The pizza was hot and the reception State Representative Scott Inman received from the 55J employees was even hotter. It was standing room only when OPEA introduced Representative Inman.
“Now this is what I’m talking about! I have heard many great things about this particular DHS county office from Brandon, and I am excited to be here and see the enthusiasm and feel the excitement resonating in this room full of dedicated and outstanding DHS employees! I am more than pleased to be here. I want to thank OPEA and the 55J Chapter Officers for making it possible,” Inman said.
Representative Inman and OPEA Grievance Coordinator Clyde McClendon were introduced to the OKDHS workers. Inman spoke to the group about the fundamentals of the political process and the importance of being politically active. He also answered questions posed to him by the audience.
He talked to the workers about the goings-on of the political process and tried to put things in the right perspective by telling a story from his youth. “As a child, I was watching the Presidential Inaugural when my father stressed to me the people don’t work for the politicians; but rather, the people voted into office work for the people and have a responsibility to them in that leadership role,” Inman said.
He also stressed the importance of being involved in campaigning. “It’s very important you become an active participant in the voting process. Walk for your candidate hanging door signs. If you cannot do so due to bad knees or other health problems, then use the telephone as your campaign tool. The point is that you have a say in who is going to be elected through becoming involved,” said Inman.
In addition, OPEA introduced the recently-elected OKDHS Council Chairperson Haley Faulkenberry and the new OKDHS Council Membership Representative Eric Dickerson. “OPEA has a new face,” said OPEA Membership Representative Brandon Watkins. “We have new cutting-edge leadership within the DHS Council as well as fresh new board members. Haley is very politically astute and Eric is influential in obtaining new members. Due to election season, this is a critical time for everyone to get on board with OPEA. County Agencies are joining left and right and their voices are being heard! It really is an exciting time for this association,” said Watkins.
“Our office’s support of OPEA is evident in the number of employees at the meeting, not to mention the high number of new members we have had join in the last few weeks,” said OKDHS Council Chairperson Haley Faulkenberry. “We are proud to be DHS workers and ready to have our voices heard. We understand OPEA will provide the tools to do so,” Faulkenberry said.
“I am very pleased with what is happening here at 55J. Although this chapter has not been around for very long; 55J has grown leaps and bounds and accomplished more than we could have expected at this early date. Thanks to the proven leadership of 55J Chapter President Diane Scholl, Vice President Haley Faulkenberry, and Adena Alvis who holds two positions as both Secretary and Treasurer; this DHS Chapter has paved the way for future success stories in other state agencies. 55J told me they wanted a Legislator that would come into the office and speak to them on various issues. And OPEA delivered!” Watkins said.
“We have recorded that 55J added over 20 new members to the OPEA Family in less than a three week period. That’s astounding! Kudos to Diane, Haley, Eric, and Adena for understanding the political intricacies and how to apply it to their agency’s advantage; and the efforts they’ve put forth in getting the word out about how OPEA is working for state employees. If all state agencies had the enthusiasm and foresight 55J is showing, we would turn the capitol upside down!” said Watkins.
If anyone is interested in fighting for the cause of state employees and truly wants to make a difference, as DHS 55J has and will continue to do, please contact Brandon Watkins at 405. 524.6764 ext 205 or visit www.opea.org for more information.