With 2018 Cap-to-Cap in the Books, Have Elk Grove's Lobbying Efforts Ever Brought Home Any Bacon?

April 20, 2018 |  

For those who follow such matters, about this time every year, taxes are due, the baseball season starts, the Kings season concludes after missing the playoffs, again, and a delegation from the City of Elk Grove's participates in the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual Cap-to-Cap lobbying trip to Washington D.C.

The event has been a mainstay of the lobbying efforts of the city council members and executive staff for about as long as Elk Grove has been a charter city. This year's trip is the 48th such journey organized by the chamber to D.C. in search of money for various regional projects.

While it is hard to argue that face-to-face communication with members of Congress and the various federal agencies is preferable to a phone call, has it been beneficial to the region? Given that the trip has longevity, it is not unreasonable to assume it has secured some funding for various projects in the region.

But what about Elk Grove? Have there been tangible, quantifiable federal funds secured from our participation in the lobbying efforts that have benefited resident?

Next Wednesday night the Elk Grove City Council will hold its first meeting following the conclusion of the trip. Undoubtedly city council members will gloss over the trip noting the teams they were assigned and the meetings held with various officials.

Undoubtedly there will be mention of the city's efforts to get funding for the Capital Southeast Connector and Kammerer Road extension. There could also have been talks about financing for the multi-modal station or other mass transit projects being pursued. 

Understanding that the results of these trips often take years to generate tangible results, it would be good to hear the results of the meetings and encounters from years ago. That is not to say there haven't been some significant success - perhaps there has - but what major projects in the city can be attributed to federal funds directly related to these trips?

Perhaps Council Member Pat  Hume, who is the dean of the city council, or Steve Detrick who has almost 10 years on the council and has acted as a mentor to the other council members, can trace the efforts from years ago to direct federal funding the city has received as a result of the contacts made on these trip.    

The two most senior council members can quickly consult with city staff to generate the information and present a summation of successes over the years during their reports during next Wednesday's meeting. It would be beneficial to hear that taxpayers money is spent on something more than a golfing trip with a Laotian diplomat or listening to a speech from the News Hour's Judy Woodruff.

Mr. Hume, Mr. Detrick - are you up to the challenge?  

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