Whatzup Politics (1278)
Every Suicide is Preventable
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
From 2012 to 2016, more than 3,600 Oklahomans died from suicide. In 2018, Oklahoma was ranked tenth in the country in suicide deaths with more Oklahomans dying of suicide than motor vehicle crashes.
But it’s not just adults who are affected by suicide. According to a national survey from 2019, one in five adolescent school children in Oklahoma reported seriously thinking about suicide within the prior twelve months and one in nine reported actually attempting to take their own lives. As the father of six school-aged children, this statistic sickens me.
Many of our men and women in uniform who come back from warzones overseas face mental health struggles once they return home. From 2006 to 2018, there were 3,863 self-inflicted deaths by members of our military on active duty. In 2016 alone, 6,079 veterans died from suicide, including 110 in Oklahoma.
Every suicide is a tragedy and it is preventable. We must do everything we can to ensure people have the resources they need, which is why I have made improving access to mental health care a top priority while in Congress.
Earlier this year, I introduced a bill to reauthorize and expand the Excellence in Mental Health Demonstration Program, which funds Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). CCBHCs have dramatically improved access to community-based mental health care. For example, Grand Lake Mental Health Center has electronic tablets in Grove Police Department patrol cars which provide a direct, face-to-face link between a professional and a person in crisis. After an evaluation via tablet, police can divert the patient to a crisis center instead of an emergency room or jail. I worked to ensure this program was reauthorized and expanded so this vitally important work being done in our communities can continue.
We have made great strides as a country in ensuring our veterans have access to the help they need, but we can do better. Last year, the House passed the FIGHT Veteran Suicide Act, which will help track instances of veteran suicides, and the Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act, which will provide better support for those who work day in and day out to prevent this tragedy. When our veterans sign up for service, they commit to protecting the lives of all Americans. We must keep our commitment to them.
We must all work together to prevent suicide and during National Suicide Prevention Week, we focus on informing people on how to prevent this tragedy. Check in on someone you may be concerned about and let them know you care. Listen to them, let them know they’re not alone and encourage them to seek help. This seemingly small act just might save their life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please know help is available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Want to stay up-to-date on what I’m doing in Oklahoma and Washington on your behalf? Sign up for my newsletter by visiting Mullin.house.gov/newslettersignup.
WASHINGTON— Today, two bills sponsored by Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) passed the Energy and Commerce Committee during a full committee markup. H.R. 7948, the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act and H.R. 4447, the Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) Act of 2019 passed by voice vote.
H.R. 7948, the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act, would reaffirm that Tribal public health authorities are entitled to access public health data. Mullin submitted an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the underlying legislation, which made technical changes to the bill. It was adopted by voice vote.
“Our sovereign Tribal Nations and Tribal Epidemiology Centers were always supposed to have equal access to public health data that states, counties, and cities have. But for years many Tribes have faced numerous challenges while trying to access this public health data,” Mullin said. “Now more than ever, Tribes need access to this data in order to make decisions for their communities and this bill makes that happen. I thank my colleagues for their support of this legislation, and I hope it will be considered by the full House soon.”
H.R. 4447, the EASE Act, would establish a Department of Energy grant program for rural electric co-ops to identify, evaluate, and design energy storage and microgrid projects.
“Renewable energy is an important part of the all-of-the-above energy strategy our country needs and being able to store the renewable energy produced will help us to utilize more of it,” Mullin said. “Rural areas like my district need to be able to keep up with technology and have the resources necessary to invest in renewable energy storage. This public-private partnership would allow rural electric co-ops to deploy energy storage projects to increase energy efficiency and provide cost savings to consumers. I am glad to see this legislation pass the full committee with bipartisan support and I look forward to supporting it on the House floor.”
Full video of the markup can be found here.
Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:
During August since the Senate is not in session, I’ve been able to meet with Oklahomans and talk about the issues they face. In the last three weeks, I have visited with folks in Eufaula, Stigler, Poteau, Talihina, Wilburton, McAlester, Tulsa, Lawton, Oklahoma City, Kingfisher, Fairview, Okeene, Woodward, Beaver, Buffalo, Guymon, Hooker, Seiling, Wagoner, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Bartlesville, Sperry, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Stillwater, Enid, Waukomis, Midwest City, Mustang, Yukon, and Piedmont. I have heard perspectives from school superintendents, members of our Armed Forces, small business owners, manufacturers, food producers, meat packers, faith leaders, nonprofits, health providers, and many more Oklahomans.
Almost every day for the past three weeks, I have talked with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to work through the best approach for our economic recovery while ensuring we also focus on COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines. Our nation’s health professionals continue to seek treatments and a vaccine for those who want to take it, and I am optimistic we will see successful vaccines and treatments this fall. Additionally, Oklahoma health centers and skilled nursing facilities were recently granted almost $45 million in August from the CARES Act to continue to fight COVID-19 and other health needs. CLICK HERE to read more about the grants.
While the COVID pandemic persists, I have remained engaged to serve all Oklahomans and fix broken government processes both related and unrelated to the coronavirus.
Targeted COVID-19 Relief Legislation
Oklahomans continue to utilize federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and funding for health centers, additional testing, and PPE made available through the CARES Act and other previous COVID bills. The $3 trillion of federal taxpayer money from the CARES Act and other COVID-related legislation so far this year is three times larger than our typical annual federal spending. Oklahomans, including me, are worried about where all these additional trillions of dollars are going to come from. Now congressional Democrats want another $3.9 trillion in “relief,” much of it to fund priorities that are completely unrelated to COVID-19 like the Green New Deal and a misguided push for universal mail-in voting for every election in the future. There is still a need for targeted assistance, but we should not spend money like there are no long-term consequences.
Future aid should focus on testing, vaccines, the hardest-hit areas of the country, hospitals, senior living, and nonprofits.
CLICK HERE to watch my recent speech to outline my priorities in any additional COVID-19 relief bills, including bolstering PPP access, providing additional funds for schools, continuing work toward treatments and vaccines, and more.
UPDATE: Homeland Security Committee
Last month, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held two critical hearings on the Post Office and the ongoing riots in Portland, Oregon.
One of the main issues discussed during this state work period is the USPS and ensuring that our mail carriers can handle a likely influx of mail-in ballots during this presidential election. Rumors swirled, propelled by false or misleading media reports. On August 21, I participated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to question Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about his work to address false rumors that Postal Service leadership were intentionally trying to prevent Americans from casting mail-in ballots for the 2020 presidential election. Postmaster General DeJoy was clear that the ongoing necessary reforms to the Post Office to ensure solvency, which are not new, will be halted for the duration of the 2020 presidential election.
Despite rumors that the Post Office lacks the funding to handle additional capacity for this year’s election, the USPS has more than $14 billion cash on hand, the largest amount ever. In addition, the USPS has a $10 billion line of credit from the CARES Act, just to make sure they do not have financial problems this year. The notion that the Post Office can’t handle an additional 100 million pieces of mail before the November election, ignores the fact that last year during the week of December 16, the Post Office handled over 2.5 billion pieces of first class mail in one week. That’s a lot of Christmas cheer in our mailboxes. The good folks at the Post Office can certainly handle a surge of a few million ballots this October and November.
CLICK HERE to watch my Q&A with Mr. DeJoy.
CLICK HERE to read my op-ed to debunk some of the Post Office rumors.
On August 6, the Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on federal law enforcement protecting federal buildings from the riots in Portland, Oregon. As we’ve seen in countless cities around our nation recently, peaceful, law-abiding protesters are soon drown out by violent mobs. Violent protesters in Portland caused more than 277 injuries to federal law enforcement officers including chemical burns and wounds from being hit with bricks, pellet guns, commercial-grade fireworks, and mortar rounds. Officers had laser pointers shot in their eyes to blind them. Those are not peaceful protests.
I asked Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf directly: Are you cracking down on peaceful protests? Under oath, he replied, “Absolutely not.” I asked him directly: Do you have federal law enforcement in Portland that are not labeled as police on their uniforms? He replied under oath, “Absolutely not.” It is important that we remain attentive to treating every person with respect and dignity, but we must also be sure that our law enforcement can do the job we ask them to do day in and day out.
