(KTXL) — On the other side of the country, hundreds of Sacramento-area business and political leaders are in our nation’s capital for the 51st annual Capitol-to-Capitol advocacy program.
On the third day of the conference, attendees met with members of Congress and other high-profile government officials to address key issues Californians know all too well.
Among the leaders’ meetings with attendees was Sacramento Congressman Ami Bera.
“We’ve got to re-imagine what the 21st century looks like,” Bera said.
Speaking with FOX40 News, Bera said that includes investments in green energy, something he notes goes together with several of the 12 primary issues attendees here are focused on, including transportation, economic development, and air quality.
“I grew up in Southern California, and I used to be able to see the air I was breathing,” Bera said. “…We’ve got a way to go. Some of that is looking at electric vehicles, some of it is looking at public transportation, making sure people can live in their own communities, that really is how I envision the future.”
As this is a bipartisan conference, delegates also held meetings with GOP lawmakers, including the office of Congressman Tom McClintock, who says the environmental issue he cares about the most is forest management.
“Catastrophic overgrowth of the forest…If we don’t carry it out, nature will burn it out,” McClintock said.
Another major issue at Capitol-to-Capitol is public safety, with Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester and several of her colleagues holding meetings with the Department of Justice ahead of conversations with other parts of the federal government.
“Obviously we advocate for police officers, but we certainly advocate for professional staff, programming, for grants to support youth, to support schools…so it’s not strictly asking for more cops. We’re talking about public safety and the wellness of our community as a whole,” Lester said.
Lisa Bates, the CEO of Sacramento Steps Forward, is also in attendance and seeks to get lawmakers to take action on the growing unhoused population in the state.
“This is something that has to be addressed at all levels of government,” Bates said. “Increased resources for housing because what is key to helping somebody becoming no longer homeless is housing with the appropriate services and level of services.”
On Tuesday, economic development will be front and center at Capitol-to-Capitol, when attendees will hear directly from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.