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13 Jul
0

Lawmakers Identify Seven Needs to Restart In-Person Education

Communications & Public Affairs
July 13, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Melissa Provenzano
Phone: (405) 557-7330 [email protected]

Contact: State Rep. John Waldron
Phone: (405)557-7410 [email protected]

Lawmakers Identify Seven Needs to Restart In-Person Education

Former Educators: “New Normal” Must Mean “New Respect” for Public Ed

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two lawmakers with a background in public education today identified several different requirements that the Oklahoma State Department of Education should guarantee before restarting in-person instruction.

State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, is a former educator and administrator, and State Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, is a former public school teacher. Still deeply connected to the education community, these two lawmakers identified seven different needs that must be met before school can resume in the fall.

“2020 is no typical year,” Provenzano said. “When adding COVID-19 to crowded classrooms, hallways, and lunchtime, you begin to understand the challenge of social distancing in a school. Yet we can’t just cancel school indefinitely. We feel that ensuring these seven items is the best way for schools to ensure they are doing what is best for students, parents, teachers, and administrators”

Here are the seven needs that the Democratic legislators identified:

  1. Guaranteed supply of enough PPE and necessary cleaning supplies for all staff and students.
  2. Classrooms and school buildings that meet new COVID-19 CDC air ventilation standards.
  3. Funding for all schools to get computer and internet access in the hands of every child.
  4. A waiver request from OSDE to the federal government to allow an exemption from federally mandated testing.
  5. The creation of a COVID-19 sick leave policy that protects teachers and students.
  6. The development of standard operating procedures for when COVID-19 is transmitted at school.
  7. Alternative education sites to continue education in the event of a teacher contracting COVID-19.

The lawmakers see these seven items as necessary to ensure the most productive, safe education environment possible.

“Nobody is saying cancel the school year,” Waldron said. “What we are saying is that before we rush students into classrooms, let’s ensure the classrooms are safe, well equipped, and ready to meet the demands of this ongoing pandemic.”

On top of the seven items listed, the House Democrats echoed words from Gov. Kevin Stitt while calling for a stop to education funding threats.

“We have heard repeatedly now that we are in a ‘new normal,’” Provenzano said. “As policymakers from the president down have all spoken about the economic importance of schools being open, as former educators we hope that in this ‘new normal’ we will see a new respect for public education.

“It is unfair to ask administrators to navigate these volatile waters while also dealing with continual threats of education cuts from politicians trying to score political points.”

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09 Jul
0

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Slams OK GOP for Leadership Failure

For Immediate Release
July 9, 2020

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

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Slams OK GOP for Leadership Failure

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party released the following statement on Oklahoma Republican Leadership’s Complacency in addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic:

“Oklahoma is in bad shape,” stated Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair, Alicia Andrews. “Our numbers are off the charts as we see confirmed cases of COVID-19 spike and an increase in hospitalizations and deaths in our state.”

“Health experts and the data have demonstrated that wearing a mask along with social distancing helps control the spread of the virus. So why haven’t our Republican state leaders advocated more on wearing masks and limiting social gathering to save lives? When did the health and safety of our citizens become politized as they stand silent on the issue?,” Andrews continued.

“Complacency to not do more to curb the spread of the coronavirus throughout Oklahoma ̶ where our state is now on quarantine travel status for New York ̶ is leadership failure. More must be done to care for our citizens by reconsidering our current open state status when doing business. Where are our Republican leaders during this time of crisis? Why have they been so quiet in not addressing these life and death concerns? Such complacency is unacceptable, and we must no longer be quiet because Oklahomans have had enough. We will remember this lack of leadership come November,” Andrews concluded.

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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.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party

09 Jul
0

DNC on SCOTUS Decisions on Trump Tax Records

DNC on SCOTUS Decisions on Trump Tax Records

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not preclude a president from complying with a criminal or congressional subpoena:

“No one is above the law – not even the president. Today is a victory for accountability. The American people deserve to know the depth of Donald Trump’s corruption. Reporting has already revealed Trump’s long history of tax fraud, dubiously avoiding taxes, and potentially paying bribes to lower his tax bill. But we haven’t gotten the full truth because Trump has broken with decades of precedent by refusing to release his tax returns after saying for years that he would. He even suggested that candidates are hiding something if they don’t. So what is Trump so desperate to hide? We’re one step closer to finding out.”