CLICK HERE to watch my Q&A with Acting DHS Secretary Wolf.
Additionally, following approval, with my support, of a subpoena for members of Blue Star Strategies surrounding connections to corrupt Russian Burisma, the Committee is continuing to provide necessary oversight and pursue the facts surrounding potential mishandling by the FBI of its investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee I chair has also continued to fight burdensome federal regulations, ensure agencies are properly administering CARES Act programs and funds, and ensure federal employees have the resources they need to continue to serve Americans.
CLICK HERE to read more about my bipartisan bill to maximize telework flexibility for federal employees, following a July 28 Subcommittee hearing on private-sector best practices for teleworking. CLICK HERE to learn more about the hearing.
UPDATE: Pro-life work
I have also continued to fight for life during this state work period to ensure American taxpayers are not forced to fund abortions here and abroad. On August 7, I led more than two dozen senators to call on the Department of Treasury to investigate Planned Parenthood’s abuse of the taxpayer-funded PPP, and separately calling on the Department of Justice to expand its ongoing investigation of Planned Parenthood in the wake of new evidence of criminal activity. CLICK HERE to read our letter. I also joined a bicameral letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to call for new regulations to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of health care. CLICK HERE to read our letter.
To help protect life abroad, I sent a bicameral letter to the Acting Administrator for the US Agency for International Development John Barsa to urge him to protect American taxpayer dollars during this pandemic from funding pro-abortion lobbying or advocacy efforts in other countries via the United Nations. This practice is in violation of the Siljander Amendment, which prevents State Department funds from being used to lobby for abortion. CLICK HERE to read our letter.
Keeping You in the Loop
Last week, I was proud to join Representative Kevin Hern, State Senator Kevin Matthews, and Deputy Tulsa Mayor Amy Brown to present the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park with its official membership into the US Department of the Interior’s African American Civil Rights Network. This long overdue designation formally recognizes the historic and national significance of the tragic Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and Dr. John Hope Franklin’s work to advance the African American civil rights movement. This was a great day for Tulsa.
Communist China remains a dangerous threat around the world and to American values and freedoms. One subversive way Communist China has sought to influence and propagandize our nation’s students is through their Confucius Institutes on American college campuses. On August 13, Secretary of State Pompeo announced the State Department will require the Confucius Institutes to register as a “foreign mission” with the Department since the Institutes are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. CLICK HERE to learn more about the State Department’s actions to thwart Communist China.
On August 24, I helped introduce the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, to streamline forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a simple, one-page attestation form to their lender. CLICK HERE to read more about the important bill to help Oklahoma lenders and small businesses.
Last month, I moved to place my Prevent Government Shutdowns Act directly on the legislative calendar for consideration by the full Senate. This bill will force Congress to do its job of funding the government and hold Members of Congress responsible. I look forward to swift consideration of my bill on the floor before we face another unnecessary and unproductive shutdown fiasco. CLICK HERE to read more about my bill to prevent government shutdowns.
Oklahomans know well the importance of our rural hospitals. They help reduce long commutes to receive even basic access to care. COVID-19 has placed an even greater burden on our already threatened rural health systems in Oklahoma and around the country. Senator Dick Durbin, Democratic Senator from Illinois, and I have joined together to help work on solutions for our nation’s rural health providers to ensure they are able to continue to serve their communities. In late July, I spoke on the Senate floor to press the Senate to include our Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act in any additional COVID relief package. Senator Durbin and I also penned an op-ed in The Hill to urge our colleagues to support our bill. CLICK HERE to watch my speech on the need to include our bill. CLICK HERE to read our bipartisan op-ed on the bill to give relief to rural hospitals.
In July, President Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill offered by Senator Inhofe and me along with Democratic Senator from Michigan, Gary Peters, to strengthen our national security by extending the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program for three years. The program, created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, ensures that facilities holding high-risk chemicals have security measures in place to reduce the risk of chemicals being stolen or weaponized by terrorists. CLICK HERE to learn more about the important new protections.
