Texas activist receives Americans for Prosperity national recognition

It should come as no secret that at Estate of Denial®, we love grassroots activism!  With that, the past seven or so months have brought the opportunity to work with Killeen resident Jonathan Okray, organizer of a city council recall effort that has lead to replacement of his town’s entire seven-member council.

Okray was recently featured in a Killeen Daily Herald article which profiled his unanticipated yet inspiring path to becoming one of Bell County’s (TX) most prominent activists.  The national office of Americans for Prosperity has now named him Watchdog of the Month for December.  Here’s the release:


For Immediate Release: December 9, 2011

Contact: Cindy Mallette, 512-476-5905

Americans for Prosperity Names Killeen Resident Jonathan Okray Watchdog of the Month

AUSTIN – The national office of Americans for Prosperity has named Killeen resident Jonathan Okray the organization’s Watchdog of the Month for December.

Okray lead a successful effort to hold members of the Killeen City Council accountable for their decision to pay outgoing City Manager Connie Green $750,000 after he resigned under suspicious circumstances. To date, the Council has offered no explanation for Green’s departure and why they paid Green hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what was originally stipulated in his employment contract.

Okray, a Killeen resident for almost a decade and a retired Army veteran, said he became incensed when the Council gave Green such a large buyout without any citizen input or any explanation. He decided to organize citizens within his community to conduct a recall election of the sitting council members. Five of those council members were recalled by voters on Nov. 8.

“Jonathan embodies the spirit of Americans for Prosperity and our goal of restoring the right of citizens to decide just how much government they want and are willing to pay for,” said AFP State Director Peggy Venable.

“When local governments completely bypass their citizens on issues of such importance as this, it is incumbent upon the citizens to stand up and demand to be included. In these tough economic times, such outrageous use of taxpayer dollars – with no explanation at all – is unfathomable,” she added.

Americans for Prosperity works with Citizen Watchdogs who will stand for a freedom-based agenda of economic growth, individual liberty and a Constitutional government. AFP identifies and offers training to individuals who are willing to commit to following the decisions of their city, county, school district, state legislators and other elected officials and hold them accountable to the public through the group’s Citizen Watchdog program.

“We believe that when citizens get involved, elected officials pay attention,” Venable said.

While Americans for Prosperity supports citizen oversight of government, it does not support or oppose candidates for public office, nor comment on whether any candidate should be recalled.

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Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 1.8 million members, including members in all 50 states, and 36 state chapters. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org.