Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 31, 2013

Chamber matches up with politics

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A whole variety of political topics are expected to be part of a legislative gathering coming to Pauls Valley later in February.

The legislative committee from the PV Chamber of Commerce will lead the way with a special breakfast that gives the public a chance to learn more about the issues concerning them the most.

One member of the committee, Allie Burgin, said the event is a great chance for people to get caught up on the activities at the state Capitol and maybe even in Washington, D.C. as elected officials are invited to speak.

“It’s a big deal,” Burgin said.

“They present what they feel came from the last session and what they expect for the next one,” he said. “They get the opportunity to tell us what they’re going to do. Then we throw it open to questions in the end.

“It brings us up to date with what they’ve been doing.”

The local chamber event is scheduled for an early start, 6:45 a.m., on Feb. 22 at the Reynolds Recreation Center in PV.

State lawmakers who could speak at the breakfast include state senators Susan Paddack and Corey Brooks and state representatives Lisa Billy, Patrick Ownbey, Bobby Cleveland and Charles A. McCall.

Aides for Oklahoma officials in the U.S. House and Senate, such as Rep. Tom Cole, have also been invited to speak.

Events like this one can draw a crowd as Burgin believes more and more people these days are showing an interest or even getting involved in the world of politics.

“I’m surprised how many people are getting involved in politics,” he said.

The breakfast also allows the public, including members of the chamber’s legislative committee, an opportunity to ask questions about a variety of issues.

“Water is one of them. One of those very important issues is water,” Burgin said.

“We’ll be asking about gun control and whether they should arm teachers.”

Another issue on the committee’s radar is Oklahoma’s state income tax.

Along with the late February breakfast, the chamber also typically holds a legislative dinner in the fall, Burgin added.