Conley to co-chair national committee

State Rep. Sherrie Conley

State Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, recently was selected to co-chair a nationwide bipartisan committee for trauma-informed legislators. House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, made the announcement.

Both Conley and McCall have districts that include parts of Garvin County.

The committee of trauma-informed legislators is one of the proposed initiatives of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), a national trauma-informed advocacy organization.

The purpose of creating the committee is to promote state trauma-informed legislation.

Conley, a Republican, has been invited to co-chair alongside New York Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, a Democrat. Both lawmakers served as co-panelists during the recent National Conference of State Legislatures webinar on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

A spokesman for CTIPP said having Republican and Democrat co-chairs makes it clear this is a bipartisan committee.

“Rep. Conley has devoted much of her career to helping students and families overcome the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences so they can thrive and enjoy bright futures,” McCall said.

“It’s an honor to announce her invitation to serve in this pivotal role to both be an advocate at the national level and to bring what she learns back home to help Oklahomans.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn from others in the nation about policy and practices which are key to helping people overcome the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences and to bring that knowledge back to Oklahoma,” Conley said.

“I’m also excited to bring the work we’ve started here in Oklahoma on this matter to the national forefront. It is an incredible honor to be asked to help lead in this way.”

Trauma-informed legislation has been introduced in at least 29 states, covering a range of approaches to promote trauma-informed policies and practices.

The intent for the committee is to provide a forum in which legislators advocating for trauma-informed legislation can share experiences, get reports on relevant developments, develop model legislation and engage in other activities that help build momentum for trauma-informed approaches.

CTIPP will provide administrative support for the committee, while the co-chairs will provide leadership, including shaping the role of the committee, helping it develop a national profile, developing the agendas for periodic Zoom meetings, helping to recruit members, and other activities they decide to take. Recruiting will begin by reaching out to the approximately 60 sponsors of the legislation in the 29 states.

Conley, a former public school teacher and school administrator, was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2018. During her years as an educator, and now a state representative, she has devoted much of her time to educating the public about Adverse Childhood Experiences and working to develop solutions to help her constituents, her state and now the nation.

CTIPP’s mission is to create a resilient, trauma-informed society where all individuals, families and communities have the opportunity and support needed to thrive.

(Sherrie Conley represents District 20 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Pottawatomie counties.)

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