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Minnesota Inclusive Democracy Caucus Sends Letter to Montana, Oklahoma Speakers of House on their Recent Anti-Democracy Actions

Friday, May 5, 2023

Minnesota Inclusive Democracy Caucus Sends Letter to Montana, Oklahoma Speakers of House on their Recent Anti-Democracy Actions 

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Inclusive Democracy Caucus have sent letters to the Speakers of the House in Montana and Oklahoma regarding their recent anti-democratic actions.

Recently the Oklahoma Speaker decided to censure Rep. Mauree Turner and strip them of their committee assignments. This anti-democratic action deprives their 39,000 constituents of a voice on legislative matters and representation in their democracy. In Montana, The House Speaker has refused to acknowledge and ousted Rep. Zooey Zephyr from the chamber, depriving her of the right to vote or debate on the House floor.

The Minnesota bicameral Inclusive Democracy Caucus issued the following statement:

“Minnesotans pride themselves on high voter turnout and robust political participation. As state legislators, we hold sacred our obligation to give voice to our constituents and to protect democratic principles and institutions. That includes the right to dissent, to debate, and to advocate for the issues our communities send us to the Capitol to work on. 

That's why we are speaking out against the anti-democratic actions taken by the Speakers of the House in Montana and Oklahoma to silence and punish democratically-elected members of their respective bodies, Rep. Zephyr and Rep. Turner. 

It is not lost on us that these extraordinary and anti-democratic actions are targeting trans and non-binary representatives for their advocacy on behalf of their trans communities, at a time when trans people are the target of harmful and hurtful policy in legislatures across the country. What is happening in Montana and Oklahoma follows the expulsion of Black state legislators from the Tennessee House for advocating for their communities. This growing authoritarian trend of Republican-controlled legislatures silencing dissent, punishing debate, eliminating accountability, and expelling elected representatives is an unacceptable and dangerous erosion of democratic principles and representative democracy.

The work of building an inclusive democracy is one fight with one goal, to ensure that everyone has a voice in our democracy and that the government is responsive to the needs of everyone and every community. The Inclusive Democracy Caucus stands united in support of our state legislative colleagues in Oklahoma, Montana, and Tennessee who have been silenced, censured, or removed. We stand too with their constituents who have been deprived of representation and a voice in their government. We stand united in working to protect and strengthen multi-racial, multi-generational, gender-inclusive democracy.”

The Inclusive Democracy Caucus has sent a letter to the Speakers of the House in Oklahoma and Montana.