Council members return from D.C., discuss city general plan Thursday

Local officials are currently in the nation’s capital to lobby for federal support – and funding – for regional projects, pushing the City Council meeting to Thursday. “For me, it’s all about our levees,” City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said. “I’m doing all I can to keep the conversation going (about funding) here in Washington.” Ashby represents an area of the city where levee work is needed to improve flood control, but projects have stalled due to lack of federal funding. City Council members Jay Schenirer, Steve Cohn, Bonnie Pannell and Ashby and City Manager John Shirey left Sacramento Friday with the Cap-to-Cap program, organized by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. While in D.C., the group will work alongside a contingent of nearly 300 California elected officials and business representatives to reach out to lawmakers in the nation’s capital to bring attention to regional issues – and encourage federal support. Schenirer, Cohn, Pannell and Shirey will return in time for Thursday’s council meeting, but Ashby said she will remain in Washington for another day of meetings and lectures. “I guess I’m batting cleanup,” Ashby said in a text Wednesday. When the rest of the council members convene Thursday, they are expected to discuss the 2030 general plan– including the new green development code, updates to the city parking plan and a new climate action plan. […]

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U.S. Health Secty Sebelius: Reducing hospital-acquired infections, re-admissions will save lives, money

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told 265 delegates of the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Cap-to-Cap program that Medicare and Medicaid will evolve into a "value purchaser" to protect federal dollars by lowering costs and improving outcomes by reducing hospital injuries and readmissions. Sebelius addressed the delegation at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., Monday, May 9, as the group began three days of extensive promotion of the region, with 244 appointments set up with Congress, the Senate, the Administration and other federal officials and agencies. The Secretary was introduced by Congresswoman Doris Matsui of Sacramento, who Sebelius credited with taking a leading role in improving health care in America. Both Sebelius and Matsui took notice of the effort being made by Cap-to-Cap delegates during the five-day event, saying that the dialogue created by the delegates is a "critical part of democracy." "I can’t tell you how important it is to have folks on the ground who run a business, schools, cities and nonprofits to come to the capital and inform those lawmakers on how the (policy) discussions impact the real world," Sebelius said. Spending most of her time talking about reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, Sebelius said there was "no question," of the need to look at the rising costs of the two federal health care programs whose costs are rising at a faster rate […]

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Cap-to-Cap delegates arrive in D.C.: U.S. Health Secretary to speak to chamber group

Nearly 270 Cap-to-Cap delegates arrived in Washington, D.C. this weekend for the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s 41st annual advocacy program, May 7-11. Kicking off the program on Monday will be keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Human and Health Services Kathleen Sebelius. Health care reform and the Sacramento region’s groundbreaking community development issues are topics on the agenda. Secretary Sebelius will speak for about 15 minutes and then do a hefty 15 minutes of direct questions from the chamber’s delegation. Considering the immense role that health care plays in our region’s economy, Sebelius’ appearance is a rare opportunity for the region’s business and civic leaders to hear directly from one of the national leaders on a topic that is consuming so much attention. On Tuesday, the delegation will hear from former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who will speak during the Cap-to-Cap program’s Leadership Luncheon on the Hill. As chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for President George H. Bush, Holtz-Eakin is an expert on federal budget issues. More than 240 appointments have been set with elected and administrative officials to promote the region’s pressing need for more jobs and infrastructure improvement. "Our priority again is jobs," said Matthew Mahood, president & CEO. "That’s framed out in our hundreds of appointments where we’ll lobby for how the federal government can accelerate the rate of innovation and technology […]

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

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 […]

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Local transportation projects winning fed grants are Cap-to-Cap priorities

Two local transportation projects that were part of the Sacramento Metro Chamber 2010 Capitol-to-Capitol advocacy program have received Congressional funding. The city of Sacramento will receive $500,000 for improvements to the Sacramento Valley Station. The funds will help construct access for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists for the Amtrak, Capitol Corridor, light rail and bus station. The county of Sacramento will receive $400,000 to upgrade the Highway 50 interchange at Watt Avenue, where the initial segment of a bus rapid transit system will be installed, linking it with light rail and making the congested area safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. The announcements were made by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento. “Beyond the jobs the actual construction projects create, these improvements will increase mobility by connecting many different transportation modes and, in the long run, help to improve the quality of life in our region,” said Michael Faust, Metro Chamber senior vice president for public policy and economic development. “These two projects have been part of the Metro Chamber’s ongoing Capitol-to-Capitol advocacy efforts. The federal grant process is increasingly competitive, and our region’s success is due to efforts of project specialists and the efforts of more than 300 business and government leaders each year who participate in the Cap-to-Cap program.” The Sacramento Valley Station and the Highway 50/Watt Avenue interchange projects were identified by the Cap-to-Cap transportation team delegation […]

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Energy Secty tells Cap-to-Cappers: Region’s unity brings home stimulus funds

