OKC Council Member James Cooper to speak to Democrats Jan 8 at Canadian Valley Tech Center Cowan Campus

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YUKON, Okla. – James Fennimore Cooper, Oklahoma City Council member representing Ward 2, will speak to the Canadian County Democrats at their first monthly meeting of the new year on Monday, January 8. The January 8 meeting will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Lecture Room at Canadian Valley Tech Center Cowan Campus at 1701 S Czech Hall Rd in Yukon.

In 2024, the group is also scheduled to meet at Canadian Valley Tech Center Cowan Campus on April 8 and July 8.

The Canadian County Democrats regularly meet on the second Monday of each month at the Yukon Police Department, 100 S. Ranchwood Boulevard. The group’s other monthly meetings in 2024 are scheduled to take place at this location.

Cooper began his first term as an Oklahoma City councilman in April 2019 and also serves on the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) Board of Trustees.

The OKC Council unanimously adopted a resolution he authored regarding six public safety priorities and law enforcement reforms, including the upcoming implementation of an alternative response to mental health calls and hiring street outreach teams with mental health professionals to respond to homelessness.

He previously served as an AVID middle school college preparation teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools and taught as an adjunct English professor at the University of Central Oklahoma after taking office.

Cooper currently teaches English and film studies as the artist in residence at Oklahoma City University, where he serves on OCU’s Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in film studies with a minor in political science from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s of arts in English from Oklahoma State University and a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from OCU.

While pursuing his master’s degree, Cooper received an award from The Society of Professional Journalists for his column in OSU’s O’Collegian concerning the need for federal hate crimes legislation.

James’ essay on the 2013 tornado that devastated Moore, “An Oklahoma Perspective on Tornado Alley,” appeared in the Huffington Post.
The Oklahoma Gazette published Cooper’s 2011 two-part article on the history of Oklahoma City’s LGBTQ community, “From Closet to Community.” He spent more than a year researching the story.

During his first election, The New York Times profiled his campaign. In 2019, Freedom Oklahoma, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, designated Cooper “Lawmaker of the Year,” and Generation Citizen—a national civics education advocacy group—honored him as a “Civic Leader Change Maker.”

Advocate Magazine, America’s oldest & largest LGBTQ publication, named him one of its “Champions of Pride” in June 2020.
OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences awarded Cooper its Rising Star Award in 2021, the same year he was keynote speaker for UCO’s College of Liberal Arts Student Symposium.

Cooper was born in Midwest City where his mother, a retired registered nurse, still lives.

A published writer, he resides in OKC’s historic Paseo Arts District with his cat, Marion.

Participants who want to join the Canadian County Democrats’ meeting on Zoom may email chair@canadiancodems.org by Sunday, January 8, to request a Zoom link and code required to attend. This is necessary for security reasons based on interference in past meetings.

The CC Dems also livestream meetings on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CanadianCoDems.

For more information, email jodyharlan@gmail.com or phone 405-326-3600.