OKLAHOMA CITY – House Minority Leader Scott Inman on Friday appealed to Speaker Charles McCall to “immediately restore public access” to an email address that enabled constituents to send messages quickly and conveniently, with one click, to all members of the state House of Representatives.
Inman said it was brought to his attention Thursday that an address which enabled emails to be easily distributed to all state House members – – “was changed to internal use only, restricting the general public from using it.”
The modification “must have occurred sometime between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning,” Inman said. The Del City Democrat said that Wednesday morning he received emails from fellow House members and from constituents via , yet Thursday morning “I was alerted to the change.”
In addition, a constituent who used the universal email address “without problem” Wednesday “received a return email [Thursday] while using the same address, stating that it was for internal use only.”
Finally, Inman continued in a letter delivered Friday to the Speaker’s office, the switch from external to internal use was confirmed Thursday afternoon by the House’s Information Technology Department.
Civic engagement is “the foundation of a strong democracy,” Inman wrote. “Access to and transparency from our elected officials is needed now more than ever.”
He reminded the Speaker that just a few months ago the House of Representatives imposed “an additional barrier to constituent access to legislators” when it deleted each Representative’s email address from his/her information page and replaced it with a generic contact form.
“Each week I receive numerous emails and calls about this change from understandably upset Oklahomans,” Inman advised McCall. Restricting access to is “yet another barrier to access and civic engagement that is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive to democratic ideals.”
“I am not sure what caused this change,” Inman said, but “I would greatly appreciate your support and assistance in immediately restoring public access” to , Inman wrote in his letter to McCall.