10/02/2013 11:31 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

What Government Shutdown? Metros Open for Business

For months I've been saying, "the federal government, like Elvis, has left the building," and people usually laugh. Well, now that's literally come true, and it's not funny.

But as I travel around the country, I see metropolitan leaders who are doing the opposite. Every day, they're doing the hard work to build their economies and grow jobs. This shutdown further exposes that the responsible leaders in this country are primarily in our cities and metropolitan areas.

Real change happens where you live. (It sure isn't happening at the federal level.) In many respects, this shouldn't be surprising to us. Metropolitan areas have long been the engines of our economy and the hubs of trade and investment. Now they're also at the forefront of policy innovation. Networks of metropolitan leaders are investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority and equipping workers with the skills they need.

For everyone who is tired of our dysfunctional federal government, this metropolitan revolution offers a path forward. Metropolitan areas are succeeding in spite of grave economic and political challenges at the national level. As this shutdown continues, my colleagues and I will share some of these recent metropolitan examples on this blog. Here are some to start us off: