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TYPros Visits Lawmakers on Annual Lobbying Trip


Tulsa’s Young Professionals made its annual lobbying trip to the state capitol.

"Top issues for Tulsa's Young Professionals are funding for education, we're also very interested in modernizing Oklahoma's liquor laws, and then ridesharing opportunities like Uber and Lyft," said government affairs crew leader Stephanie Cameron. "Those are all very important to our demographic and are definitely areas of interest."

The discussion ran both ways, however. TYPros Executive Director Shagah Zakerion said the theme they heard from lawmakers in both parties was engagement.

"These are tough times in terms of budget and tough times in terms of policy, but one thing that young people can make a difference in is who runs for public office, who we vote into public office and how we kind of help shape that," Zakerion said.

Just under 41 percent of registered voters showed up for November’s elections. In November 2012, only about one in four registered 18- to 24-year-olds voted.

And this year, TYPros this year, teamed up with another group: Oklahoma Young Professionals Leaders.

"We were able to rally behind similar causes and similar issues in a way that's unprecedented for our organization or, frankly, for the state," Zakerion said. "To see young people really come together in this way is just incredibly inspiring."

The groups ended up with a combined delegation of more than 100, even after rescheduling the trip because of bad weather last month.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.