Created with Sketch.
We The States
13 minutes | Apr 30, 2019
Governors are the Key to Ending Childhood Hunger in America
Billy Shore, the co-founder and chairman of Share Our Strength, the nation's leading anti-hunger organization, sat down with Gil Gross, the host of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, to explain how governors are spearheading the campaign to end childhood hunger in the United States.“Solving poverty is complex. But feeding a child is not. We know how to do that,” observed Mr. Shore. “So it seems to me that the least we can do in a triage sense of the word is make sure these kids get fed, and then let’s try to get to some of the root causes of why they’re hungry in the first place.”He noted that governors work to implement federal programs and use their influence to ensure that school districts participate in school breakfast and lunch campaigns. Governors also bring together superintendents and mayors and other stakeholders to implement programs intended to aid children."Governors are really the whole ballgame for ending childhood hunger,” Mr. Shore commented.Making sure every eligible child participates in the fully funded federal anti-hunger programs is "a win-win for the state. And every governor, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, they've jumped at the opportunity to increase enrollment in these programs that just make their kids stronger," says Mr. Shore. He noted that local food producers also benefit."Not only is it so good for the kids, which of course is a first concern of a lot of people, but also it can do [so much] for the local economy."Since beginning the No Kid Hungry campaign just a few years ago, Mr. Shore has seen governors add 4 million children to the School Breakfast program. The kids who participate in these school programs, experience increased test scores, have fewer absences, and create fewer disruptions. Listen to this powerful and provocative conversation that demonstrates how governors are helping to end the national scourge of childhood hunger in America.
18 minutes | Apr 23, 2019
Lights, Water, Action! Governors at the Forefront of Reviving Energy and Water Infrastucture
In an exclusive interview with Gil Gross, the host of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, Philip Mezey, the president and CEO of Itron, quantifies the significant infrastructure investment needed to keep our nation operational. “Significant parts of our electricity, gas, and water infrastructure have aged very considerably and are beyond their asset life. And, and we hear statistics that are ranging in the trillions of dollars of what it's going to take in order to refresh this infrastructure,” Mr. Mezey observed. “Our quality of life is largely determined by our ability to get access to clean water when we want it and electricity when we need it.” Itron works with utilities and cities to deliver electricity, gas and water resources to communities in more than 100 countries. From Mr. Mezey’s vantage point, underinvestment in infrastructure over decades has created a dilemma for elected leaders now – but one for which technology can help find solutions. Mr. Mezey believes governors will be on the cutting edge of addressing the energy and water challenges we face as a nation. “Governors have tremendous convening power to bring groups like utilities and regulators and consumer advocates and environmental advocates, all kinds of people together to have a much more informed discussion about what opportunities exist and what steps can be taken.” Listen to this fascinating conversation about how state governments, utilities, and consumer groups can unite to preserve and improve our way of life.
15 minutes | Apr 16, 2019
States and Cities Working Together to Save and Improve Lives
Imagine being able to prevent many of the 40,000 deaths in the United States that result from automobile accidents every year. That’s the near future envisioned by Rana Sen, managing director of Deloitte Consulting LLP, in his exclusive interview with Gil Gross, the host of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association. From fiber-optic roadways to data-collecting street lamps, states and cities are poised to transform our infrastructure and provide instantaneous, life-saving information. “We have gotten to a point where we accept zero deaths from commercial aviation. Especially in the United States,” says Mr. Sen. “In the mobility world, when it comes to cars and automotive and pedestrians and bikes, there are some technology solutions that we should start looking at.”Mr. Sen expounds upon how municipalities and states can combine forces to radically change how we think about transportation safety.“Multiple states are looking into it: How do you install let's say optic fiber under road surfaces to make the state Department of Transportation aware of the changing circumstances to different weather patterns?” Mr. Sen believes we can get actionable information “to prevent accidents rather than reacting to [data] when I get a notification that there is a 14-car pileup.”The technologies also hold the potential to improve lives in other ways, like helping frustrated drivers find parking spots. But they also raises concerns about privacy and data security.Listen to this fascinating conversation about state and local governments can collaborate on the transformation of our current infrastructure to improve transportation safety.
27 minutes | Apr 9, 2019
Infrastructure Investment: Paving the Way for Jobs and Prosperity
Edward G. Rendell, the Democratic former governor of Pennsylvania and Bill Shuster, a Republican former member of Congress from Pennsylvania, join host Gil Gross for a fascinating discussion on We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, about how bipartisan efforts at the state level have successfully brought about meaningful investments in the nation’s infrastructure.Gov. Rendell recalls attending the first Transportation Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Shuster: “The members spoke. And literally every member, whether they were Tea Party or progressive Democrat, they stood up and said, ‘I believe we’ve got to do something about infrastructure.’”“Everybody wants to do something about infrastructure but nobody wants to pay for it.” Their comments are timely as the Democratic-led House of Representatives and the Trump administration explore a bipartisan infrastructure bill that both sides say they want. The National Governors Association has been advocating for action on a bill that would invest in the nation’s long-term future through a partnership on roads, bridges, broadband and other physical assets.Both Rep. Shuster and Gov. Rendell pointed to how states have led the charge to raising funds for infrastructure improvement with increases to the gas tax in 31 states. Gov. Rendell observed, “60 percent of our governors have put their money where their mouth is.” Gov. Rendell also recalled how two leaders from across the political aisle worked together, “My successor Tom Corbett did something I tried to do but I couldn’t get the legislature to do it. And that was to raise the state gas tax. I came up and testified standing next to (Republican) Governor Corbett for the gas tax increase. I got the Democrats to vote for it, he got Republicans to vote for it.” Gov. Rendell added a message about infrastructure to politicians everywhere: “That November ... every single incumbent who voted for it won.” Listen to success stories of bipartisanship in state government that can serve as a model for leaders in Washington.
