Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

MLK Events Rescheduled

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This just in from Nathaniel Batchelder, director of Oklahoma City’s Peace House:


The special 3 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr. public celebration with a speaker from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, planned at Church of the Open Arms for this Sunday, Jan. 14 will be rescheduled because of weather.


Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie, Pastor, Church of the Open Arms 525-9555
Nathaniel Batchelder, President, Ex-Officio  524-5577

And this is from the Oklahoma County Democrats:

Greeting Fellow Democrats:

Kitti Asberry, chair of the Oklahoma County Democratic Party, has the following information about the Martin Luther King Day activities:

I was just informed that Roosevelt Milton, President of the State and OKC Branch of NAACP recently postponed the MLK Activities scheduled Monday, February 15. All activities which were scheduled to begin at 8:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. will take place Saturday, January 20th at the same times and locations. The program will go as follows on Saturday January 20th.

8:00 a.m.  Jobs Fair
9:00 a.m.  Gathering for Silent March to the Capitol
9:45 a.m.  Silent March Step-Off
10:45 a.m.  National Bell Ringing Program at Oklahoma Historical Center
11:00 a.m.  Ringing of Bell
12 Noon  Martin Luther King Jr Holiday Program, St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
2:00 p.m.  Parade Step-Off, NW 7th & Robinson to Coca Cola Convention Center

Currently there are discussions going on concerning the 7:00 a.m. MLK Breakfast at the Reed Center. As soon as that information is available, I will pass it on.

In other weather related news, Lisa Pryor’s address to the Friday Luncheon will be re-scheduled to another date.

Yours in Solidarity,
The OK County Democratic Party

Stay warm, everyone!  Be careful this weekend.

Local Protest Against War Escalation Set For Tomorrow

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This is from the local group and The Peace House:

Friends of Peace, escalation now is just too much!

Wednesday night President Bush is expected to make a speech calling for an escalation in Iraq. In the first 24 hours after his speech it’s urgent that Congress and the media see how broad public opposition to escalation is. Please join us in Oklahoma City to “STOP THE SURGE.”

We’ll meet at Rep. Mary Fallin’s office (dress warm, we’ll be outside) Thursday at 5:15 pm (Ernest Istook’s space).

“Stop the Surge/Stop the War”
Thursday, 11 Jan — 5:15 pm- 6:30p
101 N. Broadway (Between Park & Main)
Oklahoma City, OK
You may sign up for this event by clicking here.

Darla Shelden,
Nathaniel Batchelder, The Peace House

Woody Would Want You To Vote Tuesday

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If Democrats can’t take back the Oklahoma House and retain control of the state Senate in Tuesday’s election you can expect another year of religious-driven politics that will ultimately harm the state’s economic development.

Woody Wants You To Vote Tuesday

The Oklahoma and national GOP these days remain dominated by Christian extremists.  The Republican business-oriented, libertarian types–you know, those people with whom you use to be able to argue about the economy over some beers–have sold their party out to the lowest common denominator for personal profit.

All the potential GOP-sponsored religious legislation, such as eliminating science studies by mandating schools teach intelligent design or requiring school prayer, ultimately tarnishes the state with a “hick” image.  Businesses do not want to locate here.  People do not want to move here.  The state’s intelligent residents want to leave.  It’s the state’s sad story.  Don’t think for a minute the state’s most influential political and business players don’t know this. 

The GOP needs to pick up only three senate seats to gain a majority in that political body.  Unfortunately, that could happen.  Republicans already hold a majority in the House.  Unless state Democrats, who should be motivated by the historic failure of the Republican government on a national level, can show up in big numbers at the polls, Oklahoma’s centennial year will be a wash for progressives.

It’s true Governor Brad Henry, a Democrat, is almost certain to win reelection against U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook.  But if both legislative bodies go Republican, Henry can do little to fight back, especially if he plans to run for the U.S. Senate in the future and worries about making enemies.

