By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — “We’re here tonight to celebrate one of the most dazzling events in our lifetime: The second election of the first African American president of the United States of America,” said Suzette McDowell, Cleveland County Democratic Party chair.
The CCPD hosted their own ball, the Made in Oklahoma Inaugural Ball, on Monday night at Norman’s Holiday Inn. Dresses and tuxedos filled the room and then the dance floor when DJ Bryan Jackson kicked off the party.
“The re-election of President Barack Obama is historical,” said Wallace Collins, Oklahoma Democrat Party chair. “We’re celebrating that victory.”
Collins said he knew Obama wasn’t going to win Oklahoma, but thought he would win the presidential election again, and he wasn’t the only one.
“I’m happy he won again, which I knew he would,” Norman Democrat Carol Sykes said. “I’m looking forward to the next few years.”
Democrats young and old attended the ball, and as the event landed on a holiday, one man in history who made a major impact in America was not overlooked or forgotten.
“How wonderful that this occurred on this very special day when we honor Martin Luther King, a man whose incredible journey, incredible work, contributed so much that made it possible for this day,” McDowell said.
Norman High School Young Democrats Amanda Wheelock and Emma Clinton spoke at the ball about what Martin Luther King Jr. means to their generation.
“To us, Martin Luther King is not just a man who lived and changed lives. He’s a man and a legend that continues to have an impact on change in the world. He’s a symbol of progress that can start with just one person,” the students said. “Martin Luther King Jr. was one person who brought millions together and will continue to do so as long as there are kids like us who see a problem and have the courage to fix it.”
Several activists also were recognized for their hard work and support to the Democratic party. Three long-serving individuals received the CCDP Activist Award, including Judy Calhoun, Adrienne Gautier and Luxim Bhakta. The CCDP also honored several people who devoted their time and effort to advancing causes the party supports.
“We Democrats have a vision of a more perfect America. We have a vision of Oklahoma where education, science, good health, open voting is there available for all of the good people of Oklahoma,” McDowell said.
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.