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03 Feb
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Educator, CJR Advocates Among Minority Leader’s State of the State Guests

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 3, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405)962-7674 [email protected]

Educator, CJR Advocates Among Minority Leader’s State of the State Guests

OKLAHOMA CITY — Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) used her reserved seats during the State of the State on Monday to highlight the need for the legislature to continue its focus on education funding, criminal justice reform, and creating a state government that is welcoming to all Oklahomans.

CeCe Jones-Davis is a criminal justice reform advocate who highlights unjust and wrongful convictions along with racial disparities in sentencing.

Claudia Swisher is a lifetime educator who has been a vocal advocate for Oklahoma’s public education system.
Kendra Wilson Clements is the treasurer of Freedom Oklahoma, an organization that advocates for gay, lesbian, and transgender Oklahomans.

Tonaldao “Toni” Hall is a victim of irresponsible and dangerous sentence requirements that allowed her to be unjustly sentenced to 30 years in prison for failure to protect a child from abuse, while the child’s abuser received probation.

“The state of the state is a day where we reflect on progress and hear a vision for our state’s future,” Virgin said. “When you look at our recent history, there is no doubt that progress has been made in the areas of criminal justice reform and education, but Toni, Claudia, and CeCe will all tell you that we can’t afford to stop now. And frankly, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on LGBTQ rights. I appreciate these powerful women for joining me, and I look forward to working with them to build a stronger, more inclusive Oklahoma.”

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MEDIA NOTE: A photo of Leader Virgin and her guests can be found here:

Minority Leader State of the State Guests Photo

From Left to Right: Toni Hall, Claudia Swisher, Minority Leader Emily Virgin, CeCe Jones-Davis, Kendra Wilson Clements

03 Feb
0

Celebrating Black History Month

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2020

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
405-536-2412

Celebrating Black History Month

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party statement on Black History Month: African American History is American History. Black History month is a time for Americans to recognize and celebrate African American’s contributions to our nation and our state and reflect on the sacrifices made.

More work needs to be done and we all must recommit ourselves to fight for justice and civil rights for all citizens. From Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher who challenged segregated higher education to Clara Luper joining the sit-in movement at the Katz lunch counter – thank you to the activists, community organizers, and the many African American leaders who throughout history fought bravely every day for justice for everyone.

Join us in celebrating those who came before and contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and thanking those who continue the fight. Let’s stand together to celebrate our core values, inclusiveness, diversity, and rights for ALL Americans.

“I knew I was right, because somewhere I read in the 14th Amendment, that I was a citizen and I had rights, and I had the right to eat. Within that hamburger was the whole essence of democracy. If you could deny me the right to eat, you could deny me the right to live or work where I want.” ~ Clara Luper, Katz Drug Store sit-in

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For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.

27 Jan
0

Democratic Primaries to Welcome Independent Voters

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2020

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
405-536-2412

Democratic Primaries to Welcome Independent Voters

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is reminding voters that the Oklahoma Primary and Runoff Primary Elections are open to registered No Party/Independent voters until November 2021.

“The ODP voted in July 2015 to open Primaries to Independent voters, welcoming them to the party, and we maintain this policy today,” said ODP Chair, Alicia Andrews. “The Oklahoma Democratic Party strives to engage Independent voters and is committed to strengthening relationships and removing barriers that create voter apathy. We believe that every voter deserves a voice keeping with our Democratic values,” Andrews continued.

Oklahoma Voters cannot change party affiliation between April 1 and August 31 in even-numbered years, which means that voters need to update their voter registration before March 31st, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in the March 3rd Presidential Primary is February 7th. The Oklahoma Democratic Party encourages registered voters to sign up to Vote By Mail or update their registration at VoteByMail.okdemocrats.org and okdemocrats.org/vote to ensure they do not miss any upcoming elections held in their area.

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23 Jan
0

Democratic Leadership Calls on Stitt to Focus on OK Families

Communications & Public Affairs
January 23, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405)962-7674 [email protected]

Democratic Leadership Calls on Stitt to Focus on OK Families

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) and House Democratic Caucus Chair Cyndi Munson (D-OKC) released the following joint statement today after Gov. Kevin Stitt announced he would ban all state-sponsored travel to California:

“Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Oklahomans are waiting to hear the governor’s healthcare plan that he promised and failed to deliver last fall. We are near the bottom in the country when it comes to resources for education and as a result education outcomes. We are one of the worst states in the country when it comes to infant mortality. In spite of the strides made by the people of this state through ballot measures, Oklahoma is still number two in the country in mass incarceration.

The governor’s latest decision to ban travel to California is nothing more than an attempt to distract from another recent bad decision the governor made, which was to alienate and attack our tribal nations and ask a federal court to shut down our state’s thriving tribal gaming industry.

To those that believe that this isn’t simply an attempt at distraction, why would the governor exempt travel for sporting events and business recruitment? And with those exemptions in place, who does this ban actually affect?

It’s time for the governor to end this irresponsible disagreement with the tribes, release a healthcare plan and focus on Oklahoma families.”

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21 Jan
0

Legislation To Establish ‘Veterans Suicide Awareness Week’ Filed

Communications & Public Affairs
January 21, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants
Phone: (405) 557-7329
[email protected]

Legislation To Establish ‘Veterans Suicide Awareness Week’ Filed

OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants (D-Norman) filed legislation for consideration during the 2020 Legislative Session designed to bring awareness to veteran suicide.

House Bill 2891 would establish “Veterans Suicide Awareness Week” in Oklahoma, which would take place the second week of every October. The legislation was prompted by one of Rosecrants’ constituents whose son died by suicide. Damien Eckstein was a US Army veteran of the Iraq War who died Oct. 14, 2013.

“These men and women were willing to go to some pretty dark places in the world in service to this country. Now, when they are home, they need our help,” Rosecrants said. “As a lawmaker, I feel like its part of my duty to provide support to these individuals anyway I can.”

According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report — published by the US Department of Veteran Affairs — the most recent data suggests that veterans are 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than men and women who haven’t served. In 2017, 85 Oklahoma veterans died by suicide.

“This legislation is about bringing awareness to this problem and hopefully building some momentum to solve it,” Rosecrants said.

Rosecrants encourages anyone with comments or suggestions on this legislation to call (405)557-7329 or email [email protected]

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