Oklahoma citizens have the right to initiate statewide legislation via ballot measures. Several recent legislative efforts have targeted Oklahoma’s Citizen Initiative Petition process to make it harder to file petitions. The League of Women Voters believes the public’s ability to file measures to be placed on a state ballot should be protected and preserved.
Please join us for an hour-long informative discussion that will explore Oklahoma’s Citizen Initiative Petition process and potential changes to the process.
Panelists are Oklahoma Representative Amanda Swope, Cole Allen (Oklahoma Policy Institute), and Andy Moore (Let’s Fix This). Panel moderator will be David Blatt, PhD, a professor at OU-Tulsa.
Date: Thursday, April 20, 2023
Time: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Location: via Zoom
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Amanda Swope is a descendant of the Osage Nation and a citizen of the Muscogee Nation where she is employed as the Director of Tribal Juvenile Justice Director. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University, Amanda began her career in nonprofit management as a Development Director fundraising and grant writing for social services organizations. In 2018, after receiving her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma she started working at the Muscogee Nation as a Self-Governance Analyst negotiating federal compacts and identifying areas of sovereignty expansion. Amanda has worked locally in her community on political campaigns since 2011 and brings with her research experience and policy and data analysis.
She has served on multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion committees, and police advisory councils as well as volunteering with organizations like the Community Service Council, Junior League of Tulsa, Tulsa Young Professionals, Junior Achievement, Little Blue House, and the Terence Crutcher Foundation. Her passion for civic engagement led her to serve as the youngest and first indigenous Chair of the Tulsa County Democratic Party and in November 2022, she was elected to the 59th Legislature of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She serves on the Elections and Ethics Committee, Administrative Rules Committee, State Powers Committee, Rules Committee, and Public Safety Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Cole Allen is a Policy Fellow at Oklahoma Policy Institute where he covers democracy, elections, and government transparency policy in Oklahoma. Cole is also a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma where he is finishing his Master’s Degree in International Studies. Cole hopes his work at OK Policy will help protect Oklahoma’s democratic systems to make it a more just and equitable state for all Oklahomans.
Andy Moore is the founder and CEO of Let’s Fix This and Let’s Fix This Votes, which are nonpartisan, Oklahoma-based education and advocacy organizations with a mission to engage and empower underrepresented communities to build sustainable people power that eliminates barriers to civic participation and guides policy-making. Andy also serves as the Executive Director for the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers and was previously the campaign manager for a statewide ballot initiative campaign to end gerrymandering by creating an independent redistricting commission.
David Blatt joined the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa in January 2020 as the George Kaiser Family Foundation Professor of Practice. At OU-Tulsa, Blatt teaches seminars on subjects including public finance, education policy, health care, poverty and inequality, immigration and the legislative process. Before joining OU, Blatt helped found and served 10 years as Executive Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute, a state policy think-tank that aims to expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy. David previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County, as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate, and as a Parliamentary Intern for the Canadian House of Commons. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University (1996), an M.A. from McGill University (1989) and a B.A. from the University of Alberta (1986).