Status report on English-only bills in Oklahoma legislature

From Cleveland Co. Green Alice Alice Anderton, who serves as Executive Director of the Intertribal Wordpath Society:

Friends,

The official English bills have been making their way through the legislative process. Time to make some calls and let people know that official English sends the wrong, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, divisive, pro-anglo message. And even though some measures make exceptions for Indian languages, if a bill wouldn’t be good for Indian languages, it wouldn’t be good for any minority language.

HB1423 (Rep. George Fought) Voted out of the Government Modernization, Agency Oversight and Administrative Rules subcommittee. Next will be considered in the General Government and Transportation Committee. If it succeeds there, it will go to a full vote of the House, where it will probably pass easily. The membership of the GG&T Committee is:

Guy Liebmann, Chair Scott Martin, Vice-Chair

Lisa Billy Jerry McPeak
Mike Brown Eric Proctor
Rex Duncan R. C. Pruett
Mike Jackson Mike Thompson
Charlie Joyner Dale Turner
Al Lindley John Wright
Steve Martin

Billy, Lindley, and McPeak are strongly opposed to HB 1423. Others I’m not sure of. I would recommend calling the chair, and any members that you may have a relationship with, or in whose district you live or work.

SB 38 (Kathleen Wilcoxson) This is the Senate’s version of official English. It has been assigned to the Rules Committee. Sean Burrage (D, Claremore) and Mike Shulz (R, Cheyenne) are the co-chairs. Committee members are:

Cliff Branan John Ford
Earl Garrison Joe Sweeden
James Williamson Jim Wilson

SB 416 (Anthony Sykes, Newcastle)

This is a second bill on the senate side, which calls for a public referendum on official English. It has also been assigned to Rules.

I don’t know when either of the committees will take up their respective bills. You can call your own Representative and Senator and ask them to keep you informed of the scheduling. Or call or email committee chairs directly. For email addresses and phone numbers go to okhouse.gov and oksenate.gov. Or you can find your local legislators in the phonebook government pages.

We don’t need to make the state safe for the MAJORITY culture and language! (I have attached a page of “talking points,” aassembled by the Coalition for Language Diversity, for background.)

Intertribal Wordpath Society

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GPOK joins Alice in saying: Oppose “English Only” laws!

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