administration strongly supports local government and stressed over and over again that there are many ways to get help for our economic development, safety costs and more. There are programs and grants, and if there isn’t one that suits us, they’re willing to create a pilot program to get us what we need. I was told, ‘Canyon Lake has a friend in D.C.’ and those words have already started ringing true. We do have friends in D.C. and they want to help Canyon Lake survive and thrive.”

Career opportunities for military spouses, education support for students, fighting the opioid epidemic, public and private partnerships and tax incentives to encourage long-term investment in low-income and rural communities were among the topics of discussion.

“Canyon Lake will reap the benefits from this visit for many years to come. We are now in open communication with various White House departments and I know that help is just a phone call away. I am, and was, deeply honored to have the opportunity to represent Canyon Lake at the first ever Women Mayors of America White House Conference.”

The trip was packed with meetings and conferences, leaving Mayor Warren with little time for sightseeing, but she did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Lincoln Memorial. “I could not leave without seeing the Lincoln Memorial,” said Mayor Warren. “Words do not do justice to the flood of emotions that hit you as you mount the steps to stand at his feet.  It was the true definition of awesome.”

Mayor Warren reflected on her favorite moment of the trip. “As I was leaving the Lincoln Memorial, two men in wheelchairs were brought to the lower level of the monument by people wearing Honor Flight shirts. One of the gentlemen asked his companion to stop so that he could rise to his feet and stand, in silence, hat in hand over his heart. After he sat back down, I went to shake his hand, wanting just to thank him for his service. He was gracious and kind and when I said it was an honor to meet him, he responded that it was an honor to be there and that he had always wanted to see President Lincoln’s Memorial. We chatted for a little while about his trip and his memories. As I was walking away, a young lady stopped and asked if I wanted a copy of the picture she took of us chatting. It memorializes my most favorite personal moment in this whirlwind trip.”

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Donna Ritchie