My first day in Washington DC this week was focused on developing opportunities that will bring business to Phoenix.  Thanks to our beautiful new convention center and hotel in Downtown Phoenix, I invited the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to host their international conference in Phoenix.  The conference would bring more than 1,000 attendees to the city to experience great new dining and entertainment.  We would all love to see the streets and restaurants downtown full of Electrical Workers.

Stimulus funding continues to be the primary focus of my trips to DC.  There are many different programs available and, while some cities are struggling with understanding the process and putting together projects that qualify for stimulus funding, Phoenix is doing well because of our active engagement with the Obama administration since the beginning.  I am proud of our efficiencies in not only receiving stimulus dollars, but also how well the city is implementing these programs and putting people to work on the stimulus projects.

As a result of one of my meetings today, Phoenix is engaged in discussions on the energy grant program, which was included in the ARRA.  This program requires mayors across the country to work together to encourage Congress to establish a permanent funding stream for the program — ultimately allowing Phoenix to further our Green Phoenix plan, and create more “green collar” jobs.  I will be engaging my friends with the conference of Mayors to pursue this long-term opportunity.