VOICE Gala raises money for restorative justice effort

VOICE Gala of Gratitude raises money for restorative justice effort 

Oklahoma City, OK, November 6, 2015 – VOICE hosted its third annual Gala of Gratitude earlier this month! While we enjoyed a night of celebration and honoring leaders in our community, VOICE also kicked off a fundraising effort focused on our restorative justice campaign.

VOICE has developed an informative presentation on the state of public safety in Oklahoma. Two critical pieces of our presentation are being able to have ex-offenders travel the state to tell their stories and the continued training of leaders we identify while giving the presentation. We are offering ex-offenders, who often have trouble gaining employment or what employment they have is hourly, a stipend to make presentations and lift some of the burden of taking off from work.

We are asking people to help us raise money to achieve those two goals. Click here and support our efforts to have meaningful reform of our criminal justice system! Your support will help us be more effective as this effort moves forward. Please give generously! 

 

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VOICE calls for Corporation Commission to rehear AT&T case

VOICE calls for Corporation Commission to rehear AT&T case

Oklahoma City, OK, October 31, 2015 – VOICE leaders, concerned about the interests of ratepayers and families, will ask the Corporation Commission to reconsider a 25-year old decision on phone rates that was allowed to stand after bribery in the case led to two people going to federal prison. VOICE leaders will make public comments on the Southwestern Bell case (now AT&T) Tuesday, Nov 2, at 10 am during a public hearing at the Corporation Commission. 

VOICE leaders have heard many rumors and questions surrounding this case:

--Claims that rate payers are owed as much as $16 billion in repayment and interest, amounting to $15,000 per land line user. 

--Claims that the Attorney General who is charged with protecting ratepayers is suddenly worried about time and resources after engaging in numerous losing lawsuits against the federal government in recent months and ongoing legal action against the State of Colorado.

-- Widespread media reports of campaign contributions from AT&T executives that gave him in excess of $40,000 in his last campaign in which he ran unopposed

--Claims that this case has merit in spite of numerous court dismissals.

“The drama of this case aside, the residents of Oklahoma deserve to know if a vote that affected nearly every Oklahoman was made illegally,” said Douglas Holsted, a leader with VOICE. “They also deserve to have a fair and legal ruling by the Corporation Commission if the original case in question is found to have been decided illegally.”

“The Corporation Commissioners have an opportunity and responsibility to investigate the corruption done in years past” continues Douglas Holsted. “The facts of this case deserve the light of day and giving the applicants that opportunity is a prudent course of action.”

VOICE leaders intend to submit public comments about the case and speak to the concerns of the ratepayers and families across Oklahoma.

ABOUT VOICE

VOICE, or Voices Organized in Civic Engagement, is a coalition of 25 congregations, nonprofits, and schools that have come together out of a deep sense of concern for the pressures families face in the Oklahoma City metro area. The organization serves as an institute for public life, identifying and training institution-based leaders to be able to act more effectively on behalf of their children, their schools, their neighborhoods, and the community. Member institutions focus on the issues they can agree to work together on, such as public education, restorative justice, utility costs, and public transportation.

Contact:

Nick Singer                                       or                                      Douglas Holsted

Organizer, VOICE                                                                       VOICE Economic Justice Action Team

singer.a.nick@gmail.com                                                            douglas@coxholstedcpa.com

(405) 416-3126                                                                        (405) 516-8811

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VOICE to receive the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award

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VOICE – Voices Organized in Civic Engagement – is being honored by the Oklahoma Bar Association with the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award during the OBA’s 2015 Diversity Dinner on October 15. The award is given annually by the Bar Association to select individuals and organizations who outwardly demonstrate that “diversity matters in Oklahoma.”

The award is named in honor of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, who was the first African American woman to attend an all-white law school. In making the selections, the Bar Association’s Diversity Committee honors those in the legal profession and in the community who are making “tremendous strides toward ensuring that ‘We Are What We Ought to Be.’”

“VOICE is very honored to be one of the recipients of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Diversity Awards,” said the VOICE Education Fund President, Sundra Flansburg. “A foundation of our work is building relationships across many of the lines that tend to divide us in order to improve the accountability of our civic leaders to the people they represent.”

Along with VOICE, five other organizations and people are receiving this honor on Thursday: The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM); Unheard, the OU alliance of African American students; Judge Jerome Holmes, Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons; and Attorney Valery Giebel.

VOICE is a coalition of congregations, worker associations, schools, and nonprofit groups that have come together out of a deep sense of mission and concern for families in the Oklahoma City metro area. Member institutions are building relationships across the lines that divide people in our community, in order to stand together to challenge some of the decisions that are made that impact families. VOICE has taken on increasing utility rates and high-stakes testing in the school, and is currently working on a campaign to challenge the fines and fees placed on those who have been incarcerated.  For more information, contact Lead Organizer Kristen King at okciaf@sbcglobal.net or 405-613-3621.

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Voices Organized In Civic Engagement (VOICE) Action Fund
VOICE is a coalition of congregations, nonprofits, and schools that have come together out of a deep sense of mission and concern for the pressures faced by families in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. We want to develop the leadership skil