The City Sentinel Staff Report
State Representative Jason Dunnington has garnered an Aspen Institute’s 2019 Rodel Fellowship.
According to a press release from Oklahoma state House legislative staff, the Rodel Fellowhsip is “a prestigious program that has previously included the likes of Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership program seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders to explore, through study and conversation, the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and their community, and the responsibilities of public leadership.”
Dunnington, an Oklahoma City Democrat, is one of 24 elected political figures identified by the program’s leadership, according to the release, “as America’s emerging political leaders with reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to civil dialogue.” The two-year program, which is open to politicians between the ages of 25 and 50, consists of three weekend-long seminars, generally held in Aspen, Colorado.
“We’re thrilled to have Representative Dunnington as part of our program,” former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards, the fellowship’s director, said Tuesday. “Jason has a great reputation for thoughtful leadership and a willingness to put problem solving ahead of partisanship, which is central to our goal of making government more responsive and effective.”
The Rodel Fellowship was characterized in the statement as “not a political program but an educational and leadership training program based on the belief that by exposing participants to a variety of philosophies, viewpoints, and strategies” the program “will improve the quality of problem-solving not only within all levels of government, but our communities as well.”
“I am incredibly honored to be selected for this leadership program, and to have the opportunity to enhance our democracy through in-depth conversation and thoughtful study,” said Dunnington. “I look forward to learning from my colleagues so that I may continue to best serve the constituents of House District 88 and all citizens of Oklahoma.”
In addition to Dunnington, the class of 2019 includes: Beth Bernstein, South Carolina State Representative; London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco; Chris Carr, Georgia Attorney General; Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota; Brian Egolf, Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives; Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor; Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City; Kate Gallego, Mayor of Phoenix; Jennifer Staubach Gates, Dallas City Council member; Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer; Adam Gregg, Iowa Lieutenant Governor; Cyrus Habib, Washington Lieutenant Governor; Glenn Hegar, Texas State Comptroller; Michael Hough, Maryland State Senator; Tanner Magee, Louisiana State Representative; David Meade, Speaker Pro Tem, Kentucky House of Representatives; John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer; Jeanette Nuñez, Florida Lieutenant Governor; Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State; Robert Sprague, Ohio State Treasurer; Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami; Jill Tolles, Nevada Assemblywoman and Jeff Yarbro, Minority Leader of the Tennessee State Senate.