OKLAHOMA CITY -- Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) used her reserved seats during the State of the State on Monday to highlight the need for the legislature to continue its focus on education funding, criminal justice reform, and creating a state government that is welcoming to all Oklahomans.
CeCe Jones-Davis is a criminal justice reform advocate who highlights unjust and wrongful convictions along with racial disparities in sentencing.
Claudia Swisher is a lifetime educator who has been a vocal advocate for Oklahoma’s public education system.
Kendra Wilson Clements is the treasurer of Freedom Oklahoma, an organization that advocates for gay, lesbian, and transgender Oklahomans.
Tondalao “Toni” Hall is a victim of irresponsible and dangerous sentence requirements that allowed her to be unjustly sentenced to 30 years in prison for failure to protect a child from abuse, while the child’s abuser received probation.
“The state of the state is a day where we reflect on progress and hear a vision for our state’s future,” Virgin said. “When you look at our recent history, there is no doubt that progress has been made in the areas of criminal justice reform and education, but Toni, Claudia, and CeCe will all tell you that we can’t afford to stop now. And frankly, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on LGBTQ rights. I appreciate these powerful women for joining me, and I look forward to working with them to build a stronger, more inclusive Oklahoma.”