The CARES Act provided federal dollars to help ensure Americans economically affected by COVID-19 would not be evicted from their homes or face utility turn-offs. In August, the Federal Housing Administration extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31 of this year for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages covered under the CARES Act. The CARES Act also offered programs and temporary assistance to help pay for phone bills, medical bills, and other expenses. CLICK HERE to visit the Current Issues page of my website or call my office to learn more about how to access ongoing help.
In God We Trust,
United States Senator for Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The keynote speaker, breakout leaders and the legislative panel has been announced for a youth provider summit focused on Oklahoma’s homeless and displaced youth population. The summit, hosted by State. Rep. Chelsey Branham, will be broadcast virtually for attendees Sept. 10.
Oklahoma DHS Child Welfare Director Dr. Deb Shropshire is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the event. Shropshire is a pediatrician and associate professor at the Children’s Hospital at OUHSC. She joined the Oklahoma Department of Human Services - Child Welfare Division in 2014 and was named its director in June 2019. Her advocacy and heart for traumatized children and families have been nationally recognized.
“Dr. Shropshire is a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Branham said. “She is going to be able to help attendees understand the breadth and depth of this issue as well as ways to address it.”
The summit will also include a series of breakout sessions after Shropshire’s address. Each breakout session will focus on a different topic related to homeless and displaced youth. The leaders of the breakout are Jamie Caves, SISU Youth Services; Amy Curran, Generation Citizen; Jennifer Goodrich, Pivot; Keith Pirtle, Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth; Dr. Peter Messiah, Oklahoma Association of Youth Services; The Youth Board, Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
“Young people want to participate in their community in valuable ways,” Curran said. “Often, there is a lack of effective communication between youth and their adult community members. When civic development among youth is partnered with intentional community engagement, significant transformation happens. Our involvement in this summit comes from a desire to foster better communication between these stakeholders.”
The summit concludes with a bipartisan, bicameral legislative panel to discuss efforts currently being made in the Legislature to address the issues of homeless and displaced youth.
Legislative Panel Members include:
Senate Democratic Leader, Sen. Kay Floyd
Sen. Adam Pugh
Rep. Mark Lawson
House Democratic Minority Chair, Rep. Cyndi Munson
“We aren’t going to solve all the problems facing this vulnerable Oklahoma population,” Branham said. “We hope that we can continue to push for more education, resources, and collaborative solutions that lead to safer more prosperous outcomes for our young people.”
SUMMIT SIGN UP LINK: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4ca8af2ca1fe3-youth
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service downlisted the American burying beetle (ABB) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), from endangered to threatened.
"For 45 years, the Endangered Species Act has not fulfilled its mission and instead created burdensome red tape and unnecessary obstacles for landowners, small businesses, and communities to comply with," Mullin said. “In Oklahoma, the American Burying Beetle continued to be on the endangered species list, despite a substantial increase in conservation efforts which should have removed it from the list. I applaud the Trump Administration for finalizing the rule to downlist the American Burying Beetle and give regulatory certainty to landowners."
More information on the decision can be found here.
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, today held an interim study focusing on ways to serve first responders.
Presenters at the study discussed current resources and techniques first responders have available, and also shared some stories of programs designed to address this issue, such as one implemented two years ago by the Tulsa Police Department. Additionally, presenters highlighted training and funding needs to better equip first responders and their families in the future.
“Recent years have put a greater spotlight on the mental health needs of our first responders and their families,” Moore said. “Our first responders daily are on the frontline serving the public while also dealing with stress and trauma and other effects within their own ranks. They need proper training and equipment, and it is urgent that we secure additional funding, especially for our police departments.”
Moore has been a leader on this issue at the state Capitol. He has worked with Landmark Recovery to serve individuals with drug and alcohol addiction.
Speakers at today’s interim study included:
Carrie Slatton-Hodges, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Verna Foust, CEO of Red Rock Behavioral Health Services; John Graham, EMSA Chief of Staff; and Sgt. Amber McCarthy with Tulsa Police Department.
Help for first responders can be found at Red Rock’s crisis line 405-987-ROCK (7625) or online at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, https://www.ok.gov/odmhsas/.
