Young interim study provides discussion about better supporting minority and women-owned businesses
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. George Young wants to make Oklahoma the premier state for supporting minority and female-owned businesses, a commitment he vocalized during his interim study – Equitable Procurement for Minority and Women-owned Businesses – that was hosted Tuesday at the state Capitol.
“Last week was the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Week, and I’m thrilled the federal government is giving some attention to their importance within our communities,” said Young, D-Oklahoma City. “However, we must establish policies to broaden our tax base and promote a larger pool that will benefit all Oklahomans – especially our small business owners. Why does the state give economic incentives to the Oklahoma City Thunder, for example, but fail miserably at providing incentives for small business owners? The state has a duty to provide equitable resources for all.”
The study brought together small business owners, community development leaders and government officials to discuss equitable solutions to ensure minority and women-owned businesses are operating on a level playing field.
Presenter Robert Ruiz, president of the Scissortail Community Development Corporation, said a simple solution to allow more minority businesses to compete for government contracts would be to break down the projects into smaller sections. He explained most of these contracts are large in scope and could only be won by the largest companies in the state, but if the contracts are broken down into manageable projects, it would be more equitable for Oklahoma’s small businesses to participate and compete.
Apollo Woods, OKC Black Eats owner, agreed with the sentiment, and added that cities should also be breaking down their contracts to make them more obtainable for small business owners.
Oklahoma County Commissioner Carrie Blumert addressed the group with a legislative solution to expanding opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. She said she began working with Woods to start a purchasing program that would help these small businesses, but the pair quickly found state statute does not give county governments the authority to begin programs such as these.
Blumert’s solution was to update language within state laws so counties across Oklahoma could have the option to begin minority and women-owned business programs if they’d like.
“I am very thankful to all of our speakers for giving us their time and sharing their wisdom with members of the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee regarding minority and female-led businesses,” Young said. “While we live in a traditionally business-friendly state, there’s more we need to do to ensure our policies are fair and just for all business owners – not just the large corporations. I look forward to continuing this discussion as we work towards the 2022 legislative session.”
Other study presenters included Ailene Siharath, The Hive Eatery co-owner, and Ken Talley, Oklahoma Department of Commerce business specialist/minority-owned business information.
What is the Oklahoma Republican Party Hiding from the Public?
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, September 21, 2021
When will the Republicans set the dates for the special legislative session and finalize the state map on redistricting? They have the staff, so that's not the problem. What's the real reason for delaying? These are just some of the question posed by the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
"This is another example of our Republican-super-majority legislature stacking the deck to protect their jobs. Politicians picking their voters rather than the voters picking their representation," commented Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. "They don't want challenges. The Governor, Pro Tem, and Speaker have the power and are showing us that they don't intend to use it for the good of Oklahoma.
"The Census estimates were way off; 2/3 of all districts have to be redrawn. Republicans are creating an unnecessary delay. What's with the 'behind closed doors' approach -- what are they hiding from the public?” asked Andrews?
"There's no transparency. There's no accountability. What if someone wants to run against an incumbent? The Oklahoma Democratic Party demands the special session dates be released and maps published and for the Republicans to stop hiding behind closed doors delaying the process," Andrews concluded.
Stitt Leading Oklahomans to Hospital, Cemetery
OKLAHOMA CITY, December 29, 2020 – Monday, Oklahoma state health officials released figures showing that there are 3,400 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths. Worse, there are now over 1,900 Oklahomans hospitalized with the virus and 500 of them in ICU units.
“It is absurd that the governor of Oklahoma refuses to play an active leadership role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our state,” said Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, in a blistering attack against the state’s highest ranked Republican.
“Stitt has done less than zero to protect our citizens. Yesterday saw 13 more Oklahomans die. How many of these deaths could have been prevented if Stitt had shown leadership from the beginning?” asked Andrews.
“This is not a rhetorical question. Most counties are at Tier 3 when it comes to hospitalizations and Oklahoma County is nearing Tier 4,” she said. “Tier 4 is when hospitals are expected to be at full capacity.
“Today over 1,927 Oklahomans are in the hospital and 500 of those are in ICU care. This is shameful, horrible for Oklahoma families. Our governor is not a leader. He has proven this over and over again. Sadly, Oklahomans across our state are paying with their very lives because of his refusal to lead.
“While it is too late for those we have already lost to this horrific virus, we demand that Stitt find the courage, the human decency, and the fortitude to protect the rest of our citizens by issuing an immediate statewide mask mandate. If he fails to do so, the only leading he is doing is straight to the hospital and to the cemetery,” declared Andrews.
Who We Are
WHO ARE WE?
The ODP Veterans Committee believes that the interest of Veterans and military families, and of all Oklahomans, are best served by electing Democrats to office. With this goal in mind, our campaign efforts in 2020 included.
-endorsement statements, specific to each candidate, disseminated by us and used by 38 Oklahoma Democrats in their campaigns;
-donated $6,000 to the unified campaign for GOTV;
-acquired names and contact information for 112,000 Oklahoma veterans, put this data into the VAN, and used it for our "Vets Calling Vets" phone and text bank;
-improved our campaign infrastructure with a website (OKDemvets.org), Facebook page, Mad Mimi email program, and Act Blue account; (These platforms are our only overhead. Our efforts are all volunteer— no salaries!)
-Established a direct connection to the DNC's Veterans and Military Families Council and the Biden/Harris Presidential campaign;
-Bestowed annual awards on deserving legislators and campaign volunteers.
Going forward, we will continue with these projects and have begun a new one, Project Bootstrap, a plan to assist, in cooperation with the district Democratic committees, recently dormant county committees seeking to rebuild.
We will also host candidate forums, beginning with our traditional Pancake Breakfast in Oklahoma City on September 25, 2021