Exchange Detail

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Australia to US

February 11 - 23 2017 Columbus, OH, Cleveland, OH, Portland, OR, and Salem, OR

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Exchange Outline

Delegation with ACYPL alum Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)

In mid-February, ACYPL continued a 32-year tradition of bi-lateral exchanges by welcoming an 8-member delegation from Australia. During the course of the exchange, the delegation visited Washington DC, Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, and Portland and Salem, Oregon. The delegation included political staffers and an escort from the Australian Political Exchange Council (APEC), ACYPL’s longtime partner in Australia.

The DC portion of the program consisted of political and policy meetings that centered on the 2016 Presidential Election, the current political landscape in the US, and prospects for the future of US policy. The group met with Congressman Greg Walden (US to Japan 1991), the Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Lippman of Politico.

In Columbus, the program was focused on issues concerning Ohio politics and the nuts and bolts of state government. The group met with top political operatives from both sides of the aisle and the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor. In Cleveland, the group focused on urban planning and refugee resettlement policy, a hot button topic in Australia as well as the US. Freddy Collier, Director of City Planning, discussed Cleveland’s struggle to deal with what population loss for a city in the US and the strategies he is putting in play to address it. Joe Cimperman, former city councilman and President of Global Cleveland, a refugee resettlement organization in Cleveland, put together an impressive panel of experts to converse with the delegation.

In Oregon the delegation covered a range of topics in just a few. They discussed energy policy with the director of government affairs at Pacific Power, one of the largest electric companies in the Pacific North West and met with executives from Nike at the company’s headquarters. The delegation also discussed national politics with a journalist at Oregon’s NPR affiliate and talked urban sustainability with a professor from the University of Oregon. In Salem, they spent time with the State Treasurer Tobias Read (US to India 2015) and had a roundtable discussion about state politics with members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

In spite of a busy schedule of meetings, the delegation found plenty of time for cultural activities during their time in the US. They toured the monuments in DC, watched a professional hockey game in Columbus, went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and hiked to the top of a gorgeous waterfall in Portland. Overall, the program was very successful.