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09 May
0

RELEASE: Senate Leader Being Dishonest About State Budget Proposals

Senate Leader Being Dishonest About State Budget Proposals

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Minority Leader Scott Inman responded Monday to unfounded claims by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz.
House Democrats “were approached by House Republicans today with another potential revenue-raising option to help balance the state budget,” said Inman, D-Del City. That option involved changes to tribal gaming compacts.

“House Democrats did not propose this idea, nor did we demand it as part of the state budget package,” Inman insisted.
“Any claim by the Senate President Pro Tem that we did is simply false.”

House Democrats previously proposed their “Restoring Oklahoma Budget Plan” which calls for restoration of gross production taxes and other tax cuts.
“We still have hopes that the Pro Tem will finally consider our proposals, which he has ignored for nearly two months.
“What you heard today from the Senate were more distortions by Republican leaders trying desperately to shift attention away from their failed leadership,” Inman said.

“They lied when they said House Democrats weren’t negotiating with them. They lied when they said House Democrats didn’t offer any solutions to the budget shortfall. And now they’re lying about the tribal compact issue – particularly since the Republicans brought that proposal to us.
“It’s time for the Senate Republicans to step up and take responsibility for their mismanagement of the state’s fiscal affairs.”

08 May
0

Rep. George Young Inspired by Legacy of A.C. Hamlin, First African American Elected to Oklahoma Legislature

Rep. George Young Inspired by Legacy of A.C. Hamlin, First African American Elected to Oklahoma Legislature

OKLAHOMA CITY (8 May 2017) – “As I assume the role of chairman of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, I am mindful of the personal/political environment and the national environment in which I take the rein of leadership,” state Rep. George E. Young Sr. said Monday.

“Let me first express my overwhelming awe at being a member within this group, and now having the opportunity to lead it,” he continued. “It is an inspiration to serve as a member in the line and in the lineage of so many great legislators, beginning with State Rep. Albert Comstock Hamlin.”

Hamlin was the first African American elected to the Oklahoma Legislature. He was elected in 1908 to represent Logan County in the House of Representatives in 1909-10.

Representative Hamlin “was faced with some very obvious obstacles that were based, I believe, solely on the color of his skin,” Reverend Young said.

Hamlin lost his re-election bid in 1910 after a “Jim Crow” provision limited black voter participation in Oklahoma by imposing a voter literacy test and enacting an onerous “grandfather clause.”

An exemption from the literacy requirement was authorized if a prospective voter could prove that his grandfathers had been voters or citizens of some foreign nation, or had served as soldiers, prior to Jan. 1, 1866. The net result was that illiterate whites were able to vote but illiterate blacks were not, because their grandfathers had almost all been slaves and therefore were barred from voting or serving as soldiers before 1866, the year after the Civil War concluded. And for extra measure, white registrars administered the highly subjective literacy tests.

In 1915, in the case of Guinn v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the grandfather clauses in the Oklahoma and Maryland constitutions to be repugnant to the 15th Amendment and therefore null and void. Ratified in 1870 as one of three Reconstruction amendments, the 15th Amendment provided that, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

The Court’s decision came too late for Hamlin. He died on his farm on Aug. 29, 1912, from unknown causes, and was buried in Robinson Cemetery in Logan County.

“I am pleased to say that those of us who are members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus now do not face such overt racism,” Dr. Young said. “The obstacles we face today are not purely of color, but of philosophy and power. I hold that we must not be the only ones willing to declare that we want to work together. It requires some constructive action on both parts.”

The Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus is “a historical and necessary component of the Oklahoma State Legislature,” Representative Young said. “I will present to the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore our proposed area of concerns and our expectations of them as leaders of both chambers to help us address these concerns.

“I anticipate periodic and regularly scheduled meetings with leaders of both chambers, in order for us to remain on one accord and to keep abreast of the progress of those things which impact our communities and the state as a whole.”

In closing, Young said, “I look forward to presenting, within 30-60 days of becoming chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, our plan and promise for the next two years. We need all hands on deck and all of us working for the benefit of all Oklahomans.”

Members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus are: Rep. Jason Lowe, Sen. Anastasia Pittman and Representative Young, all Oklahoma City Democrats; Rep. Regina Goodwin, Rep. Monroe Nichols and Sen. Kevin L. Matthews, all Tulsa Democrats.

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MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

08 May
0

RELEASE: Perez on Trump Administration’s EPA Firings

Perez on Trump Administration’s EPA Firings

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after the Trump Administration fired half the members of a major scientific review board at the Environmental Protection Agency:

“There’s a name for Donald Trump’s environmental policy: aggressive stupidity. The scientists he just fired have been working on nothing more political than making sure our water is safe to drink and our air is safe to breathe. By turning them into political targets, Trump is proving yet again that he doesn’t care about ordinary people. All he cares about is giving corporations free reign to pump up their bottom line, even if they’re pumping hazardous waste into the environment to do it. It’s sad that Trump and the GOP haven’t gotten the message that millions of protestors around the world marching for science and climate action sent them recently—we’ll just have to make sure it comes through loud and clear on Election Day.”

08 May
0

RELEASE: Perez on Texas’s New “Show Me Your Papers” Law

Perez on Texas’s New “Show Me Your Papers” Law

DNC Chair Tom Perez released this statement in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott signing SB4, a “show me your papers” bill, into law:

“It is unconscionable that in 2017 we are seeing outright discrimination against immigrant families that want nothing more than to work hard and build a better life. Greg Abbott and Trump’s Republican Party passed and signed a bill into law that will shift law enforcement’s focus from going after criminals and keeping families safe to tearing apart families by deporting mothers, fathers, and children. This law is not only unconstitutional, but will make Texans less safe and will lead to chaos and legalize racial profiling. That’s not who we are as a country. So while Governor Abbott and President Trump try to silence the Latino community, we will stand up, speak out, and march to defend our values and the rights of the most vulnerable in our country. Because that’s who we are, and there is nothing they can do to stop us.”

08 May
0

2017 ODP State Convention Call

Dear Fellow Democrats,

We are delighted to welcome you to the 2017 Oklahoma Democratic Party Convention. It’s always exciting when Democrats from across our great state get together and this year promises to be no exception.

We hope that you will join us not only for the Convention on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 but also for the Carl Albert Dinner on Friday night, May 19th, with Honored Speaker Congressman Keith Ellison, the DNC Deputy Chair. We will also present the Carl Albert, Opio Toure, Chairman’s, Bob Lemon Humanitarian, and Activist Awards, honoring some of those who have worked hardest to elect Democrats across the state.

At this Convention, as well as at the recent County and District Conventions, we are laying the foundation for our work in the 2018 election cycle. When the gavel closes this Convention, we will have completed our constitutional requirements for organizing our Party, and then we will fan out across Oklahoma and get to work electing Democrats and spreading the message that Oklahoma Democrats support progress, equality and unity.

We look forward to seeing you at Convention!

Democratically yours,
Mark Hammons, Connie Johnson, Dave Ratcliff, and Donna Russell

Download the full Convention Call Below