Cap-to-Cap: Local Lawmakers, Business Leaders Head to Washington to Pitch Projects

WASHINGTON -- In a boardroom of a Washington D.C. hotel, leaders from the Sacramento region huddle together.

Some represent businesses. Others are advocating for local cities, but both share a common goal.

"We've got both big objectives and very, very much on the ground things that we are trying to win or our community," said West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon.

It’s an effort that’s been going on for almost five decades as part of the Metro Chamber’s Capitol-to-Capitol program. Each year, representatives from six counties in the Sacramento region head to Washington to make their pitch to federal lawmakers for projects benefitting the area.

That includes getting the money needed to make it happen.

"We rely a lot on federal investment in our infrastructure, federal policies can determine whether or not we can grow jobs and grow economic prosperity," Cabaldon said.

Mayor Cabaldon means it when he talks about the need for federal dollars for key projects in his city.

Last year, he learned $50 million in federal money would go to the streetcar project -- a four-mile rail line running from West Sacramento to Old Sacramento, downtown and eventually midtown.

“I literally was jumping for joy when I heard this," Cabaldon told FOX40 last year. "Leaping up in the air here in D.C.”

Cabaldon's focus this year is something he's been working on for 10 years.

"I am trying to get the wrapping up of the approval of our flood protection project, a billion dollars. Then the streetcar project, another $50 million for that," he said.

Cabaldon says he hopes for a repeat of last year and maybe, along the way, to show Washington a thing or two about teamwork.

"Maybe you don’t have to be so crazy partisan," he said. "We all work together in a very diverse region."