Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amarillo goes to Austin

Today is the annual Panhandle Days in Austin where local leaders visit the state capitol to try to lobby lawmakers on issues of importance to our area.

Lobbying lawmakers is a lot like herding cats .... no it's much harder than herding cats. But it's something that needs to be done nonetheless.

The trip is organized by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce and has a great group participating this year.

Not only do participants get to lobby, but the event is a pretty good networking event.

Attending this year are Mayor Debra McCartt and commissioners Ron Boyd, Brian Eades and Madison Scott (Jim Simms had a last minute conflict and could not attend.) Gene Parker (Randall County Commissioner), Roger Williams (Bell Helicopter), Buzz David (Amarillo EDC), Anette Carlisle (AISD School Board), Rod Schroder (AISD Superintendent), John Bass (Region 16) and many other community leaders are also here (too many to list here).

It's an impressive showing of support for Amarillo and the Panhandle.

A reception was held last night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. All of the local legislative delegation (Kel Seliger, Warren Chisum, John Smithee and David Swinford) were in attendance.

Also present were some former Amarilloans, including Emily Klein (formerly of Leadership Amarillo/Canyon) and Reyne Telles (former of Cal Farley's), who is now Media Relations Manager with the City of Austin.

Some of the big issues for the Panhandle include funding for higher education at WTAMU and Amarillo College, a new clinical simulation center and the Texas A&M System Extension Service.

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