Monday, September 17, 2007

Your Chance To Help Reform Government

Your Chance To Help Reform Government

This week Logan County residents will have a chance to participate in an exciting centennial event. They also may be able to help shape the way Oklahoma state government operates for the next 100 years.

This Thursday night, September 20, at 7:00 pm, a forum will be held at Guthrie city hall in the city council chambers. Known as the "100 Ideas Program," the forum will be constituted to raise ideas and suggestions from attendees for changes to Oklahoma government.

The program is the idea of Speaker of the House Lance Cargill, from Harrah. Cargill has appointed former State Representative Thad Balkman to head the program and hold meetings all across Oklahoma in order to generate as many ideas for change as possible. Following these meetings a book will be published containing some of the ideas. The publication can then be used by the legislature for possible legislative action in the future.

Earlier this year, Speaker Cargill used the occasion of his opening address to the House of Representatives to announce the 100 Ideas Program and encouraged legislators to support and contribute to the program. The Speaker expressed his desire to ensure that all Oklahomans have an opportunity to provide their input on how they would like to see business conducted in Oklahoma during the next 100 years.

At the close of this year's legislative session, Representative Balkman asked State Representatives to facilitate a forum in their home districts. Speaker Cargill expressed his belief that there could not be a more appropriate place to have this centennial year event than in the county that hosted Oklahoma's first capitol.

The leadership of the Guthrie Lions' Club graciously agreed to host the event in conjunction with the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce. On behalf of the Lions' Club, Former State Representative Frank Davis and Wayne Elder have filled the important role of ensuring that the proper local support is provided to the 100 Ideas Organization.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the program is that a live telecast will be provided of the event on the City of Guthrie government channel (Channel 20 on Cox).

Representative Balkman has indicated that of all of the similar forums held across Oklahoma, this will be the first 100 Ideas Forum that will be televised in this manner.

I believe one of most important changes that can be applied to state government is opening up government proceedings to the people through C-SPAN for state government. In advocating for the creation of the state government telecast, I have pointed to the success of the local Guthrie government television channel. Having the 100 Ideas Program on local television is a demonstration of this success.

I encourage everyone to attend the 100 Ideas Program and to offer plenty of ideas for the reform of Oklahoma government.

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