An important, but often underdiscussed, aspect of the legislative process is legislative caucuses.
A caucus is a political group that meets to further a specific policy area. They brainstorm legislation, hear concerns from stakeholders and work together to further their cause. Caucuses are sometimes affiliated with a certain political party, but most of our caucuses in the Legislature are actually bipartisan.
In addition to being a member of the Majority Caucus, which includes all 82 House Republicans, I am part of the Rural Caucus, the Early Childhood Caucus and the AERO Caucus.
The Rural Caucus focuses on issues that directly affect rural areas of our state, such as broadband expansion or economic development. Oklahoma has many metropolitan areas, but our rural areas make up a huge portion of our state and should not be forgotten when developing policies! I’m proud to have so many rural constituents that I represent in District 33, and I always enjoy meeting with my fellow rural legislators.
I am also a member of the Early Childhood Caucus, which works to secure affordable and quality child care, ensure access to physical and brain health resources for children under five, and encourage public and private support via partnerships. This caucus is sponsored by the Potts Family Foundation, and I’ve learned a lot from attending these meetings.
I have the privilege of serving as the vice chair of the House Children, Youth and Family Services Committee, and the work we do there correlates directly with the Early Childhood Caucus.
The AERO Caucus is comprised of legislators from both the House and Senate who have a background or interest in general aviation, military aviation, or the public and private aerospace industry in Oklahoma. We meet monthly during session to develop public policy that supports the aerospace industry and learn more about its economic impact on our state and the influence of military and civil aviation in Oklahoma.
Caucuses are a great way to work with other legislators on policies and to learn more about an area of interest. I am looking forward to participating in these meetings again in the upcoming session!
In addition to these caucus meetings, our committee meetings and floor votes, I have also attended a weekly Bible study hosted by our House chaplain, Joel Harder. For many legislators and staff members, including myself, our faith is an important part of what drives us in our work every day. Being able to take a pause during the busyness of the Capitol and come together to spend time in prayer and God’s word is really special.
Session is quickly approaching and I’ll soon be at the Capitol nearly every day to represent the good people of House District 33. Remember that you can always contact me with your opinions on issues or questions I may be able to assist with. You can reach me at email@example.com or (405) 557-7304.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative!
Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.