Local leaders touched down back in the Brazos Valley Thursday evening after four days in Washington discussing the issues that matter most to the area.
It's the third time Manuel Gonzalez has been a part of the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce delegation to DC, but his first as chairman of the board.
"Until I came here for the first time three years ago, I didn't realize how much happens in these halls," Gonzalez, who's with Sterling Auto Group, said. "We benefit from the final product, but the process requires input from many people."
With 32 Texas voices in the House and a pair in the Senate, delegates say it's more than necessary to take two days and let them know what's happening in the Brazos Valley.
"They have the same federal needs as we do, and thankfully, they'll be fighting for the same stuff that we want," said Hayley Scotti with the Suites of Galleria Village.
"Each one of them has said it makes a difference when your people here are representing your constituents back home," added College Station Mayor Ben White. "It makes a difference. They're listening. They're taking notes, and they're doing what they can to be supportive."
It's also the largest group to ever represent the region's needs. With residents surveyed, cities and the county consulted, and businesses questioned, who delivers the message may be as important as the message itself. It's not just government reps who went.
"We have people representing health care, people representing industry, so I think that level of experience is terrific," Gonzalez said.
This is the eighth year local leaders are paying out of their own pockets to make this trip to Washington, and as the senators told them on Tuesday, if the leaders of B/CS aren't in Washington, then somebody else's leaders are getting their message out. The B/CS delegation hopes their message is resonating in the halls of Congress again.