Last week, Lt. Governor Habib participated in the annual business meeting of the National Lt. Governors Association’s (NLGA), joining leaders from all over the country to discuss innovations in government and technology, best practices in emergency response, and possibilities for interstate collaboration.
The National Lt. Governor’s Association is described as “the professional association for the elected officials first in line of succession to the governors in the 50 states and five U.S. territories,” and last week’s meeting in Coronado, California brought together fifteen Lt. Governor and Secretary of State representatives.
The meeting began with a substantive update on post-hurricane recovery from Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín and the U.S. Virgin Island’s Lt. Governor Osbert Potter. Both described the restoration of power and internet access as major concerns for their regions, in addition to ongoing humanitarian efforts. Their presentations were followed by a series of breakout sessions on best practices in emergency response, including communications following disaster, and state coordination with federal relief — informed by members’ firsthand experiences.
Following the emergency response sessions, Lt. Governor Habib initiated the meeting’s discussion on technology in government by moderating a panel titled “Applying Technology for More Effective and Efficient Government for Constituents,” featuring the Chief Content Officer of e.Republic Paul Taylor, and the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of San Diego, David Graham. Prefacing the panelists’ remarks, Lt. Governor Habib described Washington state as an example of technology’s role as both a major economic driver – citing Amazon and Microsoft – and as a tool for improving the delivery of public services. In this vein, panelist David Graham described San Diego’s efforts to pilot a multitude of Smart City initiatives, including the deployment of smart street lighting technology and a more efficient transportation grid system. Paul Taylor described e.Republic’s own work to elevate innovation in government through several platforms, including through their well-established magazine, Government Technology, which has been covering information technology in government since 1987.
The business meeting also included a special engagement with the local naval installation in San Diego, one of the largest naval bases in the United States. NLGA members took part in an evening tour and reception on the fantail of the USS Midway aircraft carrier, one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers, which now serves as a museum ship and houses 29 restored aircrafts.
The meeting concluded with a series of informal discussions between members on challenges faced and strategies taken by different offices, opening the door to future partnerships and cooperation between states.