WASHINGTON D.C.—U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu told Sacramento Metro Chamber Cap-to-Cap delegation that the region’s collaborative efforts have been “instrumental” to the success of leveraging $200 million in stimulus funds for clean energy projects and $127 million for the Sacramento smart grid project—“one of the largest awards of its kind in the country.” Speaking in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Chu addressed the delegation of 300 from the Sacramento region, currently here in the nation’s capital on the annual advocacy program, working together to lobby for the six-county region’s top priorities. Introducing his remarks, Chu said the Obama administration is currently creating policy to provide the nation with energy security and taking steps to turn the country into a clean energy leader—to position it ahead of countries like China that are now scrambling to do the same. Quoting President Obama, Chu said “the future of our economy and nation’s security are inextricably linked to one challenge—energy.” Calling clean technology and green energy the “next industrial revolution,” Chu said, “We will not give up leadership. We will be exporting these technologies and not importing them.” “Ultimately, wind and solar will be powering our country by the next century,” he said, with power both stored locally in new batteries and also dispatched over long distances. Needed, however, are development of new liquid metal […]

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CIA Director tells Cap-to-Cap delegates: Cyber attack could be next “Pearl Harbor”

WASHINGTON D.C.—Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta told 300 Sacramento Metro Chamber Cap-to-Cap delegates that the next “Pearl Harbor” is likely to be an attack on the United States’ power, financial, military and other Internet systems. Panetta addressed the Sacramento delegation that includes 43 elected officials and hundreds of business and civic leaders who are in Washington D.C. for the annual program that advocates for the region’s most pressing policy issues. He spoke on Monday, April 19, during the Cap-to-Cap opening breakfast. “Cyber terrorism” is a new area of concern for the CIA, Panetta said. The United States faces thousands of cyber attacks daily on its Internet networks. The attacks are originating in Russia, China, Iran and from even hackers. “The next Pearl Harbor is likely to be a cyber attacking going after our grid…and that can literally cripple this country,” Panetta said. “This is a whole new area of threat.” But cyber terrorism is just one of four primary missions for Panetta, who took over directing the CIA last year after appointment by President Obama. The CIA is also focusing on counter-terrorism, reducing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and fighting narcotics trafficking. Al Qaeda is becoming a viscous target, and as CIA and military operations tamp it down in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, the terrorist elements are moving to places like Somalia, […]

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Cap-to-Cap to celebrate Earth Day with carbon offsets

With Earth Day’s 40th celebration just days away, the Sacramento Metro Chamber proudly announces that 300 delegates travel for the Capitol-to-Capitol advocacy program is “green.” Metro Chamber member Sacramento Municipal Utility District has once again provided carbon offsets for the official travel portion of each Cap-to-Cap delegate. This is the third year in a row that SMUD has sponsored reduction of the delegation’s carbon footprint. “SMUD’s carbon offset program is retiring 295 tonnes of greenhouse gas offsets on behalf of our delegation,” said Metro Chamber President & CEO Matt Mahood. “For each delegate, that would be .93 tons of CO2 for a roundtrip flight Sacramento to Washington D.C. The Metro Chamber appreciates this gesture by SMUD.” The carbon offsets are third-party verified and registered with the Climate Action Reserve. “Our delegation is here in the nation’s capital working on priorities to reasonably address global warming issues,” Mahood said. “From a typical chamber’s perspective, we have taken a progressive policy position on climate change. Additionally, we have made adoption of clean technology and energy efficiency policies as an opportunity to create jobs and business growth in our region. Sacramento is uniquely positioned to lead the state in this new and emerging industry sector.” Interestingly, both the Metro Chamber’s Cap-to-Cap and Earth Day were both founded in 1970, Mahood noted, but the chamber has a long history […]

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Metro Chamber Organizes Lobbying Trip to Washington, D.C.

 Mayor Kevin Johnson and regional leaders held a press conference at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to discuss a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., to request more federal funding for Sacramento. The trip is scheduled April 17-21 and is part of an annual event sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Metro Chamber). It brings the regional priorities of California’s capital to the attention of the nation’s capital, called "Cap-to-Cap." Johnson was joined at the conference by West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Metro Chamber CEO Matt Mahood and Mike McKeever, executive director of Sacramento Area Council of Governments. "Cap-to-Cap is one time you can lobby people in Washington, D.C., but the lobbying has to continue," Johnson said. He said his administration received $200 million last year in stimulus funding for Sacramento. "We saved and created 95,000 jobs in our region last year," he said. "Cap-to-Cap is a start, but we have to be cultivating relationships year-round." This year’s top priorities are jobs, business growth, flood protection, water resources, transportation and energy-efficient building systems. They will be presented to the elected leaders, the Obama administration and other agency officials. "This is the 40th Cap-to-Cap trip, but it could be the most important one," Cabaldon said. Mahood agreed, adding that the trip "is one of our region’s competitive advantages." The release stated that delegates will hear from […]

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