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On April 11, members of The Network for Young Professionals took the opportunity to engage with key state legislative leaders in Jefferson City during their second-ever lobby day to the state Capitol.
Network members met with multiple members of the southwest Missouri legislative delegation and the state leadership team, in an effort to make their voices heard and advocate for a number of Chamber priority issues. Discussions with lawmakers included workforce development, transportation and infrastructure funding, economic development, the impact of term limits, and tax policy.
The packed schedule included meetings with Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Sen. Jay Wasson, Sen. Bob Dixon, Rep. Crystal Quade, and staff from the Governor’s office and Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr’s office. Additionally, the group had the opportunity to speak with Rob Dixon, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, who gave an overview of the department’s efforts to improve customer service and streamline service to the business community.
Along with discussions on policy and how to move Missouri forward, the group also discussed the importance of legislative engagement and public service. The discussion with Sen. Wasson included reflections on his time in the Senate, which will be ending this year due to term limits. "The only thing you really have up here is your reputation and your word," he told the group. "If you work hard and collaborate with your colleagues, you can get things done."
The day was a reminder of the importance for young professionals to stay involved in public affairs – and how knowing the issues can help shape the future of our state.
"This was an enlightening and powerful way to see firsthand how the voice of young professionals is crucial in helping to drive change on issues facing our community, our region, and our state," said Kristin Carter, who serves as chair of The Network Leadership Council for 2018. "It's evident that our legislators rely on feedback from us as citizens and business leaders to help move the needle on important issues. Advocating for important Chamber legislative priorities such as transportation and infrastructure, funding for K-12 and higher education, and workforce development training programs is one easy way we can make sure our voices our heard!"