West Kentucky joining together to be heard

I have lived in western Kentucky my entire life, except for the one year I spent in the Cincinnati area — so my roots here run deep. Close to 300 years deep. It is natural for personal identity to stem from the place you were born, where you have made memories, where you built a life and where you buried family. For me, it is natural to have a fierce loyalty and hopefulness for a good future.

So it makes me cringe when I hear the term “Golden Triangle.”
That area of the state is an economic driver and home to our research universities, but we are home to the natural resources that feed and fuel. We are home to ingenuity and a pioneer spirit. We are where problems are solved through collaboration and hard work.
Business leaders and elected officials from across West Kentucky are finding that collaboration is key in becoming a force. The West Kentucky Caucus is a bi-partisan group of 33 senators and representatives. The group is chaired by Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah and Rep. Matt Castlen of Daviess County.

Last week, chamber presidents from Paducah, Murray, Hopkinsville-Christian County and Greater Owensboro testified to the West Kentucky Caucus regarding legislative priorities that the organizations share. The testimony focused on areas of transportation/infrastructure funding and home rule.
It was good to stand with other communities who share many of the same challenges and the same priorities.

We have committed to finding ways to continue our efforts.
This Thursday, our Leadership Owensboro class will meet in the Capitol with Leadership Programs from Paducah, Murray, Mayfield and Christian County. The group will hear from Economic Development Secretary Terry Gill. We will then meet with our legislative delegation for a Q and A session.

And that evening, we will join with every other chamber in West Kentucky to host West Kentucky Thank You Night. Elected officials, board members and business leaders throughout Western Kentucky will meet with General Assembly Members and other state officials to talk about issues. Governor Matt Bevin, Senate President Stivers and Speaker David Osborne are confirmed to speak to our group.
West Kentucky Thank You Night is free and open to the public. It is from 5-7 p.m. EST at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Kentucky.

By Candance Brake For the Messenger-Inquirer