Liberal activists make their presence known in Oklahoma City

The Democratic party has faced some tough times in Oklahoma, of late. Still, party leaders are fired up over strong showings in some recent special elections. 

This week, a few hundred liberal activists demonstrated outside the National Cowboy Museum when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spoke at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) annual Citizenship Dinner. 

Democrats seem likely to field candidates in at least four of the five congressional districts. And, a variety of events demonstrate liberal activism is alive and well in the Sooner State. 

* * * 

Oklahoma state Democratic Party officials say space is running out for the 2012 Carl Albert Dinner, the annual fundraising/awards dinner for party activists scheduled for tonight (Friday, April 13). 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been added as a speaker for the event at the downtown Renaissance Hotel. Speaking of Rev. Jesse Jackson, his visit to Oklahoma originated with a trip to Tulsa to call attention to the shooting deaths of three African-Americans last weekend. Two white suspects are in custody in connection with the murders. 
Tonight’s Democratic party event overlaps with a Thunder NBA game, so attendees are being asked to allow plenty of time for arrival. 

The party is honoring four, lifelong Democrats at the event. U.S. Rep. Dan Boren of Muskogee and state Senator Judy Eason-McIntyre will share the Carl Albert Award, named for the late Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Eason-McIntyre, chairwoman of the Tulsa County Democratic Party, will leave the Legislature this year.  

Receiving the Opio Toure Award Friday night will be state Sen. Jim Wilson of Tahlequah and Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City. 

The weekend of Democratic events continues Saturday (April 14) with the “Activist Awards Luncheon, where honorees (by Congressional District) include CD 1 – Elaine Dodd, CD 2 – Kenneth Monroe, CD 3 – Anita Normanm CD 4 – Bonnie Koleta Wells and Mark Ashton, and CD 5 – Emily Allen and Jo Davis. 

* * * 

Also this evening in the capital city, at 6 p.m., friends and family of Dane Scott, Jr. are holding a rally on the east side, at the Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 N.E. 23rd. 

Scott died March 14 after a police chase in Del City. He was mortally wounded; some leading African-American activists have called for actions against the police officer who fired the fatal shots. The Del City police investigative report on the incident was turned over the Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater earlier this week. 

* * * 

Another activist group, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, will hold its membership and awards dinner Saturday, April 21 at the Conner Center of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 3214 N. Lake Avenue, (one block west of Western), Oklahoma City.   The event begins at 6:30 p.m.   

Featured speaker is Richard Dieter of the anti-capital punishment group, Death Penalty Information Center, in Washington, D.C. The group describes itself as “a non-profit organization serving the public and the media with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.” 

At the dinner, Monsignor Edward J. Weisenburger, recently named bishop-elect of the Salina, Kansas diocese, will receive the coalition’s “Lifetime Abolitionist” award. 

* * * 

On March 29, as controversy spread nationwide over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, hundreds of Langston University students gathered for a campus rally. The event included a march from Page Hall to the area south of Sanford Hall on the campus. 

After the march, speakers to the crowd included several students, state Senator Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City and Angelia Jones, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management for Langston. Attendees wore “hoodies,” ate Skittles and drank tea, according to a release from the Langston University office of public relations.