Interim studies give lawmakers a chance to hear from experts, asked detailed questions and examine issues in greater depth than is often possible during the legislative session. Today’s study was one of more than 70 approved by the speaker of the House.
Lewis Moore serves District 96 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Eastern Oklahoma County.
Study Looks at Admissions Process to Expand Higher-Ed Removing Barriers to College Important Aspect of CJR
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, and State Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater, hosted an interim study Tuesday focused on expanding higher education opportunities for Oklahomans released from prison.
‘Beyond the Box: Equity in Admissions in Oklahoma’ evaluated Oklahoma’s college admission processes that may potentially hinder individuals from receiving access to education.
“As we continue to reform our criminal justice system, we are going to move away from being the number one state for incarceration and become the number one post-incarcerated state,” Ranson said. “We know that education is the quickest way to upward economic mobility and stability, as well as breaking the recidivism cycle. This study is about assessing where we are now and where we can grow higher education to include this marginalized population.”
Each presenter provided firsthand accounts and empirical data that supports the removal of barriers like asking about criminal history on a college application. In many situations, applicants with even minor offenses will simply discontinue the application process upon being asked this question.
Speakers participating in the study included:
Patricia DeBolt - University of Tulsa
Shad Hagan - Langston University
Aleigha Mariott -- Oklahoma State University
Colleen McCarty -- Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
Brooke Randels -- Higher education professional
Mike Reilly -- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Dr. Judith Scott-Clayton -- Columbia Professor expert of ‘Ban the Box’
Damion Shade - Oklahoma Policy Institute
Kallie Watkins -- Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
Provenzano pointed to the fact that the widely used “Common App” has already removed this question from their application, and the handful of universities in Oklahoma that utilize it have put in place post-application procedures that ensure safety standards remain.
“Campus safety is something that we cannot and will not compromise,” Provenzano said. “The data presented yesterday clearly highlights the fact that our campuses are actually pretty safe spaces. We learned today that what crimes are committed on a campus are by and large by first time offenders – those with no prior criminal history. It is time for us to consider as a state whether answering this question on a college application is serving its intended purpose, or if it is serving as a deterrent for those who have paid their debt to society and are seeking to better their lives through education.”
Talk About Hypocrisy
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump and Republicans in Congress “domestic enemies.” Honestly, I’m not even a little bit surprised she said it.
Here are just a few examples of how the radical left feels about President Trump and people who disagree with them:
“Our democracy is under siege. People need to start taking to the streets. This is a dictator!” – MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch on 2/2/2018
“If we were in high school, I'd take him [President Trump] behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.” – Former Vice President Joe Biden on 3/21/2018
“I just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country. And maybe there will be.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 6/14/2018
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” – Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on 6/25/2018
“Get up and please get up in the face of some congresspeople." – Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) on 7/25/2018
“When they go low, we kick ‘em.” – Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on 10/7/2018
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about." – Hillary Clinton on 10/9/2018
“Show me where protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.” – CNN’s Chris Cuomo on 6/2/2020
“If people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground.” – Kim Olson, Democratic candidate in Texas’s 24th Congressional District on 6/9/2020
“They’re [protests] not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day. And that should be – everyone should take note of that.” – Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on 6/18/2020
“We cannot stop at the criminal justice system, we must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.” – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on 7/7/2020
“There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives.” – Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) on 8/15/2020
Since the day President Trump was elected, the radical, left-wing Democrats have been all about resisting him, no matter the cost. Cities are literally in flames. Businesses are being lost to rioters and looters. People are getting hurt. But Speaker Pelosi is the one calling Republicans the enemies? Talk about hypocrisy.
Want to stay up-to-date on what I’m doing in Oklahoma and Washington on your behalf? Sign up for my newsletter by visiting Mullin.house.gov/newslettersignup.
OKLAHOMA CITY – In a historic move, all Oklahomans will have direct representation in the House of Representatives redistricting process after House Speaker Charles McCall appointed all House members to redistricting committees Monday.
