Leaders publicly called on Governor Mary Fallin to veto the bill, on television and in writing arguing, as did Fr. Tim Luschen, that the bill is "not anything that can make our community a better place."Read more
This year, Elise Robillard declared on behalf of VOICE-OKC, "It's time to stop protecting profits for major corporations like OG&E and start protecting the families of Oklahoma, people who are going to have to choose between buying groceries and paying their electric bill." Finally succumbing to organized campaigns of weekly calls to address the issue, the utility commission ruled, permitting OG&E an $8.9 Million rate increase (only 72 cents per month). Furthermore, the commission will claw back $50 Million in back charges to residential users, inappropriately charged by OG&E prior to the ruling.Read more
Over the last six months VOICE leaders (including the Oklahoma Educators Association) have been presenting "High-Stakes Testing: Is it Worth the Cost?" all over the state. The presentation exposed the cost of and examines the impact of high-stakes testing and created opportunities for students, teachers, parents and school administrators to weigh in. VOICE leaders collected input regarding what would make an "A" school, identifying four main themes:Read more
African American clergy from VOICE-OKC called on State Superintendent Janet Barresi and her 6 opponents to participate in an accountability session June 6th focusing on testing and the quality of public schools in Oklahoma. Said Reverend Ray Douglas, senior pastor of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma, "These kids are the people who are going to have to be our leaders and take care of us in the future...The future is in their hands, and it has to be in educated hands if we're going to survive and prosper."Read more
"About 300 people attended the Interfaith Prayer Service for Immigration hosted by Voices Organized in Civic Engagement...Clergy leaders shared Scripture readings, prayers, poetry and other writings that described the church's responsibility to aid immigrants who seek a better life in America...The Rev. Tim Luschen, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, read an excerpt from a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document titled "Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope.""
In photo, Rev. Raul Reyes exhorts participants at the service.
[Photo Credit: Sarah Phipps, Oklahoman]
"We hope to get citizens engaged in conversations that confront our communities, and we will try to hold public officials accountable for their decisions and votes," said Lance Schmitz, pastor of Capitol Hill Church of the Nazarene and an original member of VOICE's earlier entity, the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee..."Read more
"Linda Clark, a VOICE leader who attends St. Charles Borromeo, said the issues VOICE will bring to the forefront are those that the poor, immigrants and other marginalized community members have identified as important to them.Read more
On February 12th, almost 1,200 leaders from 23 institutions and 8 denominations gathered to launch VOICE: Voices Organized in Civic Engagement. Dr. George Young, pastor of Holy Temple Baptist Church asked, "Who will speak for me? ...Do you hear the rumbling?...Do you hear the roar?...I add my voice to the roar: VOICE!"Read more