Sacramento's Cap-to-Cap Kicks Off With Congressman Ami Bera
FOX 40: This week local leaders are gathering in the nation’s capital to tackle a whole number of issues. And we sent our very own Paul Robins to Washington DC for the 48th Annual Capitol to Capitol. He is live at the leadership breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Good morning, Paul, leave it to you to find breakfast first thing.
Robins: Good morning ladies, this is a fantastic historic place we’re in. This was the site of the presidential inaugural balls for Coolidge and Eisenhower and JFK and Nixon and Jimmy Carter and all the way up through Ronald Reagan. So a lot has happened here and a lot is happening here this morning. The kickoff of Cap-to-Cap, 360 plus people from the greater Sacramento region here and these are civic leaders, elected leaders dealing with Washington DC and finding ways to get money and help send it our way for all the things we are trying to accomplish and one of the people we are certainly meeting with over this week is Congressman Ami Bera. Congressman, how are you?
Congressman Bera: I'm doing great.
Robins: Nice to see you, I have to read a quote with you from the cap to cap daily update. It said, and I need you to back me up on this, it said “there is increasing bipartisanship when our congressional representatives choose to get something done.” They're saying that there is a better spirit this year than last year. Bipartisanship-wise, and you're part of the No Labels group are you finding that to be true?
Congressman Bera: Yeah we are, and folks that are watching the 24 hour news cycle might think it’s constant fighting, but out of that, folks realize we've got to start healing this country, we've got to start coming together as Democrats and Republicans and addressing the issues and it’s great to have Sacramento in the house here and for Sacramento to show the way.
Robins: You welcomed the team last year, most importantly for you about this trip what is getting accomplished?
Congressman Bera: It's a great chance for the leaders in Sacramento County and the broader region to come out and talk about what we need business-wise, infrastructure, workforce development the priorities for our region. And again, I think our region is incredibly poised, they get a chance to meet with administration officials, the congressional leadership, other agencies and this is about getting the resources we need back to Sacramento.
Robins: Let’s talk about something that really appears to be quite bipartisan and very encouraging – and we’re going to go in and take a look at the speaker right now – Steve Glickman was a former White House Chief Economic Advisor. In the budget bill that was passed, a part was put in by Republicans, go figure, for opportunity zones and that's something that can really have an impact, but I think a lot of folks have no idea what that means, what that's about?
Congressman Bera: This is about getting investment income into lower income census tracts. It’s a bill that we put together in a bipartisan way in the last Congress and we were able to tack into the tax bill. So it is a way to delay your capital gains take those capital gains investment – and there's about 2.3 trillion dollars in America that are just sitting on the sidelines – and get those into long-term investments in low income communities and we've got a lot of these opportunity zones in the Sacramento region.
Robins: I think a thing that is especially significant about that is these are not federal dollars these are not government dollars this is finding a way to have business still make a buck, but get in and make an improvement in local communities that really need the help.
Congressman Bera: It's not taxpayer dollars, it’s investment income that's out there in the private sector and bringing those into lower income communities and folks can still get a good return on those investments.
Robins: You've got meetings in your office all day long from the transportation committee and people from the housing committee and people from the health committee – treat these people well, I know that you will – any conversations in particular that you are looking forward to, areas where you think we can really make some changes?
Congressman Bera: Really the workforce development. At the end of the day, it still about giving people that dignity of work and that job and we know technology and artificial intelligence a lot of changes are coming down the pike, so how do we work with our universities, UC Davis, Sac State, Los Rios Community College District, to make sure we’re giving our kids that skill set to survive in the 21st century and to thrive in the 21st century.
Robins: A lot of opportunities coming our way. Well you and I can sneak back in, our viewers have been watching Steve Glickman, but they have been listening to you and I. We’ll have more opportunity as we find out more about these opportunity zones and we’ll have more throughout the morning and throughout the week as we broadcast live from Washington DC, the cap-to-cap conference continues this morning.