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Local Leaders Meet Congressmen/Senators in Washington D.C., Last Week

March 1st, 2009 by

21 local business, education, and political leaders traveled to Washington D.C. last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and met with Arkansas’ Congressional Delegation.

Monticello’s “20 for the Future” and MEDC organized the trip, which was intended to bring attention to Southeast Arkansas needs, such as Forest Resources Center & UAM; the Intermodal Facility; Yellow Bend Port; Monticello’s city facilities; County-wide early warning system; Drew Memorial Hospital’s expansion and technology upgrade; and area highway and interstate completion.

Individual meetings were scheduled throughout the day Wednesday with Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, as well as Congressmen Mike Ross, Marion Berry, Vic Snyder, and John Boozman.  A dinner/reception for the delegation and their staff members later that evening, was used to follow up on the day’s activities.

Last year’s trip helped provide funding for local projects, such as the grant for Drew Memorial for $83,968 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The purpose of the third annual Washington trip was to encourage members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation to exert maximum effort to obtain additional funding for priority projects in Monticello and Southeast Arkansas.  The Congressional delegation had been sent packets including all the priority projects for discussion, prior to the trip.

MEDC Director Truman Hamilton described the group’s efforts as, “a good trip, with good dialogue.”  He added, “there was a more receptive mood in Washington, during this year’s trip.”

Although Pres. Obama’s meeting with the joint member’s of the legislature was scheduled at the same time as one of the trip’s receptions, it provided an good opportunity to visit with the staff of the elected officials. 

The next step in the process will be a trip to Little Rock, which will provide a chance to meet with multiple state agencies, and provide  the information to the state offices, as it was presented in Washington.

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