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21 Dec
0

RELEASE: Oklahoma House Quietly Settles Sexual Harassment Claim Using House Funds

Oklahoma House Quietly Settles Sexual Harassment Claim Using House Funds

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is deeply concerned about the use of state funds to settle a sexual harassment claim against Representative Dan Kirby (R-75). State leaders are expected to uphold the public’s trust. Legislators must perform duties with integrity, honor, and transparency to assure Oklahomans that our leaders respect the moral and ethical values of the important work they conduct at the capitol.

Chair Mark Hammons states, “The possible misuse of funds appropriated for a wholly different purpose and expenditure which may be barred by Oklahoma’s prohibition against indemnifying state employees for actions motivated by ‘discriminatory animus director toward. . . sex’, as described by 51 O.S. Sec. 162(B)(4)(e), is a serious issue that state leaders need to address immediately.

“There must be a complete and immediate investigation into this action and a full disclosure of the nature of the claims against Rep. Kirby and the authority for the payment.”

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The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.

Oklahoma Budget Shortfall
21 Dec
0

RELEASE: Budget Hole Grows as Republicans Ignore Responsibility

Budget Hole Grows as Republicans Ignore Responsibility

OKLAHOMA CITY – Secretary Doerflinger announced this week that the initial budget shortfall of $600 million is more accurately a $900 million budget hole. The $300 million difference is due to unavailable one-time money. Per a June 2016 report from the Oklahoma Policy Institute and House Representative Earl Sears (R-11), “60 percent to 80 percent of the budget hole is filled with non-recurring revenue, which creates a problem for next year.” The larger problem to our state’s budget crisis is a lack of diversified revenue which budget cuts and one-time money cannot resolve. The Legislature needs to concentrate their efforts on building different revenue streams if we hope to climb out of this hole in the near future.

Oklahoma has experienced two straight years of state program cuts with a Republican-Super-Majority Legislature, and we may see the third year of cuts with a looming $900 million budget shortfall. Republicans are not interested in dedicating the needed time and hard work that it takes to build a comprehensive, diversified revenue and budget strategy. Instead, they have applied quick band-aid fixes in the form of budget cuts to a gaping wound while wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolous lawsuits one after another. We cannot expect different results so long as we continue to apply the same methods year after year.

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The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.

21 Dec
0

RELEASE: Climate Change Denier Scott Pruitt May Face Oil Drilling Challenges in Trump Administration

Climate Change Denier and Newly Appointed Head of EPA, Scott Pruitt, (Oklahoma AG) May Face Oil Drilling Challenges in Trump Administration

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party applauds President Obama’s decisive action to protect the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from an anti-environment administration ready to roll back efforts made to protect our water, air, and land. Obama used the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to withdraw lands from future leasing and drilling, indefinitely. Removing the lands from future use challenges newly appointed energy friendly EPA Head and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt from taking advantage of his new position to enact his own extreme anti-climate and anti-environment agendas.

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The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.

20 Dec
0

RELEASE: Oklahoma Democratic Party Announces New Native American Liaison

[OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, December 20, 2016] – This week the Oklahoma Democratic Party announced that LaRenda Morgan is the new Native American Liaison. As the Native American Liaison Morgan will communicate and coordinate outreach efforts with Oklahoma Tribes and the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

Morgan, a resident of Oklahoma City and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, received her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She is an Alumni member of Gamma Delta Pi Sorority at the University of Oklahoma and served as Cultural Affairs Chair for the American Indian Student Association while attending OU.

Morgan ran for House District 93 in 2016 and previously worked with Indian Health Services Oklahoma City Area Office, and the State of Oklahoma. She served as Executive Director for the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and is a strong advocate for Social Welfare issues primarily on Indian Child Welfare/Foster Care. She also served as a consultant for families, individuals, and legal agencies regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Morgan said, “I am very humbled and honored to serve the Oklahoma Democratic Party as the Native American Liaison. I am also very happy to be representing all Tribes in Oklahoma as well. I look forward to building stronger relationships between the Native American community and the Oklahoma Democratic Party. I hope to encourage tribal members to become more active in the Party as well as their tribal government, as both are equally important for our future and the future of our children. Every voice and every vote counts! Thank you, Ha’hou!”

The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.

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19 Dec
0

New Leadership, New Beginnings

The new Democratic National Party’s chair will bear a great responsibility in rebuilding a broken Party that suffered massive defeats statewide and nationally. The aftermath of the presidential loss gave way to creating various factions vying for power. It will require a dedicated strategist to bridge the widening gap between various in party factions and formulate a united message that resonates among all in moving forward.

Currently, five candidates have declared a run for the race: Sally Boynton Brown (Executive Director – Idaho Democratic Party and President of the Association of Democratic Executive Directors), Keith Ellison (5th District Congressman, Minnesota), Jamie Harrison (Chair, South Carolina Democratic Party), Ray Buckley (Chair, New Hampshire Democratic Party) and Tom Perez (Secretary of Labor). The position is vital to engendering a progressive agenda nationwide and requires experience and grit in solving complex issues to fruition.

The voter dissatisfaction with the party is at an all-time high among various groups including the millennials and the growing age gap between current party leadership. The growing number of millennials feel at odd with the current party leadership and their outdated ideas and policies. Couple this with low voter turnout among minorities, rural residents, and the middle class, who ‘shifted their allegiance’ from Obama in 2012 to trump in 20162, the party has its work cut out. The base majority of these middle-class communities are spread over the Northeast and the Midwest, where job security is tied to economic prosperity and politics. Additionally, democrats also suffered huge defeats among manufacturing and lower income communities. This is a growing feeling of disconnect from the party.

The resonating theme voiced among these various groups highlighted the lack of a unified message and the inability of party leadership to effectively communicate their message across communities. A new era of leaders needs to be ushered in following the aftermath of a Clinton defeat and an aging lineup of current democratic leadership. The new leadership will be a representative of the changing demographics of the United States and will need to work towards engendering an entirely new generation of political activists that are energized to bring change.

The potential for this type of a movement within the party is possible with the large young voting block, the need for economic stability among groups, and an emergence of a new brand of leaders, who have the foresight and dedication in leading the next generation of democrats.

Aisha Shah
Deputy Outreach Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party

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