20 minutes | Apr 2, 2019
National Service: Building the Backbone of America
In this episode of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, host Gil Gross speaks with Joseph Heck, the Chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, about the role of service in the American identity.In 2017, the Selective Service system--what many people equate with the military draft--became part of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. The commission explores methods of increasing volunteerism and public service, both inside and outside of the Armed Forces. A brigadier general in the Army Reserves, a retired member of Congress, and a board-certified doctor of emergency medicine, Dr. Heck brings a uniquely informed view of what it means to serve our country as the head of the government agency charged with harnessing the power of volunteerism.“As we traveled the country, we met with students, middle school students, high school students in many of the cities that we went to and, I don't know if we were surprised, but certainly we were pleased to hear that there is a great desire to provide service amongst that age cohort,” observed Dr. Heck.“And interestingly, as you would expect amongst that age cohort, they'll do it. They just don't want to be told to do it.”Dr. Heck explored the concept of service to our country beyond the constraints of military service, including changing the way our school systems are structured. He called civic education “the backbone of a functioning democracy,” bemoaning decisions to cut it from school curricula.“Should, instead of it being K through 12, should it be K through 13 and that 13th year is a year of service in some program? Should there be a greater emphasis on trying to include experiential service learning throughout the high school curricula?” questions Dr. Heck.“I truly believe that everybody has a service gene within them. The job of the commission is trying to figure out how do we activate that gene.” Dr. Heck believes the military offers incredible value to enlistees for acquiring training and experience to excel in the job market. “Our vision is every American [is] inspired and eager to serve. And we believe that every American should have a clear and supported pathway to provide service to the country regardless where they come from, their socioeconomic class, race, gender, disability. And so the idea is to look at how can provide those opportunities for everyone.”Listen to this inspirational message of the potency of public service all of our fellow citizens can, and many do, provide.
20 minutes | Mar 26, 2019
States and Utilities: Partners in Serving the Public
Two dynamos of the power industry, Calvin G. Butler Jr., the CEO of Baltimore Gas and ElectricCompany , the nation’s first gas utility, and Nick Akins, the CEO of Ohio-based American Electric Power, joined Gil Gross, the host of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, to discuss the evolution of the power industry and the unique relationship utility companies have with governors.“We realize that at the core it’s a partnership because their constituents are our customers,” observed Mr. Butler.“We’re investing billions of dollars into an infrastructure because I don’t want you as a governor come back to me after the fact and say, ‘Why weren’t you doing something?’. I want to proactively put together a plan in front of you and you hold me accountable for executing to that plan.”Both CEOs highlighted challenges to the U.S. power grid, whether from increasingly frequent extreme weather events or cyber attacks. They emphasized that cooperation with state regulators is essential to fulfilling their public-service missions, which include generating clean power but with an eye toward affordability to customers who span the socioeconomic spectrum.“At the same time with our customers, our customers certainly have different options available to them today, that they didn't have before. Certainly, we used to think about our system is one-way communication: generation, transmission, distribution, customers consume. That's what you got. Well, these days it really is centered on two-way communication so that we understand what the priorities of our customers are,” continued Mr. Akins. Listen to this fascinating discussion of how and why states and utilities work together to serve the needs of the public.
15 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
Ontario Premier Doug Ford Emphasizes the Importance of U.S. Canada Trade as NAFTA Replacement Nears
In an exclusive interview with We The States host Gil Gross at the recent Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association, Doug Ford, the head of the government for Canada's most populous province, explained the importance of trade between U.S. states and Canadian provinces. "Ontario alone does over $350 billion of two-way trade. If we were a standalone nation, we would be the third-largest trading partner with the U.S.," says Premier Ford."We are so integrated as countries and not just on business, but in culture; on the values of hard work and family; and traditional holidays. "We're there side by side, shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. for decades, centuries." Premier Ford further elaborates on the economic importance of the looming replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. After speaking with more than 30 governors at the Winter Meeting, Premier Ford concludes, "They want to get this deal done. It's absolutely critical to both countries to get this deal done." Hear this captivating conversation about the financial interdependence between between Canadian provinces and U.S. states.
19 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
Doug Burgum, the High-tech Governor of North Dakota, Brings Entrepreneurial Savvy to the State Capitol
In a fascinating interview with tech entrepreneur-turned-North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Gil Gross, the host of We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, discusses Gov. Burgum’s ambitious plans to make North Dakota the nation’s first “Gigabit Everywhere” state that extends high-speed internet access to every community and every school. “We [also] want to reach every tractor, every combine, every rancher on a horse with smart phone in his pocket,” says Gov. Burgum. “Whether it’s healthcare, whether it’s public safety, whether it’s precision agriculture, whether it’s energy, whether it’s any industry in our state, we’ll perform better and the equipment will interact with them. “The latest equipment from John Deere, it’s a super computer on wheels.” Gov. Burgum also points to how governors are leading the way in protecting our nation from cyber-attacks. North Dakota alone experiences 5.6 million cyber-attacks per month. Gov. Burgum relates, “We are living in an era of where we are having ... nation-state-sponsored attacks, China, North Korea, Iran ... Russia.” He continues, "We have information on virtually every aspect of every citizen’s life. It’s imperative for us to be making sure we are keeping that secure.” Listen to this fascinating conversation about how 21st century governors are leading the nation with lower-cost and higher-quality technology and infrastructure investment.
2 minutes | Feb 28, 2019
Subscribe to We The States to hear in-depth, thought-provoking conversations with governors, thought leaders and business innovators who gathered in Washington, D.C. for the National Governors Association’s 111th annual Winter Meeting.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021