We've talked about working together for decades. Now, it's time to deliver.
Greater Washington is at a crossroads. With a $540 billion burgeoning regional economy, Greater Washington is the 6th largest region in the United States. Its unique blend of abundant assets, resources, and job and educational opportunities makes the region simply unmatched. Home to more than 6 million people, it is a region anticipating more than one million new residents over the next 25 years.
While it is one of the most important metropolitan areas in the world, many benchmarks suggest that it is lagging behind other large metropolitan areas in growth, prosperity, and inclusion. Historically, our region’s development has been constrained by jurisdictional fragmentation, limited cross-sector coordination, and socioeconomic inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the inherently regional nature of our economy as well as stark socioeconomic divisions. If we are serious about building back better and taking advantage of unprecedented emerging funding opportunities, it's time to work together.
Let's talk about how we're going to do it.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
A cross-sector, cross-jurisdictional approach to regional funding opportunities.
We Are Greater Washington is a program of the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) initiative. It will establish a program office to jointly pursue new regional funding opportunities, including the nearly $3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding recently announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), as well as the upcoming funding included in the Innovation and Competition Act. It will be staffed with a Director and Associates from Connected DMV and staff associates from economic development and other key regional organizations. The joint program office will be managed by Connected DMV with the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) steering committee providing leadership, input, and strategic guidance.
Joint program office led by Connected DMV with leadership from the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) Steering Committee, a coalition of cross-sector leaders representing economic development and planing organizations, industry, academia, philanthropy, and community organizations.
Staffed by Connected DMV and associates from economic development and other key regional organizations.
We Are Greater Washington will focus on the prioritization and cross-sector, cross-jurisdictional prioritization and pursuit of new regional funding opportunities, including the nearly $3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding recently announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA).
HOW WE GOT HERE
We're ready for this moment.
Led by Connected DMV, a regional cross-sector nonprofit committed to solving complex economic and social challenges, We Are Greater Washington is a program of the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) initiative. The initiative was approved by the Connected DMV COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force, a group formed in April 2020 to improve the long-term social, physical and digital infrastructures for inclusive economic growth and renewal across the entire DMV region, post pandemic.
The establishment of We Are Greater Washington follows the release of the REDS 1.0 Report in June, which represented more than a year of work by the REDS Steering Committee and laid the foundation for a long-term collaborative framework to improve the competitive advantage of the region both nationally and globally by activating an enduring cross-sector model to advance equitable economic development across Greater Washington and improve opportunity for all. The report included key recommendations for high-potential entry points for greater regional collaboration, including the establishment of a program like We Are Greater Washington to develop coordinated regional strategies to pursue federal, state, and philanthropic funds.
“Today marks a turning point for Greater Washington working together. Maximizing economic growth opportunities in an equitable way will not be delivered by industry or government alone. The American Rescue Plan Act represents an unprecedented opportunity for this region to present a collective vision and strategy for the future. Through this collaborative approach, we can undertake the critical work not just of recovering from the losses suffered during the pandemic, but of ensuring that regardless of which neighborhood you’re from—Anacostia to Georgetown and Oxon Hill to Arlington—Greater Washington is the best place to live and work in the country. We’ve talked about working together for far too long. Now is the time to deliver.”
— Stu Solomon
President & CEO