‘Lubbock Day’ Gives City a Voice at the State Capitol

By: Rachel Glaser

AUSTIN, TX – The City of Lubbock stepped into the state’s spotlight in honor of ‘Lubbock Day’ at the Texas Capitol Monday.

More than 100 people made the nearly 400-mile trip from Lubbock to Austin for ‘Lubbock Day,’ a time for business and community leaders to bring local issues and concerns to the attention of lawmakers.

The opportunity comes once every two years, when Texas lawmakers go into session, to ensure the city and the people who call Lubbock home, have voice at the Capitol, now and in the future.

Three state lawmakers who represent Lubbock met with business and community leaders Wednesday morning.

Many business and community leaders from Lubbock voiced concerns about the same “major issue,” the need for state funding to help pay for the new Texas Tech veterinary school.

State Rep. John Frullo, R-Lubbock, asked the crowd how many believe state support for the veterinary school school is important and every hand in the room went up in the air.

“We are working on that,” Frullo said, “and there is a real need that’s not being met by other vet schools.”

Frullo, along with State Rep. Dustin Burrows and State Sen. Charles Perry, vowed to carve out a place for Lubbock in the State Capitol, to address the issues that are most important to the city and the people who call Lubbock home.

“The High Plains of Texas is different, our situation is different,” said Steve Verett, Executive Vice President for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

“Certainly there’s always concerns about education and healthcare, all the things that are important to all Texans but may have a unique application to the rural areas and places like Lubbock,” Verett said.

While pushing local issues onto the statewide stage, ‘Lubbock Day’ is also about selling state government to the city’s next generation.

“Citizens have to understand the role that they play because so often people complain about government and the decisions that are made but they are not part of the process,” said Cory Powell, Chairman Elect of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a good way to remind the citizens of our communities, the important role they play in government,” Powell said.

Rep. Burrows, R-Lubbock, first visited the Capitol with his Leadership Lubbock class more than a decade ago.

Former State Sen. Robert Duncan inspired Burrows to get involved in policy decision making. Now in his second term in the Texas House, Rep. Burrows hopes to encourage others to get involved in state politics.

“Whether it’s serving on boards or running for state office, it’s just important for good people from Lubbock to be active in their community and have their voice heard,” Burrows said.

Burrows declared Wednesday ‘Lubbock Day’ in the Texas House. “It’s an honor to introduce my neighbors, friends and proud citizens of my hometown, the City of Lubbock,” said Burrows.

Sen. Perry read the proclamation in the State Senate to recognize Lubbock, the city he’s called home for the past 35 years.