Opposing SJR 15 - Oklahoma’s Anti-Affirmative Bill
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – A local Democratic Party women’s group will host a political forum on Tuesday, May 3rd, at Langston University – Oklahoma City Campus from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. The event is billed as a non-partisan public education community forum. Panelists will discuss the ramifications of SJR 15, a bill that is making its way through the Oklahoma Legislature. According to a spokesperson for the group, if both Houses of the Oklahoma Legislature pass the measure, a State Question would be put to a vote of the people—most likely on the 2012 presidential ballot—with the goal of ending affirmative action in Oklahoma public employment, public education, and public contracting.
Panelists for the two-hour forum include: Tamya Cox, ACLU Oklahoma Deputy Director & Legislative Counsel; Joyce Henderson, Community Volunteer & Retired OKCPS Educator; Commissioner Willa Johnson, Oklahoma County District One; Susan McCann, Political Activist & Change Oklahoma Advocate; and Giovanni Perry, local attorney and a member of the Oklahoma Democratic Party Affirmative Action Committee. The forum format will include two sessions—including a question and answer period, with refreshments served during a mid-point break.
The members of the Georgia Brown Metro Federation of Democratic Women’s Club are committed to working with the NAACP and others to ensure that Oklahomans are informed concerning the intent and impact of SJR 15 and any similar legislation that will radically amend our State Constitution and our way of life. Oklahomans need to understand where the efforts by Oklahoma legislators originate and why. According to Eunice Russell, the president of the Democratic Party women’s group, “ending affirmative action and rolling back the gains our country has made towards inclusion and against discrimination are the primary goals of Ward Connerly and his well-financed, far-right-wing national organizations and are nothing more than a self-centered attempt to destroy minority and women owned businesses, to rollback the gains of the past 40 years!”
Connerly’s American Civil Rights Institute was unsuccessful in their 2008 initiative petition drive to place an anti-affirmative action state question on Oklahoma’s 2008 ballot. His efforts garnered legal challenges by both the NAACP and ACLU. Unscrupulous efforts to inflate the petition with duplicate signatures were rejected by Oklahoma Secretary of State Susan Savage and Connerly vowed, “we will be back.”
Ms. Russell concludes by saying, “Senator Rob Johnson’s efforts are a continuation of the fear-mongering state questions that conservatives in the Oklahoma Legislature submitted to the Oklahoma voters in 2010. If Oklahomans vote in favor of the provisions of SJR 15, life as we know it will significantly change. The members of the Georgia Brown Metro Federation of Democratic Women’s Club are committed to ensuring that Oklahomans—especially Oklahoma voters—understand how the provisions of this proposed state question will adversely impact municipal and state employment, the education of our children, and contracting opportunities for our minority and women owned businesses.”