Regional COVID-19 task force begins developing its shared vision for the economic recovery of the DMV; adds six new members PRESS RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2020 – Connected DMV’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force held its kickoff meeting on Thursday and affirmed their support for regional collaboration to tackle the pandemic with the following statement: “The COVID-19 health pandemic has reinforced the importance of regional collaboration and cooperation between the District, Maryland and Virginia. It is also a necessity, if we are to secure the long-term stability and vitality of the DMV, solidify our position as a hub of innovation and leadership, and instill confidence in all our residents – on the safest path forward. Together and inclusive of our diverse communities, we need to define how our region can best recover, emerge, and thrive after the most acute conditions of the pandemic have subsided. The Connected DMV Strategic Renewal Task Force is committed to that shared future. Every step we make together as a region will ensure a stronger future for the DMV.” The 51-member cross-sector Task Force, which is comprised of a mixture of commercial, academic, and community leaders, also discussed the importance of region-wide coordination for contact tracing to identify and contain the spread of infection across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Within the next week, the Task Force will stand up a sub-group dedicated to developing a detailed regional contact tracing position and recommendation. The group also discussed the need for a responsible reopening of public transportation that gradually and safely restores bus and rail service ahead of demand, recognizing that many in our community rely on the region’s public transit as their predominant form of transportation. A clear theme that emerged among each discussed topic was the importance of inclusivity. Task Force members confirmed that equities are cross cutting and critical to all Task Force deliberations and recommendations. An additional theme was the importance of examining and addressing our region’s critical infrastructure as we emerge from this crisis. The Task Force will continue to meet monthly through October, first addressing near-term priorities, then transitioning to longer-term opportunities for building a resilient and sustainable economic recovery. Meetings will continue to be facilitated by Greater Washington Board of Trade President and CEO Jack McDougle. “Yesterday’s meeting reaffirmed the value of our community leaders working together across jurisdictions and sectors for the betterment of the region,” said Jack. “It was evident that each member of the Task Force is eager to strategize new ways to ensure the safety of our communities while planning for the long-term economic renewal and equity throughout the region.” Over the course of the next six months, the Task Force will release actionable recommendations that will complement and help to connect the efforts of regional governments. The results will set the foundation for a more robust and durable marketplace for innovators, small and large businesses, and other organizations to thrive in our nation’s capital region.