Latino Caucus members announce format change for Hispanic Cultural Day at the Capitol

Ponca City Now - May 15, 2024 5:38 am

Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the Oklahoma Legislative Latino Caucus have decided to change the format for their annual Hispanic Cultural Day at the Capitol for this year.  

“When I started this event eight years ago, it was with the intent of building a bridge between our public servants and the Latino community,” said Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman. “It was always meant to be a day of advocacy, while also providing the opportunity for us to share the beauty of our culture with our state’s leaders. As the event grows each year, we have been adaptable and this year will be no different in that regard.” 

Since its inception, HCD has been one of the best attended annual events at the Capitol. The day has traditionally been held inside the building and included advocacy, visual art exhibits, food tastings, folkloric dancing, exhibitor booths, and visits from foreign dignitaries.  

“The theme for this year’s event was supposed to be ‘Honoring Our Past, Exploring Our Future; Latinos in STEM’ but since the Governor signed HB 4156 into law, our caucus has been receiving an outpouring of concerns from our community,” said Rep. Arturo Alonso, D-OKC. “In light of that, we have decided to change the theme and format entirely. Hopefully we will be back to regular programming next year, but this year we felt that it would be appropriate to give the community an outlet to advocate in a more direct way.” 

Members of the caucus say that with this change in format, most of the traditional events will be scrapped in lieu of a large rally, organized advocacy, and some cultural celebrations.  

“This change in format is a direct result of the frustrations of folks—not only in the Latino community,” said Sen. Michael Brooks, D-OKC. “That is why I am proud to announce that we have invited the Oklahoma Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern communities to stand with us, as well as many faith leaders and law enforcement professionals from across the state. Everyone is welcome at our table.” 

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 15 from 9:00am-4:00pm at the State Capitol. Admission is free and no ID is required for entry into the building.  

 

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