Local leaders to lobby for area at Capitol Day

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2005

NATCHEZ &8212; A group of community leaders are going to the State Capitol to lobby for project funding and bring the state&8217;s attention to southwest Mississippi.

And in the process, they want to show state legislators Natchez-Adams County can and will work together.

They&8217;re attending the Mississippi Economic Council&8217;s Capitol Day, an annual event that includes special issue briefings and a reception with state leaders.

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The locals&8217; trip to Capitol Day &8212; set for Thursday, soon after the legislative session&8217;s start &8212; is being sponsored by the Community Alliance, a Chamber of Commerce committee now working to get its own nonprofit status.

When lobbying for specific projects or just getting Natchez&8217;s name out, alliance President Matilda Stephens said, &8220;it&8217;s important for Natchez to present a united front.&8221;

In all, 14 business people and other local leaders have signed up to go on the trip to represent Natchez, with the Isle of Capri sponsoring the cost and providing transportation, alliance member Ralph Tedder said.

&8220;We have people from the (Economic Development Authority), the school system, business people, city (government) people going,&8221; Stephens said. &8220;We&8217;re trying to get a big cross-section.&8221;

In addition to bringing attention to the area in general, the group will lobby for additional funding for proposed walking trails that would run through downtown and along the bluff.