Thursday January 14, 2021 one of nine Senate Redistricting Town Hall Meetings was held in The Summit Conference Center at City Central. Senator Bill Coleman opened the meeting with introductions including Representative Ken Luttrell, Senator Roland Pederson, Mayor Homer Nicholson, and District Attorney Brian Hermanson. Coleman then introduced Senator Dave Rader, Tulsa, co-vice chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee and Jacob Eischen, Multimedia Communication Specialist at Oklahoma State Senate.
Senator Rader opened the meeting sharing the direction the Redistricting Committee have taken to meet with the public and make the meetings open to the public. Those who were on-line, as well as those who would like to ask questions or have comments were invited to submit their concerns via email to the Senate at: email@example.com, the House at: redistrictoklahoma2020@okhouse. gov available 24/7. Senator Rader then introduced Senator Keith Beall, Oklahoma Senate Redistricting Director.
Senator Keith Beall presented information for redrawing the State Legislature districts every ten years following the federal Census. “We’re in the process of following up the 2020 Census and waiting on the official data,” stated Beall. Senator Beall also shared how he’s always asked why do we have to do this and his response is, “Population shifts within the entire state and the need to redistrict is necessary to preserve one person, one vote, so we redraw the district based on population and they will start at basically the same size. This process will be repeated ten years later.” By law, the Legislature must redraw its legislative and congressional district boundaries to reflect changes in population every ten years immediately following the decennial Census.
Senator Beall presented several slides, going through the steps as to why and how redistricting is important to every citizen and why public input into this process is important.
Meetings were livestreamed when possible, and video is archived. Previous House and Senate meetings can be viewed at: https://okhouse.gov/Video/Default.aspx and https://oksenate.gov/livechamber.
If you were not available to attend any of the 18 Redistricting Town Hall Meetings, the House and Senate Redistricting Office staff will hold the last of two scheduled joint virtual town hall meetings to answer questions and take comments in real-time, Monday January 25, 6:00 p.m. No sign up required, everyone welcome, https://www.okhouse.gov/Publications/VirtualMeets.aspx.