Oklahoma Watch will host a public forum on Tuesday, May 23, in Oklahoma City on how the state’s budget challenges could affect the well-being of children.

The “Oklahoma Watch-Out” forum, titled “What the Budget Crisis Means for Children,” will feature state Sen. AJ Griffin; Joe Dorman, CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and Lisa Smith, director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.

The free Q&A forum will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kamp’s 1910 Café, located at 10 N.E. 10th Street. Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze will moderate the discussion. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register online and come with questions.

About the Panelists

Sen. AJ Griffin

Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie was first elected to the State Senate District 20 seat in 2012. Since then, she has worked to write and pass legislation to address Oklahoma’s fastest growing substance abuse issue, prescription drug addiction. She has also authored legislation to better protect victims of child abuse. Griffin previously served as vice chair of the Senate Republican caucus and now serves as chair of the rural caucus. She also serves as chair of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on health and human services.

Joe Dorman

As CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Joe Dorman advocates for policies that improve the lives of Oklahoma children and families by being their voice at the State Capitol and in the communities where they live. Dorman spent 12 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and has been involved in many civic, leadership, and youth-development organizations, including Leadership Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Academy. Dorman was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014.

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith was appointed executive director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth in 2008. Smith has 30 years of experience in state service, beginning her career as an adult probation and parole officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and also serving as a child welfare social worker and an intake supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and a programs administrator for the Office of Juvenile Affairs, specializing in the management of federal grant programs.

About Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on important public-policy issues facing the state. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.oklahomawatch.org.  

The Oklahoma Watch-Out series is made possible by sponsorship support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and BancFirst.

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