Northwest Missouri’s legislators are back to work in Jefferson City and community advocates throughout the area are ready to share their priorities this year at Great Northwest Day at the Capitol, Feb. 6-7.
Northwest Missouri’s legislators are back to work in Jefferson City and community advocates throughout the area are ready to share their priorities this year at Great Northwest Day at the Capitol, Feb. 6-7. This event, focused on raising awareness of Northwest Missouri to state legislators and departments, features an introduction on the House and Senate floors, a regional luncheon, informative roundtables and an educational breakfast. The Mardi Gras themed main event on Tuesday night provides an opportunity for community representatives to promote their communities to legislators and others who are invited to attend. One of the many strengths of Great Northwest Day at the Capitol is how the steering committee collects and prioritizes issues and concerns that impact the entire northwest region, according to Micah Landes, 2018 Steering Committee chairwoman. “The Great Northwest Day Committee works hard to listen to all in the region and find out priorities that benefit the region as a whole,” Landes said. “Collaborating and speaking as a unified voice has proven to be powerful.” This year’s priorities include: Rural Broadband: Today’s world is defined by interconnectivity. “Northwest Missouri has always been defined by our communities and our people – and now is the time to connect those communities and people to the world through high speed internet,” Landes said. Great Northwest Days supports new, creative ways and technologies to connect its citizens to the global marketplace, like HB 1872 (Johnson) and SB 922 (Hegeman) that develop funds to make this a reality, she said. Transportation and Infrastructure: Great Northwest Days encourages lawmakers to make an investment in the region through roads and water projects – projects that are vital to the economic future of the region, Landes said. Great Northwest Days opposes plans that would return fiscal and maintenance responsibility of state lettered routes to local county governments. 911 Funding: “Imagine that you have an emergency late one evening while driving through a rural area and when you call 911, they don’t have a way to find where you are,” Landes said. “This is a reality for many in our region, as funding for 911 centers that has long been tied to land line surcharges dries up.” The northwest Missouri delegation is asking state legislators to give control back to local governments, giving them the opportunity to find new funding mechanisms to support these services. Education: The future of the region depends on an educated and skilled workforce, Landes said. “Northwest Missouri has many incredible schools to develop the next generation of citizens, from preschool all the way through advanced degrees – but they cannot fulfill this mission for our region without your help,” she said. “Great Northwest Days asks our legislators to continue investing in education for our region, knowing that our employers, our communities, and our future absolutely depend on it.” Participating counties that both sponsor and plan to attend the event include the counties of: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan Caldwell, Carroll, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Sullivan, and Worth. For more information on the event or how you can attend, contact Crystal Narr, the Livingston County Coordinator, or visit the website at www. greatnorthwestday.com