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Salinas City Council member returns from trip to D.C.

By Ricardo Navarro, Reporter, Ricardonavarro@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Mar 13 2014 08:36:22 PM CDT
Craig with Sam Farr

Council member Craig with Congressman Sam Farr

After taking a look at Salinas Council member Kimbley Craig's itinerary for her trip to Washington D.C., it's clear she's been in and out of meetings all week.

Craig was there to represent the City of Salinas and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.

"If we are out in front of them, it gives us some preferential level in the application," said Craig.

Central Coast News caught up with Craig by phone Thursday. She said her meeting with the U.S. Soccer Foundation covered continued grant funding for soccer fields in Salinas.

"They are taking a look at improving our soccer fields to help kids in the community," said Craig.

Then at the office of the Economic Development Administration, she said she went after a $250,000 grant for continued support for the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster.

She also met with Housing and Urban Development to see how Salinas can qualify for a promise zone designation.

"When you talk about those promise zones, cities get preferential treatment for federal funding," said Craig.

At the Department of Justice, Craig said she sought waivers that would help Salinas pay for more officers on the street, a federal grant the city received in the past.

Craig also represented the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) at the Federal Transit Administration. That meeting was about a long-planned rail extension project to connect Salinas to the Capitol Corridor, a project that's 50 percent funded.

"When you are talking about agricultural technology and job creation, it's important to have mass transit between the Silicon Valley and Salinas," she said.

Craig said that she had meetings with Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Diane Feinstein, as well as Congressmen Sam Farr, who agreed to write letters of support for these grants. Craig said half her trip was paid for by the city, the rest by TAMC.

Craig said the trip was productive, saying, "They know the city of Salinas has traveled across the country and is serious about its needs and are active together."