MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OREGON – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will join a new program, the Economic Mobility Leadership Network, that will bring together 20 diverse and bipartisan county leaders from across the country to explore the role counties can play to improve delivery of government services and positively affect economic mobility. The network will be run by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Since taking office, my Administration has been laser focused on expanding opportunity for every single one of our residents, no matter what zip code they live in,” said County Executive Curran. “I’m excited to tap into this bipartisan national network to continue fostering partnerships that move our County forward, as well as share some of the successful practices we’ve developed here in Nassau. Across the country, municipalities are now looking to Nassau as a leader in improving economic mobility for our residents, delivering efficient services while cutting costs, and fighting corruption.”
“County Executive Laura Curran’s contribution to the National Association of Counties Poverty Task Force is important for Long Island, for New York and for every American across the country,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director, NYS Association of Counties. “Public policy stemming from government at all levels, federal, state and local can help address economic prosperity and societal equality. Each generation of Long Islanders faces unique economic challenges. Understanding the causes of these challenges and the long term consequence for individuals, their families and taxpayers can help break the vicious cycle of generational poverty. I commend County Executive Curran for dedicating her time and attention and for bringing the perspective of Long Island and New York to the work of this national Task Force.”
Since taking office, County Executive Curran has made expanding economic opportunity and fighting for good-paying jobs a top priority of her Administration. Just last week, the County Executive took action to strengthen Nassau County’s Living Wage Law, preventing large companies doing business with Nassau from under-paying their workers. County Executive Curran has also pushed for more inclusion of minority, women and service-disabled veteran businesses in County business. After the Curran Administration removed fees and barriers to diverse business participation, registration among MWBEs with Nassau has risen steadily.
The Curran Administration is also launching the first Disparity Study in Nassau since 2003, with the goal of obtaining the needed data to set new participation goals and help build capacity amongst minority, women and service-disabled veteran businesses. Lastly, the County Executive’s signature initiative has been taking on a corrupt property tax system that in addition to helping bankrupt the County, shifted $1.7 billion in property taxes to mostly lower-income and minority communities after property tax rolls were frozen in 2010.
About the Program
20 county officials will travel to three counties that have made concerted efforts and demonstrated measurable success in addressing economic mobility in their counties. Throughout the two-day convenings, county leaders and experts will engage on a range of topics that may include: workforce development and opportunities; generational poverty; affordable housing; access to financial services; educational opportunities and attainment; transportation access; health care services and access; technology and information access; criminal justice reform; geographic mobility and data collection, use, and sharing. The leaders will also visit sites that demonstrate the program and meet local leaders (within the county and outside) and those impacted by these programs and services. NACo hopes that these high-level county leaders will return to their respective counties motivated to build awareness of the factors that influence economic mobility, dismantle stigmas to change the narrative around poverty, and develop local solutions that drive economic mobility upward.
NACo is the only national organization representing county governments in the United States. NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties—including the nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees that serve counties—in pursuing excellence in public service to create healthy, vibrant, and safe counties.