Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., met Tuesday with a roundtable of special districts providing critical infrastructure and essential services in Washington’s First Congressional District communities.
The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) hosted the virtual event with DelBene’s constituent special districts providing drinking water, wastewater treatment, hospital, port, and broadband services, along with state association partners. Districts discussed legislative and policy issues impacting their ability to deliver quality public services. Of note, districts shared the need to better define “special district” in federal law to break down barriers for funding opportunities, concerns about ongoing supply chain disruptions delaying infrastructure projects, broadband access and deployment, and more.
“Congressional engagement is a critical component to elevating awareness of special districts and the fundamental services they deliver in thousands of communities across the nation,” said Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Director. “We are grateful for Congresswoman DelBene’s support of Washington’s special districts and her recognition of the essential services districts provide to enhance quality of life and boost the local economies in her district.”
DelBene shared her perspectives on what is ahead in Congress, sharing insights on Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations, touting major infrastructure program advancements, and discussed the potential for Community Project Funding in 2023.
The engagement included special districts providing services or impacting the local economy of Washington’s First Congressional District. Those in attendance included the Lake Stevens Sewer District, Mukilteo Water & Wastewater District, Northshore Utility District, Port of Anacortes, Port of Everett, Sammamish Plateau Water District, and Whatcom County Public Utilities District.
Special districts are special purpose units of local governments that are locally established with locally-elected or appointed commissioners to administer a single public service or limited set of public services in communities that other units of government are not providing. There are more than 1,200 special districts providing other services including electricity, fire protection, irrigation, parks, resource conservation, libraries, and more.
NSDC hosted the Special Districts Roundtable with DelBene’s office in coordination with its members in Washington State, including the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts, Washington Public Ports Association, and Washington Association of Public Utility Districts. This was the first coordinated Congressional roundtable event to connect special districts with their federal representatives and elevate district issues of federal concern.
Contact Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator, for more information.