What have you done for us lately, legislators?

Texas Panhandle Days is coming up.

An entourage of Texas Panhandle residents is going to travel to the state’s capital city, Austin, sit down with legislators and tell them what’s on their minds. They’re going to tell them what kind of legislation they want passed and they’ll inform our elected representatives of the results they expect to get from their efforts.


The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce puts it on. The link kinda/sorta talks about Panhandle Days’ mission.

I’ve never attended one of these events. The only way I’d ever be invited would be as a journalist covering it for my employer. I’m out of the full-time journalism game now.

So I’ll pose a two-sided question: What really and truly gets accomplished at these events and how the folks who organize measure their success?

I’ve known many individuals — from business and industry, from government, civic leaders, professional do-gooders — who’ve attended these Panhandle Days functions in Austin. They all come back and say what a “great time” they had. By “great time,” I suppose that means fellowship, consuming adult beverages and nice meals — all of that kind of thing.

But they’re not the only regional group that goes to Austin to receive the royal treatment. The Metroplex sends a delegation, as does San Antonio; Houston sends its posse to Austin; same for the Piney Woods and the Golden Triangle (where I formerly lived and worked); Coastal Bend sends a team, along with El Paso and the Permian Basin.

They all get their “days” in Austin, their time to slap a few backs, tell each other proud they are of what they’re doing and schmooze a bit with key state government movers and shakers.

They all have specific needs and interests. They’re all competing for the same pool of money to hand out. They’re all trying to get their legislators to pull strings for their interests.

Who are the big winners — and the big losers?


Leave a Reply