Ryan Kiesel ran for, and won a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2004 while he was still in law school. His life hasn’t slowed down since.
He completed law school, and went on to serve three terms in the Oklahoma Legislature.
He is now the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union – Oklahoma, an organization that is well-known in Oklahoma for championing causes that put the organization and Ryan, its public face, at odds with the prevailing conservative culture of Oklahoma.
In this episode we learn about his first run for office, life in the Oklahoma Legislature, and the politics of being a Democratic Party representative with a dominant Republican party in the state.
We talk about how hard it is for Democrats to develop an effective opposition party in a state where the middle of the political spectrum is far to the right.
Some have referred to him as a lightning rod in Oklahoma where the criticism flows freely almost every time the ACLU takes a position.
Ryan gives us a view of what it is to be the center of constant public attention which is many times negative, including some threats, as he speaks out for the rights of all people in Oklahoma, not just a privileged few.