Posts Tagged ‘local rights’

(Part 1 – Dear John) I thought you loved me?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I thought you said you loved me?

Dear John,

I am writing to tell you that I am breaking up.  I thought that you said you loved me?  Or more like you loved local rights and standing up for governments closest to the people – but that is what made me fall for you and support you when you ran for office.  That is what you said when you came to my front door.  Remember?  You were running for office.  You even mentioned it  in your campaign materials.

Then, I found out about this letter that you received from someone you have been seeing behind my back.  Someone who says “…control of those items that are for the greater good of citizens.”  Isn’t returning local rights regarding smoke-free for the greater good?

But I was heartbroken and really rather furious to hear them refer to me as “…whims of local citizenry.”  I was hurt.  I asked you about it and you told me that, I was not capable of making these kind of decisions and neither were my city council or my mayor.

I’m thinking that Sunday’s Tulsa World is right and that this “love fest” needs to end.  25 years is too long.  I WANT local rights returned.  Just like you promised me when you ran for office.  You can’t have it both ways.  You need to choose who elected you or who keeps sending you letters, giving you contributions and taking you to dinner.  I mean – they don’t even live in your district.

- Oklahoma Voter

PS – The Tulsa World also published excerpts of other letters:

“Our record in defeating state smoking restrictions has been reasonably good. Unfortunately, our record with respect to local measures…has been somewhat less encouraging.” – Raymond Pritchard, Brown and Williamson, US Tobacco & Candy Journal, July 17, 1986.

“But above all, we intend to resist, at all costs, any attempt by anti-tobacco forces to repeal the state’s preemption of local smoking regulation.” – Memorandum from Stan Bowman, Tobacco Institute, regarding “Oklahoma 1991 Legislative program,” Nov. 18, 1990.

“We could never win at the local level … So the Tobacco Institute and tobacco companies’ first priority has always been to preempt the field…” – Victor L. Crawford, former Tobacco Institute lobbyist, Journal of the American Medical Association, July 19, 1995.

Mark Hudspeth Wants His Workplace Smoke-free

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Musicians across the country want their workplaces smoke-free.  More and more states and cities are offering a healthy and smoke-free work environment to all employees, including musicians.  Check out this great video from our neighbors in Texas. 

What makes Texas different  from Oklahoma is that they DO have local rights.  Cities across Texas can go smoke-free and Austin is a great example!  Smoke-Free Texas is currently working towards their state becoming 100% smoke-free. 

We have collected several stories, but we are looking for more.  It could be you.  Share your story with us.  Contact Paula at:

Everybody has the right to breathe smoke-free air, no matter where they work!

Why Restoring Local Rights = Everybody Being Able to Breathe Smoke-free Air

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

When asked “Why isn’t Oklahoma smoke-free?” “Why isn’t Tulsa or Oklahoma City smoke-free?”  The answer is not a simple one.  Most people don’t know that current Oklahoma law will not allow a city to pass a smoke-free ordinance.  As you sit there and wonder, aren’t Dallas, Austin and other cities across the United States smoke-free?

In Oklahoma, we have the great distinction of being one of only two states (Tennessee is the other) to have the most restrictive and comprehensive preemptive language in the nation.  We have total preemption.  Even if your town/city WANTS to go smoke-free, they can’t.  Unless our Oklahoma State Legislators work towards restoring local rights.

BTW, these preemptive clauses in our state tobacco laws were passed by the Oklahoma State Legislature for the tobacco industry in 1987.  Some of those players are still around the Oklahoma State Capitol trying to make sure that Oklahoma does NOT restore local rights.  (We will talk about them later!)

Local Rights Means Local Debate and Community Change

A powerful change process unfolds as a community debates the issue of secondhand smoke.  68% of Oklahoma voters believe the rights of customers and employees to breathe clean air are more important than the rights of smokers to smoke and owners to allow smoking . (Refrence Poll by in Feb. 2010)

Next Steps and how YOU can help!

Tuesday,November 2, 2010 was election night.  We have many new elected officials that don’t even have smoke-free or restoring local rights on their radar.  Their workplace IS already smoke-free and they think that since most restaurants (the ones without separately ventilated smoking rooms) are smoke-free, their job is done.  But it isn’t.  As musicians, your workplace isn’t smoke-free.

It isn’t limited to just musicians.  Remember there are thousands of other employees out there who continue to work in an environment full of hazardous secondhand smoke, not to mention all of the patrons and music lovers who want to go out and not breathe in all of those carcinogens.

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Sign our statewide petition!
  • Find out who your new, or existing elected officials are.  Even if you didn’t vote for them, that is okay.  They are the ones who will decide to restore local control.  Find a way to introduce yourself to them.  Don’t know who your elected officials are?  Go here to find yours!
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.
  • Post your story on our facebook fanpage.
  • Contact our campaign at – we can help you get started!

Together, we CAN get the smoke out of Oklahoma, but it is going to take ALL of us.

Meet Matt, a Local Musician for Local Rights!

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Meet Matt Stansberry.  Matt is an amazing musician in Oklahoma.  He performs all around the state and has quite a following across the country.  He has even toured in Europe. (including Ireland, which IS smoke-free!)

Matt is a husband, a father of two beautiful girls and a longtime suffer of asthma.  Playing in a smoking venue is NOT an option for him, but sometimes  he has to choose between his health and a paycheck.  He isn’t alone in Oklahoma.  There are thousands of employees across the state that have to make this decision everyday. 

What would it take for Oklahoma to become smoke-free?  One way is for cities/communities to have LOCAL RIGHTS restored.  Since the 8o’s, Big Tobacco and some of their friends have made it impossible for our State to become smoke-free, but the tide is turning.  

We can’t get there without YOUR help. 

Join our facebook fanpage, sign our statewide petition and then tell your friends to do the same!  You can even share this post with your friends on facebook, twitter, etc……  We can’t do this alone.

Matt and other musicians, bartenders, hostesses, and thousands of other workers in Oklahoma deserve better.

Nobody should have to choose between their health and a paycheck – no matter where they work.