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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Charlotte city council members are about to become lobbyists - advocating for Charlotte to the state's Congressional delegation, and also the Obama Administration.
"I think the mission clearly of D-C is we're going to represent the citizens of Charlotte to say these are projects that are very important to us" says council member James Mitchell.
Eleven of the council's 12 members are making the trip March 9-13th for the NLC Congressional City Conference.
Council members say one of the issues they plan to discuss is sequestration.
When Congress and President Obama couldn't agree on a budget, automatic spending cuts took effect.
"From a regional standpoint, we have local air traffic controllers that will be laid off" says Mitchell. "Potential small business loans will not be made so then from an economic standpoint, people cannot have jobs."
Council members say they're also worried about long range funding for the blue line extension, street car, an air traffic control tower for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, community grants for neighborhoods, and loans for small businesses.
"So when you talk about all things being local" says Mayor Pro Temp Patrick Cannon, "indeed we're going to be finding a lot of things to be falling on us locally that potentially we're going to have to fund."
But can local leaders affect talks in Washington?
Mitchell says 'we want to have a serious dialogue that the decisions you make up here are starting to impact us locally and what can we do to help to make sure Charlotte continues to grow."
Mitchell says he and another council member plan to attend to a street car summit while in D-C.
"We hope to bring some new ideas back that we hope can get that project approved" says Mitchell. " We're not using as much property tax that has caused some angst to some council members."