“House members work directly for the people. Because these are the people’s districts, the House is putting the people in charge of the redistricting process,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “With this approach, more Oklahomans than ever are involved in their redistricting. This process has the highest level of accountability for the people because they directly elect their representatives.”
Eight regional redistricting subcommittees will go directly to the public to ask citizens how House districts should look for the next decade. In-person and virtual town halls, online submissions, citizen surveys and more will be used to gather extensive public input throughout the fall and winter ahead of the 2021 legislative session. Each House member will serve on a regional subcommittee.
Using the public’s input, subcommittees will produce regional maps used to build the statewide House district map.
“Public input from each region of Oklahoma is the foundation of the House’s inclusive, transparent and fully legal process to produce fair representation for all Oklahomans for another decade,” McCall said. “Oklahoma has a more than century-long track record of successful redistricting without any court determinations of improper gerrymandering. This process will maintain and improve upon that positive history.”
Every ten years, the Oklahoma Constitution requires each legislative chamber to redraw its own districts and congressional districts following the release of decennial U.S. Census data.
The 2020 census count ends Sept. 30 and final data will be delivered to states in spring 2021, at which point the Legislature is constitutionally required to enact a redistricting plan for the next decade.
A standing House Redistricting Committee will receive each regional subcommittee’s plan and be responsible for producing a statewide map for consideration by the full House in the 2021 legislative session.
McCall appointed Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, as chairman of the Redistricting Committee. Appointed as vice-chairs were Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow.
“The diverse, bipartisan leadership of the standing committee and regional subcommittees will listen to all Oklahomans and empower them to shape their districts fairly, legally and transparently,” McCall said.
The full Redistricting Committee will be appointed after the seating of the 58th Legislature in November.
“Our job is to give the public an open forum to redraw their districts,” Martinez said. “Each House member represents nearly 40,000 Oklahomans on average, and by involving each House member directly, we are involving all Oklahomans more than ever before. I look forward to citizens really taking ownership of this process and telling us what they want in their districts.”
Following the 2010 Census, Oklahoma’s 101 House districts had a population target of 37,142 constituents per district. District populations are expected to grow after the conclusion of the 2020 Census.
“Oklahoma’s diversity is our strength. We will prioritize gathering all perspectives – urban, rural, age, gender, race, profession, socioeconomic status and many others – to produce House districts that truly represent Oklahoma,” Boles said.
To assist the redistricting committees, a House Redistricting Office has been established to provide technical support to the committees. As it was a decade ago, the office is comprised of nonpartisan, professional staffers with expertise in redistricting process, law, mapping and more.
“The House redistricting process ten years ago was generally well-received, and we are hopeful this one is, as well. Our Caucus will work to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability in redistricting, and we appreciate Speaker McCall’s bipartisan approach to this matter to date,” Virgin said.
House members whose districts fall in multiple regions may choose one regional subcommittee to serve on for the purposes of voting on regional maps. Once these selections are made, final subcommittee lists will be released.
While members can serve on one subcommittee only for voting purposes, they can participate in any regional subcommittee’s public input activities as they see fit based on the needs and requests of constituents.
