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Donley Honored with Top COG Award

Alexandria mayor Kerry J. Donley is this year’s recipient of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (COG) Scull Award.

Since 1982, the Scull Award has been given to an elected official who has contributed most significantly to the enhancement of intergovernmental cooperation in the Washington metropolitan region.

Donley was recognized for his many contributions to the region and his involvement and leadership at the Washington Area Housing Partnership, where he has served as chair for the past three years.

“Under his leadership, affordable housing in the Washington area has moved from a dialogue to a proactive, aggressive plan to develop innovative tools and strategies for successfully addressing the problem,” said COG president and Falls Church mayor Daniel Gardner.

Donley’s work as the chair of the Housing Partnership led to the creation of a regional housing trust fund. “I am very proud that the Council of Governments recognized the City of Alexandria and our mayor,” said Vice Mayor Bill Cleveland. “The creation of the regional housing trust fund is a great step in addressing the issue of affordable housing in the region. The Scull Award is COG’s top award, and I am very proud that the mayor received it.”

DONLEY WAS surprised by the award. “I was surprised and honored to receive the Scull Award,” he said. “As I said at the luncheon, it has been an honor to serve the community in which I live, work and play. Being an elected official is frequently a thankless job. I am honored to receive this honor.”

Alexandria has a housing trust fund that is used to support many public and private affordable-housing initiatives. “I am very pleased that we have created this regional fund, and now we have to capitalize it,” Donley said.

The first step toward that goal is a request that the federal government provide a grant of $5 million. “The federal government is the region’s largest employer and is committed to the idea of affordable housing,” Donley said. “It is appropriate that we look to them for this kind of investment first before we go to other corporate employers in the region and ask them to contribute. We do not expect local governments to provide any sort of capital investment because we all have various initiatives of our own.”

U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-8th) has agreed to carry the appropriations request.