Morenci native Pat Clark missed out on his senior class trip to Washington, D.C., and even though he later lived in the D.C. area for 13 years, he never got inside the White House.
That changed last Friday when Clark helped lead a contingent of Pennsylvania residents to the White House for a Community Leaders Briefing.
The briefings are a public engagement feature of the Obama administration, Clark said, in which citizens are invited in to ask questions and present their concerns.
The visit last week included 150 people from 22 Pennsylvania counties representing dozens of organizations. It was organized by Keystone Progress and Clark serves as secretary of the group’s board of directors.
Keystone contacted a broad range of organizations, asked what issues they were concerned about, and put together a proposal for the briefing.
The goal of the meetings is make citizens better informed about government policies and programs; to help the federal government learn how to better serve the public, and to brief community leaders on tools and resources available.
The highest-ranking administration official, Clark said, was a person who reports directly to the President on energy and climate issues.