|Horsemen's Capitol Visit on April 11
Makes an Impression
Texans for Economic Development (TED) organized a horsemen's day at the
Texas Capitol on Wednesday, April 11th, and the event was a rousing success.
Over 70 horsemen turned out to spend some quality time in the Capitol
urging our elected officials to support video lottery terminals (VLTs)
at racetracks, and the large presence of horsemen in the Capitol building
definitely made an impression.
Horsemen met at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Austin for breakfast
and a briefing by Texans for Economic Development before making their
way over to the Capitol building wearing "Keep Texas Running"
buttons and equipped with printed information they could leave with Representatives
and their staff members.
The horsemen set out in groups for the Capitol, and each group visited
several elected officials from their home district and nearby areas. In
addition to talking to legislators about video lottery terminals, horsemen
were able to tell their own individual stories as examples of why the
racing industry in Texas so desparately needs to be allowed to compete
on a level playing field with surrounding states. These personal stories
are a wonderful way to make a real impression on your own local legislators.
The sheer number of people walking the Capitol halls wearing "Keep
Texas Running" buttons on April 11 was enough to make an impression
on legislators and their staffs. In fact, some horsemen were approached
in the halls by staff members from offices that had not yet been visited
wanting to know what the buttons were for because they were seeing them
While there is no question that it is not easy for horsemen to take a
day to visit the State Capitol to visit legislators, enough thanks cannot
go out to those horsemen and women who made sacrifices to do just that
on April 11. The significant turnout, the personal stories, and the informed
and respectful conversations made a favorable impression on many legislators
and their staffs, and it helped to reinforce in the Capitol building that
all segments of the Texas racing industry are united and working together
on this effort - something that has historically been very rare.
If you were not able to attend our horsemen's day at the Capitol on the
11th, there will be other opportunities to show your support in person
at the Capitol. We will keep you informed when such opportunities arise.
In addition, if you have not already, we urge you to write and/or call
your local legislators expressing your support for legislation that would
allow video lottery terminals at Texas racetracks.
If you do not know who your legislators are or how to reach them, you
can find that information out easily in the Political Action Center at
In fact, you can use that website to help craft and send a letter directly
to your legislators.
Remember that as a constituent, you have the ability to make more of
an impression on your local legislator than any group or lobbyist. Every
phone call and letter and e-mail is important in helping us reach our
goal of passing legislation that will allow Texas racing to compete fairly
with racing in our surrounding states.