OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women (OCSW) presented the 2017 Guardian Award on Wednesday (May 17) to state Senator Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, during a news conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
“The Commission is delighted to recognize Sen. Floyd’s important contributions to Oklahoma women with the 2017 Guardian Award,” said OCSW Chair Maria Trapp-Braly in remarks delivered in the broadcast pressroom. “We appreciate Sen. Floyd and all of our legislators who do their part of supporting and empowering women in Oklahoma.”
Trapp-Braly told reporters and Commission supporters the Guardian Award draws inspiration from the iconic sculpture that adorns the top of the state Capitol Dome.
The bronze work crafted by former state Sen. Kelly Haney incorporates symbolic elements from many of the Plains Tribes, and represents all of the state’s 39 recognized Indian Nations.
The statute honors the work of those dedicated to guarding from harm the rights of all Oklahomans. Each year, the OCSW presents the Guardian Award to an elected official who has made significant governmental contributions to guarding, protecting and preserving the rights of women and families.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Floyd. “Being a woman in the Legislature has always carried with it a responsibility, I take incredibly seriously, to be a worthy representative of, and example for, Oklahoma girls and women while championing the issues which affect girls and women across our state.”
Elected to the upper chamber in 2014 to represent the central area of Oklahoma City, Sen. Floyd has focused primarily on improving the state’s education system and working for Oklahoma’s women and children.
Previously, Sen. Floyd served in the Oklahoma House, crafting bills to provide suicide prevention assistance in Oklahoma’s schools and to curb domestic violence.
Several members of the Commission on the Status of Women joined to celebrate Floyd’s recognition, including Melissa Eick, Debbie Hogue-Downing, Executive Director Kitti Asberry, Lou Kohlman, Brenda Barwick, Adeline Yerkes, Nora Pugh-Seemeter, Chair Maria Trapp-Braly, Vice Chair Gloria Torres, and state Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie.
In addition to Sen. Griffin, several of Floyd’s colleagues came to the press room to extend their appreciation for her work, including Republican Senators Adam Pugh of Edmond, Julie Daniels of Bartlesville, Lonnie Paxton of Tuttle, Jason Smalley of Stroud, Roger Thompson of Okemah, and Greg McCortney of Ada.
“I am proud of all my efforts at the Capitol, but extremely gratified by the work I have done to protect and defend Oklahoma girls and women, including my work that resulted in immediate interventions for domestic violence victims through first-in-the-nation ‘lethality assessment protocols’ for police officers as well as legislation to bring suicide prevention training to our schools,” Floyd added.
“In this year’s session, I am particularly proud of my legislation and my work with the Governor on her Task Force on Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence which will address the backlog of sexual assault evidence kits in police department storage across our state.”
In additional comments, Floyd commented, “When our laws and institutions protect the rights, safety and health of women and children, it isn’t just something they benefit from — these efforts strengthen Oklahoma families, our communities and, ultimately, our entire state.” Before entering elective office, Sen. Floyd served as an assistant attorney general and an administrative law judge.
“I’m grateful for the support these initiatives have received from my fellow members of the Legislature, the governor, law enforcement, community leaders, advocates and so many others, and I thank the Commission for not only this recognition, but for their efforts on behalf of women and families as well.”
Floyd is a founding member and vice president of the board of directors for the Justice Alma Wilson SeeWorth Academy, which was established in 1998 and serves at-risk youth in Oklahoma City. She has served on the AIDS Walk of Oklahoma City’s board of directors and is currently a member of the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s board of directors. In addition, she has worked as a volunteer on the Citizens Action Committee for the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Women in Law committee.
About Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women: The Commission is a non-partisan state commission that serves as the voice for women in Oklahoma. It strengthens and empowers women in Oklahoma by informing and educating the Legislature and Executive branches about issues to improve opportunities and quality of life for women. Visit the OCSW website at ok.gov/ocsw.
NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report