Tentative regional subcommittee membership is as follows:
- Chair: Rep. Carl Newton
- Vice Chair: Rep. Brian Hill
- Rep. Rhonda Baker*
- Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader*
- Rep. Kenton Patzkowsky
- Rep. Todd Russ*
- Rep. Mike Sanders
- Rep. Jay Steagall
- Rep. Harold Wright*
- Chair: Rep. Trey Caldwell
- Vice Chair: Rep. Toni Hasenbeck
- Rep. Brad Boles
- Rep. Marcus McEntire
- Rep. Charles Ortega
- Rep. Daniel Pae
- Rep. David Perryman
- Rep. Rande Worthen
- Chair: Rep. Tammy Townley
- Vice Chair: Rep. Ronny Johns
- Rep. Merelyn Bell
- Rep. Sherrie Conley
- Rep. Tommy Hardin
- House District 28 – vacant
- Rep. Chris Kannady
- Rep. Dell Kerbs
- Rep. Mark McBride
- Speaker Charles McCall
- Rep. Cynthia Roe
- Rep. Danny Sterling
- Rep. Jacob Rosencrants
- Rep. Emily Virgin
- Chair: Rep. Ty Burns
- Vice Chair: Rep. John Talley
- Rep. Chad Caldwell
- Rep. Kyle Hilbert
- Rep. Mark Lawson
- Rep. Ken Luttrell
- Rep. Garry Mize
- Rep. John Pfeiffer
- Rep. Trish Ranson
- Rep. Sean Roberts
- Rep. Kevin Wallace
- Chair: Rep. Nicole Miller
- Vice Chair: Rep. Ajay Pittman
- Rep. Kelly Albright
- Rep. Forrest Bennett
- Rep. Chelsey Branham
- Rep. Mickey Dollens
- Rep. Jason Dunnington
- Rep. Jon Echols
- Rep. Andy Fugate
- House District 89 – vacant
- Rep. Jason Lowe
- Rep. Robert Manger
- Rep. Ryan Martinez
- Rep. Lewis Moore
- Rep. Cyndi Munson
- Rep. Mike Osburn
- Rep. Marilyn Stark
- Rep. Collin Walke
- Rep. Kevin West
- Rep. Tammy West
- Chair: Rep. Sheila Dills
- Vice Chair: Rep. Monroe Nichols
- Rep. Meloyde Blancett
- Rep. Jeff Boatman
- Rep. Denise Brewer
- Rep. Carol Bush
- Rep. Ross Ford
- Rep. Dean Davis
- Rep. Regina Goodwin
- Rep. T.J. Marti
- Rep. Stan May
- Rep. Jadine Nollan
- Rep. Terry O’Donnell
- Rep. Melissa Provenzano
- Rep. Lonnie Sims
- Rep. Mark Vancuren
- Rep. John Waldron
- Chair: Rep. Jim Olsen
- Vice Chair: Rep. Rusty Cornwell
- Rep. Scott Fetgatter
- Rep. Derrel Fincher*
- Rep. Avery Frix*
- Rep. Tom Gann
- Rep. David Hardin
- Rep. Mark Lepak
- Rep. Ben Loring
- Rep. Kevin McDugle
- Rep. Matt Meridith
- Rep. Logan Phillips*
- Rep. Chris Sneed
- Rep. Judd Strom*
- Rep. Josh West
- Chair: Rep. Randy Randleman
- Vice Chair: Rep. Jim Grego
- Rep. J.J. Humphrey
- Rep. Lundy Kiger
- Rep. Dustin Roberts
- Rep. David Smith
- Rep. Johnny Tadlock
* = members whose districts are in multiple regions and may elect to change regions
NOTE: This map shows the regional subcommittee boundaries, which are based on county lines.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Rep. Chelsey Branham, D-OKC, is scheduled to host a Youth Provider Summit on Sept. 10 to amplify the need to act on Oklahoma’s homeless and system-involved youth problems.
The OKC Metro lawmaker plans on inviting providers of youth homeless, foster care, and juvenile affairs services from across the state. Branham also wants to invite state lawmakers to the summit to hear from the people working on these issues.
“The summit will have several presenters available to paint a more realistic picture of Oklahoma’s youth population than one that is commonly thought of by many Oklahomans,” Branham said. “Several of my colleagues, through no fault of their own, may believe that homeless youth, youth aging out of care, and youth incarceration is strictly an urban population. That’s just not the case. These phenomena are an issue in nearly all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.”
Lawmakers in attendance will be presented with data specific to their district.
In the last Fiscal Year, more than 1,700 Oklahoma youth took refuge in one of the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services Child Emergency Response Centers, and the numbers are even higher when you consider those that are not system involved.
“We live in the richest nation in the history of the world,” Branham said. “It would be irresponsible for us as a society not to use our resources to help these children.”
The summit will also focus on the state’s growing number of juvenile offenders and the resources available to them. Oklahoma has thousands of juvenile offenders each year.
“Homelessness and incarceration go hand in hand at every age,” Branham said. “Connecting these issues and solving them at the youth-level is a form of proactive societal prevention that will pay dividends for generations to come.”