Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Open Door Policy - Oct. 6, 2008

It was a very informative two weeks for me as I participated in a program called the New Generation Seminar. This was conducted through a Congressional grant by a program established 18 years ago with the University of Hawai'i and their East-West Center. I had the opportunity to visit with politicians and journalists from Asian countries, along with three other politicians from the United States. It truly was a small world as one of the American politicians, Rep. Tim Moore, R - North Carolina, was a friend of mine during my college days. Tim attended Oklahoma City University for law school and we were both active in the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature during the same period of time.
The conference was established to build better relations between the United States and these various countries that participate. The delegates had the opportunity to learn from each other's cultures and also spend time on a predetermined topic. This topic was globalization, which primarily focused on the job sectors in America that have been affected through companies moving large segments of their industry overseas. Each delegate was responsible for a discussion on an area of their home and I chose Agritourism. For more on this topic, check out http://www.oklahomaagritourism.com/ for a great breakdown of this new industry in our state that is assisting rural farmers, ranchers and landowners establish tourism.
The week was spent in three different locations around the United States looking at how globalization has affected our industry. The meetings concluded in Washington, D.C. as we had the chance to visit with Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska and one of my favorite elected officials. We also had the chance to visit with staff members from Congress and various non-governmental organizations (NGO's) that deal with trade and industry. This conference truly changed my views on trade and helped me realize that many areas of Oklahoma are affected by this trade and we must work to develop fairer standards to better support our local businesses and even the trade imbalance that often occurs. I hope I will be able to assist with this at our State Capitol with the knowledge I know possess on this subject.
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.

Cutline: Senator Chuck Hagel, R - Nebraska (center) poses with delegates from the 18th New Generation Seminar, including Rep. Joe Dorman (far right)

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