New Council member will be sworn in at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10
By Jeff Harrison
Espaniola Bowen for years has been an advocate and community leader in Midwest City.
Next week, she’ll take on a new role.
The Midwest City woman will be sworn in as the new Ward 3 city council member next Tuesday during a ceremony at City Hall.
Bowen won the open race in December after she was the only candidate to file. She will replace Rick Dawkins who chose not to seek a third term in office.
Mayor Matt Dukes and council members Susan Eads and Christine Price-Allen will also be sworn in for a new four-year term. Eads was the only candidate to face a challenge, as she defeated Thurston Dandridge in the February general election.
Bowen said she’s looking forward to serving the residents of Ward 3 and helping Midwest City grow.
“I’m very excited about serving on the city council,” she said. “My platform I ran on was integrity, community service and the ability to make changes within the community and city.”
Bowen has been involved in her community for much of her adult life. She served as president of the Omni Neighborhood Association for several years and helped build a neighborhood park in 1998.
Bowen has been active in several other community and civic groups including the SE 29th Street redevelopment committee and most recently the Citizen’s Advisory Board in Midwest City.
“The Citizen’s Advisory Board works on the Community Development Block Grant awards for places like Autumn House, Mid-Del Youth and Family Services and after-school care,” she said.
That involvement in the community allows Bowen to understand the needs of residents. She would like to see more educational programs and activities for the community, especially children.
“I think we need more dialogue to get things done within the community,” she said. “I know that I can bring a lot of new ideas and information to the council. I have worked in the community for more than 20 years and have a lot of information and expertise about community development and what type of resources we need.”
Bowen said she’s looking forward to working with the current city council and staff on issues of community and economic development. She supports the city’s efforts to attract the Warren Theatre as well as other needs in the community such as family-friendly entertainment. She also appreciates the inquisitive nature of the current council.
“They have a lot of dialogue about issues and that’s the way it needs to be,” Bowen said. “We need input from the community. And we need people to take a stance.”
Bowen was born in Crockett, Texas and her family moved back to Oklahoma in 1963. She lived in Midwest City for much of her adult life and moved to her current home in Ward 3 in 1990. She had two children. One of her daughters serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Tinker Air Force Base. Her other daughter died of breast cancer in 2016.
The future council member has worked for the State Health Department for more than 20 years. She currently serves as administrative program manager for the protective health services division. Her position includes handling workplace medical plan, certificate authority for HMOS, as well as licensure for home health and assisted living facilities. During her career, she also worked in the office of primary care handling community health centers.
Bowen first ran for the Ward 3 city council seat in 2010 after Ruth Cain couldn’t run due to term limits and again in 2014. Dawkins won both races.