Reps. Pittman, Matthews assume leadership of Legislative Black Caucus

State Rep. Anastasia A. Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, will serve as the caucus chair and said she will continue in her “collaborative and community-sensitive” approach to serving the diverse communities of Oklahoma. State Rep. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, who will serve as chair-elect and treasurer, said he brings his business background and strategic approach to the efforts of the caucus.
Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, praised the new leaders of the caucus.
“I am proud to serve alongside Representatives Pittman and Matthews on the House Floor, and both have shown strong commitment to serving their districts and the people of Oklahoma. 
“Rep. Pittman is a personal friend and she has proven time and time again to be a woman of unwavering compassion and the ability to lead. Rep. Matthews has shown a true passion for helping to create a better Oklahoma for future generations. I look forward to their input on policy and issues in the time ahead.”
Concerning Pittman, Matthews said, “Our styles complement one another. Rep. Pittman is an educator and I am strategic. We each bring a different skill set to the table, but we do have a lot in common as well. We both are driven by our faith as members of the Church of Christ and we both want to create more opportunities for Oklahomans.”
Pittman, a former Oklahoma Senate employee, said her interest in public service started at an early age and was encouraged by mentors and former senators, such as Vickie Miles-LaGrange, Angela Monson and Enoch Kelly Haney.
“My leadership style is focused on community input and collaboration, it comes from having a strong foundation in faith,” she commented in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK.
“My faith teaches me to see each person’s potential and encourage that potential.”
Matthews, a businessman and former administrative fire chief from Tulsa, said he felt called to serve when current state Sen. Jabar Shumate vacated his House seat.
I’ve admired the work of the members of the Black Caucus, but I’ve also seen where I could contribute economic development ideas because of my business background,” said Matthews. “I’ve learned through my faith that blessings should go through you, not to you and the power is in giving, so after my retirement, I decided to give my time and serve.”
The caucus will serve a dual role, Pittman said.
We will pursue a strong agenda that will address the needs of our communities that will include education issues, economic development programs, healthcare accessibility, public safety, and corrections. We will also host conversations with the Caucus through town hall meetings, a retreat for members, activities to build relationships with community partners and host an Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus Prayer Breakfast to kick-off our next legislative session.
We will be focused on legislation and on policy, but we will also be focused on solutions that do not require legislative action. The role of the Caucus is to support community efforts and to recognize the accomplishments of African Americans to help provide the positive role models and bridges to the next generation of local leaders.