Tom Stites

What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children? 

At a minimum, I believe the Earned Income Tax Credit should be restored. It breaks my heart to see so many single mothers struggle in wrenching poverty. So much is said about abortion (I am pro life too) but there is little if any thought for these babies after birth. Many are born into horrific conditions and need the compassion, love and help from our fellow Oklahomans. Unfortunately Oklahoma has not done enough for struggling families. They try hard, but our DHS is understaffed and underfunded and cannot adequately protect our at risk kids.

What have you done to support children prior to this election? 

I have gone on two missions trips to build housing and churches for struggling families and children in Mexico and Haiti. I’ve supervised three years- a summer golf sports camp for under privileged Cherokees kids. Working with the Cherokee Nation we gave life lessons and game lessons to over 1000 Cherokee kids that without this camp, might never have hit a golf shot. Several have taken up the game now and are aspiring players. I have donated to and supported a number of shelters for women (with kids) to escape violence. My wife works regularly as a advocate for the courts in the Oklahoma CASA program.

What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected? 

I will support the restoration of the EITC. I will support other legislation if it helps protect kids, if it enhances their care, if it improves the education and health of children. I believe we need more after school programs to cultivate learning, good habits and life styles. I believe that many kids do not get enough exercise and are not fit. I’m hoping for some plans to support physical fitness for kids. Many children do not have fathers or father figures. I hope there are things coming up in the legislature that will help these kids. I also believe there should be more and better health care options for these struggling families and kids.