For leading the way with smart growth policy making that will make North Carolina neighborhoods even greater places to live, Smart Growth America is pleased to recognize North Carolina State Senator Floyd B. McKissick and Representative Jennifer Weiss with Smart Growth America’s 2011 Leadership Award.
In 2010, Senator McKissick and Representative Weiss sponsored legislation to establish an innovative Sustainable Communities Task Force in North Carolina. Excitingly, the legislation passed – making North Carolina one of the latest states to recognize the connections between cross-agency governance at the state level, coordination with stakeholders at the local level, and sustainable communities on the ground.
As co-chairs of the Legislative Study Commission on Urban Growth and Infrastructure, McKissick and Weiss helped develop and refine the Sustainable Communities Task Force legislation from the earliest stages. The legislation lays out six guiding smart growth principles, similar to the Livability Principles of the federal HUD, DOT, and EPA Sustainable Communities Partnership. Based upon those principles, the legislation charges the North Carolina Task Force with (among other things):
- Promoting regional sustainability partnerships and opportunities for coordination among state agencies
- Making recommendations for sustainable development policies and program appropriations to Governor Bev Perdue, members of her cabinet, and the General Assembly
- Distributing $250,000 in task force grants to regional sustainable development partnerships
- Developing a common local government sustainable practices scoring system
The Sustainable Communities Task Force brings together state, regional, and local leaders as well as representatives from the North Carolina American Planning Association, the nonprofit sector, the homebuilding industry, and the banking industry. With an impressive team in place, the Task Force has already made significant progress. Notably, the task force leaders anticipate finalizing a new smart growth community assessment in February 2011. Completion of the smart growth assessment will be part of the application process for Task Force grant funding.
For leading their work making North Carolina neighborhoods even greater places to live, Smart Growth America is pleased to recognize Senator McKissick and Representative Weiss with Smart Growth America’s 2011 Leadership Award.