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Cap-to-Cap Delegates message to D.C.: Accelerate innovation, create jobs

Congressional Rep. Doris Matsui meets with Cap-to-Cap delegates in her office.

With Sacramento region’s jobless rate above 12 percent, delegates for the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s annual four-day Capitol-to-Capitol to Washington, D.C., will advocate for specific ways how the federal government can accelerate the rate of innovation and technology development, provide the private sector with regulatory relief and create much-needed jobs.

“Innovation is critical to the health and well-being of this country and it’s the cornerstone to our region’s economy,” said 2011 Cap-to-Cap Chair Tim Murphy 2011 of GenCorp. “Innovation drives ideas and business opportunities that attract investment and create jobs. These new jobs, in turn, generate tax revenue and grow the economy.”

Nearly three hundred delegates—including the region’s elected officials—will visit the nation’s capital on May 7-11 during the Metro Chamber’s 41st Cap-to-Cap program.

“The Metro Chamber believes that solving the federal budget crisis will take shared responsibility among the public and private sector,” Murphy add. “It is incumbent on the federal government to jump start the innovation economy by providing real regulatory relief and implementing real federal government reforms.”

Over the course of four days, Metro Chamber delegates will present dozens of policy papers from 14 teams to members of Congress, the Obama Administration and other federal officials. Other top regional priorities are securing immediate funding to provide flood protection, highway and transit projects in the six-county region.”

In addition, delegates will discuss policy issues with two dozen think tanks such as the Alliance for Excellent Education, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Metro Chamber President & CEO Matthew Mahood, in fact, will be a panelist during a Brookings Institute presentation on sustainable communities strategies. The meetings with the think tanks and other groups represent a new strategy in advocacy that the Cap-to-Cap program is using to promote the region’s needs.

“Because we have nearly 300 participating delegates from across the region—in both the private and public sector—we have an amazing degree of unity to get our region’s economy moving faster. Our ability to collaborate for action at the local level like the recent outpouring of support for the Sacramento Kings is reflected as well at the national level in our Cap-to-Cap work,” Mahood said. “Our 14 teams will promote an amazing array of projects that will benefit this region and create more jobs.” Here’s a sampling of those projects:

• $30 million for the development of the Sacramento campus of the Public Safety Command Training Centers.

• $11 million to repair levees protecting Knights Landing, Verona, Nicolas and 93,000 acres of high-value farmland.

• $7 million in additional funds to modify the Folsom Dam.

• $1 million to evaluate levees protecting West Sacramento.

• $5 million on second phase repairs of the Marysville Ring Levee protecting 12,700 residents.

• Additional federal help for fixing Natomas levees that protect 80,000 people, $8 billion in property, the Sacramento International Airport, Union Pacific Railroad and Interstates 5 and 80 and other highways.

• Full funding for the Emergency Food & Shelter Program, which in 2010 served 197,000 meals and provided shelter, hotel vouchers, utility assistance and rent/mortgage assistance.

• $4 million for adding two lanes to the Lincoln Bypass in Placer County.

• $25 million for the 15-mile-long Placer Parkway in Placer County to connect State Route 65 to State Routes 70 and 99.

• $10 million to widen Douglas Road and White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova.

• $3 million to add an extra lane east and westbound on Highway 50 between Bradshaw Boulevard and Mather Field Road.

• $5 million to widen Hazel Avenue in Sacramento County.

• $5 million for improving congested interchanges near Placerville.

• $13.3 million for the Silva Valley Interchange in El Dorado County.

• $20 million for phase two of the Sacramento Valley Station improvements, including renovation of the historic Union Pacific depot.

• $45 million for expansion of the Light Rail South Line 4.2 miles to Cosumnes River College.

• $32 million to improve safety and increase speeds on the Capitol Corridor train to the Bay Area.

• Streamline permitting by federal agencies for alternative energy projects—wind, solar, biomass—in California.

• Congressional support for creating a joint green energy project between the Defense Department’s Renewable Energy Testing Center in Sacramento and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians Cabazon Resource Recovery Project that contains a biomass electric plan, a tire recycling plant, a soil recycling plant and a biomass gasification plant. Research completed at the RETC in Sacramento would be put into operation at a commercial scale for demonstration at the Cabazon facility.

• Preservation of 2012 Farm Bill resources for food safety, organic food access, and research to scale-up organic food farming methods.

• Funding for Los Rios Colleges to train an additional 75 individuals to be certified home energy auditors.

“We are still registering delegates for Cap-to-Cap,” Mahood said. “We invite the business community and civic leaders to join us and help us bring back our fair share of federal tax dollars for the Sacramento region.”

For more information and to view the entire policy agenda and issue papers, visit metrochamber.org/captocap.

 

Hal Silliman is communications director for the Sacramento Metro Chamber.
 

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