In, July 2011, Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca was invited to the White House to participate in a panel discussion “Forum on First Suburbs, Inclusion, Sustainability and Economic Growth.” (Maplewood Patch story here, BOA story here).
The panel discussion was a part of efforts by Building One America, a national network of statewide and metropolitan organizations seeking to "stabilize and revitalize communities" — namely, first suburbs. First suburbs are older, developed suburbs like Maplewood which are close to metropolitan areas and which are dealing with a different set of concerns than newer, exurban suburbs.
Through his work with Building One America, DeLuca was invited back to the White House on March 13, 2012 to meet with the Chief of Staff of the President's Domestic Policy Council and the Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Also at the meeting were staffers from the Departments of Transportation, Energy and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
DeLuca was one of ten elected officials from across the country representing Building One America to discuss the needs of First Suburbs. Others were from Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
DeLuca had the chance to speak about Maplewood and the efforts the town is taking to keep the town a diverse, welcoming and green community. "I said that towns like ours are doing the right thing and government policies should be designed to recognize and reward these efforts," DeLuca said in an email message.
"We agreed to work with the White House Intergovernmental Affairs Office on a few short-term goals and focus on larger policy issues over the next year or two. It was a successful meeting and very cool to be in the White House."
Source: Maplewood Patch, article link here.