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Markey Meeting Marathon

Wow, Betsy Markey, our new CD-4 rep, is really maximizing her Colorado time while Congress is on break. During her visit here to Lamar today, she said she'd been in La Junta the day before, and in Campo this morning. Next up were Eads, Kit Carson, and Fort either-Collins-or-Morgan...and that's all TODAY! Seriously, if you notice a crowd forming in your town, wander over there. It could well be Betsy holding a meeting!

There was a good-sized, varied crowd in attendance here today. Our local elected officials were hoping to hear good news about stimulus funds coming our way. Betsy did know of one big chunk of change, $1.3mil for the four Prowers County school districts, mainly for Title 1 and special ed. That sum is in addition to $$ to be named later for school construction and upgrade projects! Other subjects discussed included credit card regulation for both consumers and small businesses, the Farm Bill, our county museum expansion project, water (always!), and whether the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) will be renewed. People pointed out that in some places around here on Tuesday, when the wind was blowing 40-50mph, there were blackout conditions near acreage that had been recently plowed. If farmers and ranchers can't afford to keep their land unplowed and in grass, we could see a quick return to the bad old days of the Dust Bowl.

Betsy was only flummoxed by one question -- mine, and that was only for a moment. Being well-acquainted with the 'only so many hours in a day' problem, and guessing that every meeting Betsy has attended and will attend would just keep the requests piling up, what I wanted to know was how those of us who want to see progress happen could best join in the effort. What could WE do to help HER?

"No one has asked me that before," Betsy said. But she's a quick-thinker, and came up with some suggestions. We can provide information on the problems we want to see addressed, by sending it in to her office in DC by email, OR by visiting one of the new regional offices she is setting up around CD-4. Due to Federal rules they can't accept volunteer help from the general public, BUT if high school or college students want to come help at the offices for school credit, that's a possibility.

After the meeting some of us went over to check out where Betsy's new Lamar office is going to be. It's a good space, right across the street from the Post Office and the SE Colorado Enterprise Development offices. I'm thinking this visit from Betsy is going to turn out to be the first of many!

Betsy and her posse



March 2009



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