Connolly Receives 2007 NARC Bradley Award


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
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July 5, 2007

 Gerald E. Connolly Receives 2007 National Association of Regional Councils’ Tom Bradley Leadership Award

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly was presented with the 2007 Tom Bradley Leadership Award on June 25 by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) at its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.                                       

Gerald Connolly NARC AwardThe nomination for the award described the chairman as “perhaps the region’s most respected elected official and one whose opinion is sought on a wide range of issues because of his analytical skills, his ability to find a path that leads to consensus and his leadership on tough issues, including transportation and homeland security.”

Connolly was cited for his leadership of the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council (EPC) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), as well as his role in spearheading the push for a dedicated source of funding for mass transit in the area. Connolly has been a member of COG’s board of directors since 1996, and was its chairman in 2000. He recently began a term as chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

Connolly became chairman of the Emergency Preparedness Council in January 2006. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has called the EPC a model program for interjurisdictional and interdepartmental communication. Connolly was instrumental in the ratification and adoption by the EPC of the first National Capital Region Homeland Security Strategic Plan, which the nomination pointed out, “will provide a road map for work on regional homeland security for years to come.” This challenging task involved partners from local, state, regional and federal entities, community groups, private sector, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. “The chairman ensured the new plan met the highest standards,” said David Robertson, COG’s executive director.

As the region’s traffic congestion worsened, Connolly took action. He proposed that COG form a partnership with the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Federal City Council to launch a major initiative to push for a dedicated source of funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). He then led an effort to convince the U.S. Congress, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to adopt legislation for dedicated funding. Legislation is pending in Congress; it has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now being reviewed by the U.S. Senate. Both the District of Columbia and Virginia have now approved matching dedicated funds, with Maryland action anticipated this fall.

Connolly was recognized for his role as the primary catalyst on the issue by being named the 2005 Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year by the Virginia Transit Authority Association. In 2006, he was named Outstanding Local Official in the United States by the American Public Transit Association.

As COG chairman, Connolly led an effort to increase telecommuting and Fairfax County was the first jurisdiction in the metropolitan region to achieve the goal of having 20 percent of its work force teleworking one day a week. In 2000, Connolly received COG’s Elizabeth and David Scull Award for his work on the telework initiative.

In presenting the leadership award, the NARC committee also noted that Connolly has been engaged in regional issues at many venues from COG retreats, to major board meetings, to hearings on Capitol Hill.

For media inquiries on the award, contact Dominic Bonaiuto in the chairman’s office, 703-324-2321, TTY 711. The leadership award nomination is available as a .pdf.

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