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Grand Forks mayor meets federal government officials in D.C.

Rep. Jake Blum, R-Grand Forks, County Commissioner Cynthia Pic and Mayor Mike Brown were in Washington, D.C. this week. Submitted photo/City of Grand Forks

Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown attended a White House Conference Thursday in Washington, D.C., where he and other state leaders met with federal government officials to discuss state and local needs.

Brown joined Community and Government Relations Officer Pete Haga and County Commissioner Cynthia Pic for the conference, where South Dakota and Wyoming leaders were also present. The mayor heard from the secretaries of U.S. Labor and Energy, along with various assistant and deputy directors of departments like Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Transportation.

"I think it's important to see the Trump Administration is available and willing to listen," Brown said. "They gave us a list of contact information for the various departments, and now because you know who they are and they know who you are, you're more comfortable calling them to arrange solutions to your problem."

Agriculture, infrastructure, Grand Forks Air Force Base and the local UAS industry were among four of the largest talking points, Brown said. A White House briefing from the city of Grand Forks included topics like the farm bill, recent trade news and support for Grand Sky, the first commercial aviation park in the U.S. The park is west of Grand Fork near the Air Force base and serves UAS tenants like Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Atomics.

Brown said he and other officials also listened to how the President Donald Trump and his administration is battling local opioid abuse.

"They're making money available for prevention treatment, so the president's actively involved in keeping our community safe," Brown said.

The Grand Forks mayor and other officials will return Friday morning, Brown said, and Haga will debrief the City Council on their findings at the next council meeting.

Brown goes to the nation's capital every January for the U.S. conference of mayors, along with the national league of cities in March, he said. When President Barack Obama was in office, Brown attended a White House dinner to discuss healthcare.

"And that was very informative, and another two-way communication opportunity," Brown said.

Emily Allen

Allen joined the Grand Forks Herald to cover local government and politics May 2018. Call her at 701-780-1102, email her at or follow her on Twitter, @Emily_theHerald.

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