Serena Blaiz interviews Mark Henricksen, who is running for Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Delegates will vote at the state convention on May 20. Mark shares his reasons for running, his ideas for making the party more successful, and what he’s learned as a result of visiting 31 Oklahoma counties (and counting) in pursuit of this office.
Host Serena Blaiz looks at progressive activism in the deep red Sooner State of Oklahoma.
In this episode of Pointing Left with Serena Blaiz, UCO students seek to have the school declared a sanctuary school for undocumented students. Also, Susan McCann looks at some elections coming up in early 2017 for Oklahoma City and a special election in House District 28.
Song: No one is illegal, by David Rovics.
Theme music: Oklahoma Blues by Watermelon Slim, used with permission.
Today I’ll be talking about an event, a worldwide celebration that happens on Sept. 21 each year. Yes, a few months off yet, but if you are hosting an event then, you have to start planning, oh, about now!
This Quick Point was recorded on June 9, 2016.
In this Quick Point I want to tell you about the new June 2016 issue of Oklahoma Peace Strategy, which is a newsletter produced by the Oklahoma City Peace House. This segment was recorded on June 5, 2016.
I’ll tell you about what’s in this issue, do a quick review of some past issues, then tell you how to get both the printed copy and the online digital version of the paper, as well as the archive of past issues.
The cover story is by Paula Sophia Schonaeur about her thoughts and experiences with transgender visibility, a very timely issue. The current and future relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is a very important debate at the moment – in fact CodePink dynamo Medea Benjamin has a new book out on that very topic, but here Peace House Director Nathaniel Batchelder has written an op-ed on behalf of a local coalition he helped found, Americans Against the Next War, in which Saudi militarism in the Middle East – and the not unrelated US military support for Saudi Arabia — is challenged. The recently ended session of the Oklahoma legislature gets criticized rather strongly, and an article from Veterans for Peace demands an end to nuclear weapons. Last but not least, two articles on upcoming state questions on the ballot this November take the center spread, with appeals to vote NO on both 776, on the death penalty, and 777, dealing with factory farming.
Sprinkled in the mix are ads for local businesses that support progressive values embodied by the newspaper. Retail stores, health products and service providers, a retreat center, lawyers, even a dentist – it’s like progressive thinking can be found just about anywhere in Oklahoma. Oh, wait, it can!
So that’s the latest issue. What if you should be interested in researching what the Oklahoma City peace community has been concerned about or doing over the past decade or so? Well, a good place to start would be the archive of past issues of Oklahoma Peace Strategy that is available on the website at peacehousok.org/news. Let’s look back at a couple of random issues, shall we?
In April of 2014, the cover story looks at the debate in Oklahoma at that time about expanding Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma – oh, wait, that debate is STILL going on! The tactic at that time was a billboard campaign addressing Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision on the matter. I’ll leave you to deduce what that says about our state’s leaders that two years later nothing has changed and that the progressive position on it is more correct than ever, considering the tax money of Oklahoma citizens that are leaving our state not to return despite the option to do so.
Other issues covered in that edition: climate change – an ongoing effort by the Peace House to education and advocate for saving the planet – the F35 boondoggle, fracking and earthquakes – yes another thing that progressives were right about before it hit the mainstream, increasing the minimum wage, and boycotting Koch industries whose money funds so much right wing destructive policy in our country.
Digging back even deeper into the past, the May of 2011 issue features the thoughts of college students on issues like LGBT rights, immigration and war. Also included is the text of a speech by popular local minister Robin Meyers, of Mayflower Congregational Church, as given at a pro-union rally. The address focused on Citizens United and economic justice. An article by Peace House director Nathaniel Batchelder opined on the impact of Ed Shadid’s victory in the city council election on diversity in OKC.
So, basically, you can see that reading OPS is like getting The Oklahoman two or three years early. Okay, maybe two or three decades early, but you do not want me to get started on that rag, or this podcast could no long be called “Quick Point.”
So, if you want to read OPS for yourself, put this address in your browser: peacehousok.org/news. That’s the digital archive and the most recent issue available is at the top. If you want a physical copy, they are available at a variety of local establishments, and that archive page has a link to the list of current distribution points – but be aware they may run out. If you don’t want to miss a single issue, you need to subscribe by email or snail mail, and info on that is also on that page. Again, the address is peacehousok.org/news.
If you or your organization has news to submit for possible inclusion in future issues, or you’d like to advertise, yep, it’s all there.
Finally, on the last page of each issue is a list of names – the names of folks who donate to make the work of the Peace House, including its newspaper, possible. Give some coins to the cause, and your name too can be right there to document your support for peace and justice in central OK. It’s not the only good group doing that work, but it’s one that’s been at it a long time, and will probably be ahead of the curve on policy for a long time to come.
OPS is edited by Nathaniel Batchelder, Donna Compton, Conna Wilkerson. And, full disclosure, I also have a hand in it too.
The Quick Point podcast is part of the Oklahoma Activist project. If you have a quick point to share via this podcast, go to oklahomaactivist.com and sign up to become a contributor.
Produced under a Creative Commons license. 2016 Oklahoma Activist.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.