White House welcomes Florida and Alabama local officials for State Leadership Day

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Local officials from Alabama and Florida traveled to the White House Thursday to discuss a variety of issues impacting their areas.

Commissioner Christian Ziegler of Sarasota County, Florida, speaks to Gray DC during State Leadership Day at the White House Thursday. (Source: Gray DC)

The State Leadership Day offered the elected leaders to talk about their shared priorities amongst themselves and with federal leaders when it comes to issues like infrastructure, disaster recovery and the opioid crisis.

"We can all work together to find results," Commissioner Vanessa Baugh of Bradenton County, Florida said. "That's what's so exciting about it. It's a great partnership."

Director of National Drug Policy, James Carroll, talked to the elected officials about the national initiatives in place to help quell the opioid crisis and tackle recent vaping illnesses.

For Florida's leaders, Commissioner Baugh and Commissioner Christian Ziegler of Sarasota County, the key issues of today involved water quality in their regions. Fellow Florida commissioner, Kathy Bryant of Ocala County, said it was crucial to her to discuss disaster relief for their part of the country.

"They've been all ears," Commissioner Ziegler said of the administration. "They've brought all the experts and all the people of the administration we need to get this stuff done."

Commissioner Thomas Barnes of Colbert County, Alabama, said his area struggles with broadband access and was looking forward to bringing solutions back to his rural county.

"Meeting these people and being a part of them adds personal fulfillment to me, but most of all, it's the service I can add by connecting with these people," He said.

Each official said they were excited for the chance to represent their communities at the White House and commended the administration for the opportunity.

"As we know," Commissioner Bryant said. "All politics are local."
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