08 Jul
0

DNC on SCOTUS Attacking Reproductive Health Care

DNC on SCOTUS Attacking Reproductive Health Care

DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers can deny birth control coverage:

“Reproductive care is not a luxury – it is a necessity. That’s why President Obama and Vice President Biden fought to pass the ACA and its contraception guarantee in 2010. And since then, more than 55 million Americans have gained access to birth control with no co-pay through the Affordable Care Act. This decision is an egregious attack on the rights of women and those seeking reproductive care, especially in communities of color. Democrats will keep fighting to make sure everyone has the right to make decisions about their own body, their own family, and their own future. Make no mistake: reproductive health care is on the ballot in 2020. And the American people are ready to elect a president they can trust to protect it.”

02 Jul
0

Oklahoma Democratic Party Denounces D.A. Prater’s Unequal Justice During Press Conference

OKLAHOMA CITY – Following are the remarks made by Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party at today’s Oklahoma City press conference.

I stand here today because I can no longer be silent. I reluctantly stand here today because I had hoped that the Oklahoma County DA would come around to reason either through his own conscience or by listening to the voices of those he was elected to protect. But…I stand here today because sometimes, HOPE is not enough.

Dr. King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Those words are why I am here today.

The District Attorney of Oklahoma County is a Democrat. I know it is very unusual for one Democratic leader to criticize another. But today I have no choice.

I am supremely disappointed because, it seems, that DA Prater has a rating scale of whose lives are worth protecting and whose lives are insignificant. I stand here today for Israel Ortiz, Eric Ruffin, and Malachai Davis who are charged with TERRORISM. I also stand here today for the other dozen young activists being held on excessive bond from $200,000 to $1,000,000. And I also stand here for Christian Council, the Realtor, the gay man who was beaten unconscious, while his attackers yelled homophobic slurs at him.

It is my sincerest hope that my disappointment will be finite. I hope that DA Prater will cease the egregious display of abuse of power and reduce the charges to something more in line with the alleged crime. I hope that DA Prater will recognize that he is attempting to rob them of their first amendment right by violating the eighth amendment. And in that recognition, he will remember that he was elected to represent ALL of Oklahoma county, not just the few.

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” I know that this is a federal law, but does it not apply locally?

The Realtor who was attacked is worthy of protection. He was beaten unconscious. He will most likely be haunted by that attack for the rest of his life. His attackers on the other hand were protected. They beat a man, while shouting homophobic slurs and will, at most, have a misdemeanor record. Their futures unmarred. The young men in jail around the corner, on the other hand, allegedly blocked a street, allegedly broke some glass and will have a felony arrest on their records forever.

This felony arrest will restrict their ability to get a job, it can likely restrict were they can live and whether or not they can VOTE. These charges are aimed at more than just those who have been charged. They also serve as a warning from DA Prater – use your first amendment in a way we don’t like and we will RUIN your future. These charges are an attempt to send a message – we are tired of hearing about Black Lives.

The message that I hear is that ALL lives DON’T matter. I hear that the lives of those in the margins, the lives of the under-represented don’t matter as much as some. Don’t matter as much as Mr. Council’s attackers, don’t matter as much as people who live in affluent neighborhoods, and don’t matter as much as people whose skin is not Black or Brown.

It is with infinite hope that I ask the following:

1) DA Prater reduce the charges from terrorism to something more aligned with the alleged crime and apply appropriate bail.
2) DA Prater revisit the charges against Amery Dickerson and Bennett Stone. This was clearly a hate crime and should be treated as such.

I remind the District Attorney that his is an elected office and that he was elected to serve all people fairly. I encourage everyone to make their voice heard by registering to vote and voting.

The capricious handing out of unequal justice is something that I cannot stand for. It is something the Oklahoma Democratic Party does not stand for. And it is certainly something that District Attorney Prater should never stand for.

 

 

Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair

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