Monday, September 21, 2020

State House brings in former Speaker T.W. Shannon to help with redistricting

House retains T.W. Shannon to assist with redistricting

OKLAHOMA CITY – To enhance its strong commitment to public input in the upcoming redistricting process, the House of Representatives has retained T.W. Shannon as a public liaison on redistricting matters.

Shannon, Oklahoma’s 42nd speaker of the House and the first Black speaker in state history, is a member of the Chickasaw Nation who has lived in both urban and rural Oklahoma.

“T.W. Shannon is an incredibly effective communicator whose diversity and deep understanding of all of Oklahoma will strongly benefit the House’s public-focused redistricting process,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

Shannon will assist the House Redistricting Committee and House Redistricting Office in a nonpartisan manner with public interaction and input. His primary duty is to build bridges between the public and the House on redistricting matters on behalf of all House members.

Shannon will serve as a community liaison across the state to help the House solicit and interpret the public input that is the bedrock of the House redistricting process. He will also serve as a spokesman to the public and media as needed. He will report to the Redistricting Committee and its subcommittees.

“House seats belong to the public, and it is an honor to help the public bring their vision for their representation to the table in the critical constitutional process of redistricting,” Shannon said. “Oklahoma is a diverse state where all voices can be heard. The House has established the right process to hear all voices and produce proper representation for all Oklahomans.”

About T.W. Shannon

Shannon is president and chief executive officer of Chickasaw Community Bank. He is also the district three commissioner on the State Transportation Commission.

A Lawton native, Shannon represented House District 62 in Lawton from 2006 to 2014. He participated in the House’s widely-praised redistricting process in 2010 and 2011 before becoming Oklahoma’s 42nd speaker of the House in 2012.

Prior to his state service, Shannon served as chief administrative officer for Chickasaw Nation Enterprises after working as a field representative for former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole. Shannon earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Cameron University and holds a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law.

About House Redistricting

In a historic move, all House members have been named to redistricting committees to ensure direct representation of all Oklahomans in the redistricting process.

The House will use a standing committee and eight regional subcommittees to solicit public input and produce its constitutionally-required redistricting plan for consideration in the 2021 legislative session.

Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, is the chair of the standing Redistricting Committee, whose full membership will be named after the beginning of the 58th Legislature in November. Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, are the vice-chairs of the standing committee.

Every ten years, the Oklahoma Constitution requires each legislative chamber to redraw its own districts and congressional districts following the release of decennial U.S. Census data.

The 2020 census count ends Sept. 30 and final data will be delivered to states in spring 2021, at which point the Legislature is constitutionally required to enact a redistricting plan for the next decade based on the most recent Census data.

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