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Longview Chamber of Commerce coalition heads to D.C.

By Richard Yeakley
March 31, 2014 at 10 p.m.

A group of about 20 East Texans will head today to Washington, D.C., looking to take concerns to elected officials and bring understanding back.

"The first goal is to continue to build that relationship with our elected leaders in D.C., because it is through relationships that our voice will be heard effectively," said Longview Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Hall.

The chamber hosts the trip every two years. The trip alternates with a similar trip to Austin to speak with state officials every other year when the Legislature is in session.

"We have grown to a group of about 17 people. That is what it was two years ago. That is a manageable group of people who are aware of key issues," Hall said.

The group, which includes Longview Mayor Jay Dean, District 5 Councilman Richard Manley and Keith Honey of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co., will meet with representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert.

Dean said that while he goes to represent the city, he was looking forward to speaking to the state's senior senator.

"I am hoping that I have a private for a few minutes with Sen. Cornyn to discuss the synthetic marijuana problem," Dean said.

"That is one of my big things is trying to make sure that they realize and understand the severity of the problem and what exactly they are doing on a federal level."

Wednesday will focus on sessions at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to learn the latest on energy, education, immigration and transportation before meeting with Cornyn. Thursday will include meetings with Cruz and Gohmert.



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