Tulsa’s Young Professionals members lobby, learn at State Capitol event2.28.2013
A group of Tulsa’s Young Professionals spent the day in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Feb. 27 hearing from Gov. Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and numerous legislators. The annual event allows TYPros’ members to spend quality time with their senators and representatives learning about government processes, current legislation and also advocating for or against particular issues.
The morning began with an address from Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon who emphasized the importance of young people making themselves aware of the legislative decisions and impacting legislative decisions. Many other legislators echoed the importance of contacting them to ensure that they have the information necessary to make the right decisions for their constituents from all age groups.
“If you look back at history, whether it was a political movement or a social movement, young people are at the forefront,” said Shannon.
Sen. Brian Crain addressed the topic of education, Sen. Sean Burrage and Rep. Doug Cox addressed the topic of health care, and Sen. Gary Stanislawski addressed transportation. Rep. Glen Mulready, who introduced HB 1341, the ‘sampling bill,’ which allows licensed breweries to offer free samples up to 12 fluid ounces, spoke to TYPros’ members about modernizing Oklahoma’s beer and wine laws.
Gov. Fallin and Lt. Gov. Lamb both spoke of their strong support for Tulsa’s Young Professionals and other young professional-organizations. Both addressed the positive impact young professionals could make on Oklahoma and Lamb insisted that young professionals stay in-state.
“If you hear nothing else I say today, hear this: do not leave Oklahoma,” said Lamb, “No other state has our history, our heritage.”
After a 45-minute lunch listening to additional comments from legislators, TYPros’ members were taught basics of lobbying and let free to lobby their representatives for issues concerning young professionals. Attendees were armed with the TYPros Legislative Agenda, an outline of areas that TYPros’ Government Relations Crew strategically chose to support or oppose, based on the mission of TYPros: to attract and retain young professionals to Tulsa.
Items included on the agenda are increasing funding for education, modifying the Oklahoma quality events incentive act, increasing alternative transportation opportunities, improving access to health care, modernizing alcohol laws, and funding the OKPOP museum. TYPros opposes efforts to eliminate arts and culture funding.
“This is by far the best TYPros Day at the Capitol that I’ve attended,” said TYPros Executive Director Brian Paschal. “I am so grateful that legislators took time out of their hectic schedules to share insight with our members. Experiences like these are invaluable to young professionals, and ultimately to our state.”
TYPros Day at the Capitol is a free event hosted annually; TYPros hosts more than 80 events each year, many events are free to attend. For more information about Tulsa’s Young Professionals and its events, visit www.TYPros.org.
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