East Norman resident Annie Menz is running for State Representative of House District 45. Born in Oklahoma City, Annie Menz was raised by an Army veteran father and an immigrant mother. At age 17, she enlisted in the United States Navy. She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Oklahoma City Community College and currently studies part-time at the University of Oklahoma while working full-time as a nonpartisan Executive Assistant for the Oklahoma State Senate. Since concluding her service with the Navy, she has continually sought opportunities to make a difference.
For the past six years at the Capitol, she has specialized in legislative research, constituent communication and casework, and developed relationships on both sides of the aisle. This campaign is an opportunity to represent her community of east Norman and continue putting service into action. Menz’s professional experience includes six years as a nonpartisan Legislative and Executive Assistant at the Capitol and three years with non-profit organizations that provide behavioral care, immunizations, and prescription drugs to low-income communities. Recreationally, Annie and her son enjoy camping, kayaking, hiking around Lake Thunderbird, and stargazing on clear summer nights.
What is the role of government in protecting public health and welfare?
I believe the government has a responsibility to the people it serves to fund and maintain programs and agencies that promote and protect public health and welfare.
What are your views on individuals being able to safely and securely access sensitive medical procedures in privacy and without interference from the state?
Sensitive medical procedures are health choices that should be made by families/individuals in consultation with their medical professionals.
What measures will you take to ensure that every Oklahoman has the chance to participate meaningfully in the democratic process?
I will fight to defend election integrity and stave off any attacks on our voting rights.
How can we make voting more accessible to Oklahomans?
Automatic registration would be a great option. I am also supportive of the idea to make Election Day a federal holiday.
Many Oklahomans experience discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and other factors; how would you address these problems as an elected leader?
I am one of those Oklahomans. I am the founder of the Annual Hispanic Cultural Day at the Capitol, one of the founding members of the Oklahoma Legislative Latino Caucus, and if I am successful in my election, I will be the first Latina elected to the House of Representatives in state history. I have and will continue to develop creative ways to provide representation and inclusion to minority communities at the state Capitol.
What measures will you take to ensure that First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech, protest, and press are protected from infringement?
I will fight against any legislation that aims to chip away at our 1A rights.
How can our current criminal legal system be reformed to better protect the rights of all persons involved?
We have to do something about the fees. Too many people remain in the system due to inability to pay certain court fees. I want to get involved in helping however I can, to strengthen a budget that includes changes to the way we fund court services, because locking people up for being poor is immoral.
What steps would you take to adjust or reform our criminal legal system?
Fight to pass a budget that includes funding for the County Community Safety Fund. The people have spoken through SQ781, and it’s past time for the legislature to listen. Now more than ever, we need to expand mental health and substance abuse services.