Sapulpa High School Alumnus, Khaleel Marshall, announced his bid for the State House of Representatives, District 30, Monday, September 30th, at Booker T. Washington Recreation Center.
Marshall chose BTW as the site of his campaign kick-off because of the historical significance to the community, and his personal relationship with the rec center during his elementary school years.
“Booker T. Washington was not only a place to hold events, It was a place for kids of all ages to come after school, play, socialize, or learn. Because, even though it was not a school anymore, its employees always gave invaluable guidance to the kids who walked through that door every single day. As a young kid, I enjoyed every bit of my stay here.”
Marshall announced that his campaign team, which consists of Monica Scott, Campaign Manager, and Bryce Johnson, Communication Manager, were not with him at the press conference.
“We have some things we want to pledge to the people in this district. To the people of Sapulpa, Kiefer, Mounds, Liberty Mounds, Bixby, Glenpool, and Oakhurst, Similar to the vibrancy of the marching band decades ago, at the then Booker T. Washington High School, We shall return to the vibrancy that made our district as lively as it used to be.”
“What this means, is that if you elect me for this seat, I will go to OKC, to our state capitol, and promote a diverse economy. It means as a member of government, I will serve as a voice to those in our district that wish they could see outstanding, visible growth. I will serve as a voice for those in this district that wish they could have a career here, not just a job.”
Marshall spoke about the need to improve education in Oklahoma.” we need to give teachers a wage that actually values their work and values the importance of teaching our children to be the best they can be.”
Marshall stressed the need for renovation of local schools.” “no more bats in the gym rafters, no more rats scurrying along the floor, no more mold on the floors, ceilings, and walls. Our kids are in school most of the day for most of their early life, and we can not afford for our school to be a health problem.”
Marshall emphasized the fact that the United States is multicultural and the schools should provide students opportunities to learn about these cultures and to learn more languages.
He also highlighted the need to provide a “deeper knowledge” of science and engineering, as well as “providing an opportunity to learn more about religion.” Marshall accentuated the need for having up-to-date textbooks.
The twenty-one-year-old candidate said by electing him, “You elect an opend mind, an open ear, and an open door.”
Following the press conference, the Sapulpa Times interviewed the candidate.
The Sapulpa Times asked Marshall, who had previously been a Republican, why he ran as an Independent. He said it was mostly for principle, and “we are talking about local politics here, not national politics.” He went on to say that he wanted to make sure that “every voice matters, as long as you have concern about this district, this campaign is going to have an open ear to you, and an open mind to talk about it. I think running Independent sets a good precedent for that.”
The Sapulpa Times then asked what prompted the young candidate to run for office. Marshall stated that he and his grandmother toured the Sapulpa Historical Museum and returned to the BTW Recreation Center. After learning the history of Sapulpa and BTW, Marshall said he was “shocked” at how vibrant Sapulpa used to be “decades ago.” He believes the local economy and the “social atmosphere” have become stagnant. That along with the conditions at the schools motivated him to run for office.
The Sapulpa Times concluded the interview by asking Khaleel, who is currently a Political science major at NSU, If elected, how he would deal with classwork and the Capitol. He said that he would graduate in December of 2020, prior to his taking office in January 2021.
If elected, Khaleel would be the youngest member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in history and would be the first African-American to represent District 30.
For anyone who has any questions, or would like to donate, or to volunteer, the campaign phone number is 539-302-9597.