Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Open Door Policy - July 28, 2008

I have finally concluded my trip to Central America with the American Council of Young Political Leaders. It was an amazing experience, but I am certainly glad to be back in our great state!
As distressing as the conditions were in Nicaragua, I felt much better about the accomplishments of El Salvador. The first meeting we had was with a group designed to help local businesses prosper. The meetings throughout the week dealt with governmental programs to assist business and the citizens, visits with elected officials and candidates, opportunities to tour areas of the nation and two debates held at universities. The goal was to teach the citizens of El Salvador about US policies and also for us to learn from them about their culture.
While the nation is still quite poor, El Salvador does rise above the rest of Latin America with their opportunities. Programs similar to agritourism and enhanced food processing to add value to crops were very much in line with what we see here in Oklahoma. I also had the chance to visit with several elected officials and candidates about tax increment financing districts which could develop much of the areas considered blighted. I hope to apply some of the ideas to legislation to benefit Oklahoma this next session.
The connections I established on this trip will hopefully benefit the United States on improved relations. The knowledge I acquired certainly makes me appreciate our system, even with all the flaws that we occasionally see. The ties and friendships I made will last a lifetime and I hope to use them to benefit the state of Oklahoma through improved trade relations, issue exchanges and possible development of tourism incentives for agriculture much like what I experienced through their development.
The critical point I saw was the need to maintain a stable government. I have now seen what can happen when radicals take too much power from the citizens. I hope each of you voted in our primaries on Tuesday and will continue to pay attention to which candidates are the best for Oklahoma and the United States.
It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is joedorman@okhouse.gov at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is http://www.joedorman.com/ on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.

No comments: