You’re part of something great!

 People across the country have contacted me about the “splash” in last month’s Missouri Press News. All the folderol embarrasses me. I am just not cut out to be a parade leader. Working behind the scenes helping to make things happen is my preferred role. I don’t need, nor do I desire, lots of attention and/or accolades. So just discard the January issue and we will go from there.
Be that as it may, here I am writing another column, and I would like to make a point. If you sincerely believe I had good words to say last month, then follow through by joining my effort to increase involvement in this mighty organization. If you are not aware, we have one of the best state press associations in the country, and I want to keep it that way.
We will be organizing our committees shortly and will be gearing up for a really busy year. Whether your interest lies in legislation that the General Assembly is considering, or in increasing the amount of political advertising we can garner, the Missouri Press Foundation, or any of the other areas, take this opportunity to volunteer your services and expertise. We must have the help of the membership if we are to manage these areas properly. So let us know where your interests lie.
Speaking of participating, February is the month we all converge on Jeff City for the MPA/AP Day at the Capitol. This year we will meet on Feb. 21. But this year will also bring some changes. The evening of Wednesday, Feb. 20, will feature a reception for elected officials and their staffs. (Political advertising will be on the top of our topics list.) That will be followed Thursday morning with a 7:30-9:30 breakfast reception in the Capitol.
It will be a great opportunity to meet and greet representatives and senators prior to the official program later in the morning. That program will feature the new president of the University of Missouri system, Gary Forsee, as well as statewide officeholders. So mark your calendars and plan to attend this expanded event.
Also coming up before you know it will be the annual National Newspaper Association Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference is scheduled for March 5-7. Rumor has it the President (as in “of the United States”) may make an appearance.
As I said last month, we can increase participation in a number of ways: encouraging you to take advantage of services offered, participating in advertising programs, attending meetings, contributing to training sessions, joining committees and attending the annualconvention.
I suggest, for starters,that each member newspaper of the Missouri Press Association pick three of the above “Paths to Participation” and agree to increase its level of participation in those three areas. That will get us off to a good start.
If you think of another way that you can participate other than the above list, just let me know and I’ll add it to the participation election list. I can’t stress enough how important it is to all of us to have a strong state organization representing and supporting us.
Let me know what you think and what YOU see as important for the organization to address. I assure you, we will take your suggestions to heart and do our best for you.

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