0

POLITICS: Local leaders lobby in Washington, D.C.

Camie Young

Camie Young

Gwinnett leaders went to Washington last week, making a case with congressmen for transportation, water, immigration and tax reform issues.

The annual D.C. Fly-in sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce included a dinner with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a press release said.

LaHood challenged the local delegation, as well as a member of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, to work with regional leaders to improve transportation issues.

“We can’t do a comprehensive national transit program without Georgia,” LaHood said.

The 30 members of the Gwinnett group stressed the importance of an upcoming referendum on a regional sales tax to fund solutions, according to the release.

“To ensure that Gwinnett and the region are at the table for transportation funding at the federal level, it was important that Georgia come together as a region first,” said Jann Moore, senior director of public policy and education for the Gwinnett Chamber. “The success of the one penny regional sales tax accomplishes this while providing the potential to generate more than $7 billion over 10 years to build much needed road and transit projects in our region if passed in 2012.”

Moore called the meeting with LaHood a success and said a smaller group was invited to return to Washington to talk about road and transit requests at the federal level.

“This showcases that local buy-in was a critical component for the Atlanta region to qualify for additional federal funds,” she said.

U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson attended the dinner, as did Congressmen Rob Woodall and Tom Price.

As part of the trip, leaders had one-on-one meetings with Woodall and Isakson, as well as officials involved in the tri-state water war battle over Lake Lanier, the release said.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.