If Republicans pick up two seats in the Oklahoma Senate that will mean it will be equally divided.  In that case, the lieutenant governor breaks any tie votes.  That’s why it’s important for Oklahoma that Democrat Jari Askins is elected to the position.  She is running against Todd Hiett, the Republican who led the House majority last legislation session.  If elected, Hiett is sure to work closely with local GOP religious extremists to ensure Oklahoma becomes one of the first quasi-theocratic states in the country.

National polls are now predicting Democrats have a good chance gaining a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm elections.  Some pundits even think the Democrats have a chance to take back the U.S. Senate.  These polls reflect the country’s growing anger at President George Bush’s failed Iraq war policies and the growing wealth disparity between the country’s richest people and the middle class

Yet Republican gerrymandering and unethical election engineering preventing Democrats from voting in some major cities could mean Republicans retain their majority.  It has happened before.  Why do some progressives, who are obviously optimistic about the Democrats’ chances, think the GOP will not take the low road again or that they will be able to stop it? Voter suppression is the GOP’s modus operandi.  It’s from Karl Rove’s playbook.

But, regardless of what happens nationally, this is Oklahoma, where the largest newspaper declines to offer real alternative views to its right-wing propaganda.  This is a state with a church on every other corner, yet it leads the nation in hungry families and has the second highest number of children without health insurance in the country.

The state will pay a high price in terms of economic development and its residents’ personal freedoms if it continues to support the new corrupt-laden GOP, the party that combines the obvious contradiction of hypocritical religious extremists like Ted Haggard and accused hypocritical sexual predators like former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley with the supposed business-oriented, small-government people, with the supposed “law-and-order” crowd.  This coalition of consistent corruption and immorality has failed miserably on the national level.  How long will it take Oklahomans to realize it has failed us here and will continue to do so?

Your progressive vote Tuesday is critical to ensure Oklahoma offers opportunities for all people, not just for religious extremists/hypocrites and those people who use them for their own short-term profit.  In the words of Oklahoma’s native son Woody Guthrie, “This land is your land, this land is my land.”  Vote.

Democratic Reunion

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This is from the Oklahoma County Democratic Party:

Greetings Fellow Democrats:

Next Tuesday is the Oklahoma state primary election.  We at the Oklahoma County Democratic Party urge you to get out and vote for your chosen candidates wherever there is a primary contest.  You can even vote early (but not “often”) by going to your county election office from 8-6 on Friday and Monday, 8-1 on Saturday.  The Oklahoma County Election Board is located on N. Lincoln Blvd across the street from state party headquarters.

After the candidates have been selected, the time for us to come together and work as one family will be at hand.  For that reason, we at the OCDP are happy to promote the OKLAHOMA DEMOCRATIC PARTY FAMILY REUNION.  We hope that this will be a time of true Re-Union for this party we so love.

The ODP is hosting the Oklahoma Democratic Family Reunion on Saturday, July 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Harn Homestead located at 313 N.E. 16th Street in Oklahoma City just south of the state capitol off Lincoln Blvd.

Oklahoma’s First Family has been invited to the event, and we hope your family will join all of us for this free event! There will be music, games, cold drinks, and political speeches all lined up for your enjoyment. Just bring a “picnic” with you, a lawn chair if you want, and plan to have an old-fashioned fun evening catching fireflies, listening to music and more. For more information about our event call Jason, Teresa, or Courtney at 405.427.3366.

Yours in Solidarity,
The OK County Democratic Party

Welcome To Blue Oklahoma

Blue Oklahoma is a new community blog for progressive Oklahomans to discuss and debate state political issues.  If you are a progressive, you can keep a diary here by simply registering to the right.  If you are already a progressive blogger, you can keep a diary here, and then link back to your blog in order to increase your traffic.  If you are a progressive organization, feel free to post your upcoming events.  If you are a progressive politician, feel free to post as well.  The only rule is that you must be dedicated to progressive causes in order to post a diary.  Comments, of course, are always welcome. Do not hesitate.  All it takes to register a new account is a valid email address.  Click on “Make a New Account” and start your progressive Oklahoma diary today!