Patrick B. McGuigan, Editor
OKLAHOMA CITY – Suzanne Broadbent, a community activist and professional woman experienced in public policy issues at the city and state level, recently announced her intention to seek the Ward 2 city council post.
In an interview with The City Sentinel, Broadbent said her motivation is “filtered through the lens of being a neighbor and an engaged citizen.” She believes this community is “a lovable city. I want to make it a more livable city.”
Her fans are many, and they believe she brings to the race an in-depth understanding of neighborhoods where “real people” live, with an appreciation for the role of both government and voluntary activity in growing a better community.
Pointing to positive progress in recent years, she said she is concerned about looming public school closings. “The board of education of course has primary responsibility for school policy, but I believe the city council has its share of responsibility for making schools stronger.” She said her experience in education law and policy would allow her to examine “the data and the numbers” with a human touch.
An advocate of eoncomic development, she promised a critical eye for policies incentivizing economic development.
Broadbent launched her campaign for the office with a fundraiser at Café Kacao on North Classen Blvd. In her invitation, she “teased” the matter of politics, telling recipients of the email invite, “Just when you thought it was safe. … Democracy Calls…and Here We Go Again!” The November 19 gathering brought 100 residents together to encourage the candidate.
Broadbent was honored in 2017 as the “Good Neighbor of the Year” awardee from the Neighborhood Alliance.
Her service at all levels of community and state includes her involvement in national meetings focused on the courts and other matters, the Bar Association’s continuing legal education seminars, and published works — including in the American Indian Law Review.
Her wide-ranging community activism includes time as a commissioner for the Historic Preservation Commission (a mayoral appointment), chair of the University of Science and Arts Foundation Board, and board membership at “Positively Paseo” (for the Housing Services Redevelopment Corporation).
In addition to three terms as president at First Unitarian Church, she served as president of the Putnam Heights Preservation, Inc. for five terms, and as state president of American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Other board terms have included the city/county historical society, Neighborhood Alliance, the county League of Women Voters and the advisory committee for the state Commission on the Status of Women.
Broadbent has wide-ranging experience in public policy and community service, and has worked for members of both major political parties in her career.
At the state Capitol, she was a committee staff director. She spent time as an attorney and legislative analyst focused on education, criminal justice, public safety, government operations and other issues. Broadbent was also an assistant general counsel for Governor Henry Bellman, a clerk in the federal court system, and an attorney with local firms. Prior to all that, she worked for the Department of Human Services.
Ed Shadid has held the Ward 2 Council member’s position, but decided not to seek another term. Besides Broadbent, James Cooper and Mike Dover have announced they will run for the job.
Filing for the non-partisan elective position will be December 3, 4 and 5. A primary election is slated for February 12.
If multiple candidates file and no one receives more than 50 percent, a general election with the top two vote-getters from the primary will settle the race on April 2.