“We The People Oklahoma” is a state advocacy group. Though the group is based in Tulsa, they have a network of people in different towns and cities across the state. Their primary focuses are on the accountability and transparency of elected officials, as well as on informing Oklahoma residents about their rights and responsibilities.
Marq Lewis, Community Organizer and founder of the group, has helped create a strong volunteer network to work on different campaigns and projects.
Recently, the group sent a press release to Mary Fallin calling for the removal of Oklahoma Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston Doerflinger. The group believes Doerflinger is “more concerned that the Department of Corrections was taken care of than that education was taken care of.”
To date, a change.org petition started by We The People has 284 of 500 signatures required to be sent to Governer Fallin. We The People is also reviewing the 238 page Community Safety Institute’s report on the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. The TCSO audit began after the shooting of Eric Harris and states that “the agency has been in a perceptible decline for over a decade.”
The group is biding their time until the newly elected Sheriff takes over to bring change to an organization that has, “developed a systematic and institutionalized practice of disregarding organizational policies and procedures.”
Lewis and the group prefer to work on these local issues instead of participating in national campaigns because “we immediately see and feel the effect of local issues.” Lewis does note, though, that national issues often “echo what’s happening locally,” such as prison overpopulation.
Another aspect to consider is that national issues are garnering attention from all across the country. Local issues don’t get the same type of media or political attention. This leaves the task of remedying local issues up to the people in that community.
“[Oklahomans’] tax dollars matter and their lives matter,” Lewis notes “…and somebody needs to speak up for them.”
Lewis mentions that, though the group does occasionally have rallies to bring public attention to an issue, the communication method the organization uses most is social media. Anybody interested in working with the group can reach out by contacting them on their “We The People Oklahoma” Facebook page or at wethepeopleoklahoma.com.