The District and other local jurisdictions have asked President Reagan to appoint a White House adviser for Washington-area affairs.
For several decades, presidents have appointed advisers for D.C. affairs, but area officials hope to convince the president to appoint a liaison person to represent both suburban and city interests.
The proposal was made by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG shortly before Reagan's inauguration.
COG urged Reagan to name the presidential adviser because of the hugh impact of the federal government on the "social environmental and economic interests . . . of the District of Columbia and the 15 major local governments" in the region.
The Reagan administration has not responded to the COG proposal and the White House had no comment. However, COG said it received praise from Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) and Rep. Michael D. Barnes (D-Montgomery).
D.C. City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon commented, "Obviously we'd like the title to be adviser on District affairs, but we may get better support and cooperation from the White House as a regional group. We just want to be sure that the District, the core area of the National Capital region, is not overlooked."
COG's request for a regional adviser arose from a 1978 proposal by the Federal City Council, a private organization of city, business and political leaders.
In 1977, President Carter appointed Martha M. (Bunny) Mitchell, a D.C. Democratic leader, as his special assistant and liaison for the District. She chaired a White House task force on District problems. But like many of their predecessors, Mitchell and the task force were appointed with fanfare and quietly disappeared within a year or two.
By 1979, shortly after Mayor Marion Barry took office, he was told there would be no single person to contact, at the White House. Barry was told that Carter assistant Jack Watson would be the principal liaison, as he was for other state and local governments.
One of the most effective and praised of White House advisers on District affairs was Egil M. (Bud) Krogh, who held the post during the Nixon administration.
Krogh had other roles. From his basement office he headed the White House "plumbers" unit, which directed President Nixon's political espionage, including the break-in at the offices of a psychiatrist who treated antiwar activist Daniel Ellsberg. Krogh served four months in jail for his role in that break-in.