OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, were joined Wednesday by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan, and Rep. José Cruz, D-Oklahoma City, in announcing the formation of the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Latino Caucus. Brooks said the caucus will help better address the unique needs of the state’s fastest growing population, the Latino community, while also celebrating and recognizing their contributions to Oklahoma’s economy.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Oklahoma’s Latino community. Our people make up over 11% of the state’s population, own more than 10,000 businesses and have buying power approaching $8 billion annually,” Brooks said. “This caucus will ensure the legislature stays informed of the Latino community’s economic and cultural contributions to our state. We also will ensure their voices are heard and their needs and concerns addressed.”
The four founding members will spend time this interim visiting with the Latino communities and leaders in their respective districts and establish the bylaws and membership qualifications for the caucus. When the final census data is released later this year, they will use it to determine which legislative districts have significant Latino populations and invite those members to join the caucus next session.
While they will not be voting members, the caucus will also welcome legislative staff, Senate executive assistants and House legislative assistants who are of Latino descent.
“The Latino community is strong in Oklahoma with over 440,000 voices. Every area of our state government is impacted by these incredible people, from the workforce to our schools, and let’s not forget their strong family values,” Martinez said. “We want our fellow Latinos to know that they have a voice in the Oklahoma Legislature, and now they have a platform to really get involved and bring about positive change for their families and our state.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Brooks: (405) 521-5557 or Michael.Brooks@oksenate.gov
Rep. Martinez: (405) 557-7342 or Ryan.Martinez@okhouse.gov
Sen. Garvin: (405) 521-5522 or Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov
Rep. Cruz: (405) 557-7397 or Jose.Cruz@okhouse.gov