Aaron Means

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

I plan to research laws that secure safety for children who were victims of sexual offenders. While sex offenders need rehabilitation to help them overcome this dysfunctional behavior, any rehabilitation efforts should not place additional children at risk. I plan to review current laws and statutes relating to bullying. Where improvements can be made to existing laws I want to be at the forefront of the needed improvements, and where new or better protections are needed I want to work equally as diligently to improve the safety of our children.

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

I have worked with church groups and community service organizations including the Lions’ Club to help provide healthcare and emotional support for children. I have mentored young fatherless children for many years. I supported my wife who started Caring Hands Health Centers in the McAlester, Oklahoma and Hartshorne, Oklahoma that provide healthcare for low income families. When these community health centers were out of funds I paid out of my own pocket employees’ salaries so healthcare for that short term continued in those communities. I still work with ministries and civic groups to support families here in Stillwater Oklahoma with holiday meals for the poor and ministries who provide emergency financial help to teenage girls in crisis.

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

I support the Earn Income Tax credit for middle and low-income families. I want to help build a spirit of community in the Oklahoma District 34th to help bring resources that are well known as well as existing public and private services that are less known to assist families who may be struggling financially and emotionally. By building a sense of community our district will grow stronger. I want to support the nuclear family structure because it is the foundation of our community. I am passionate about fully funding our educational system. Therefore, I want to work feverishly to build a stronger economy here in Oklahoma to fund our state’s school districts.

 

Trish Ranson

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

Children are our state’s greatest asset and responsibility. Our children deserve love and encouragement, safety at home and in the community, daily nutrition, comprehensive healthcare, exceptional education, and opportunities to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, these fundamental needs are not met for many children. More than half a million Oklahomans deal with hunger and food insecurity, due in part to decisions by legislators to starve our safety net. Education requirements have increased while funding to meet these requirements has decreased. Oklahoma has refused to adopt programs that would make affordable healthcare accessible to all. As a result, many Oklahoma families struggle and far too many children continue to be left behind. I believe our state must fund education, healthcare, and food services and must commit to meeting the life needs of families and children.

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

I am a certified educator in the state of Oklahoma. Over the past 15 years, as the music specialist at Westwood Elementary, I taught every one of the thousands of students enrolled at the school and befriended parents, grandparents, and extended families from every walk of life. During my time in school environments, I was able to gain an informed perspective on the varied backgrounds, behaviors, and concerns of families with children, share my insights with other teachers, administrators, and counselors, and ultimately do more to provide for children’s wellbeing.

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

My hope is to work cooperatively with house and senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation aimed directly at improving the lives of Oklahoma families and children. I have three main legislative goals: (1) restore and increase funding for education so that children have the best opportunities to thrive and succeed in complex modern economies; (2) adopt the ACA and expand Medicare and Medicaid so every parent and child has the best chance to live in good health; (3) develop policies to ensure that the half million Oklahomans who are food insecure have enough nutritious food every day. Fundamentally, I hope to inspire colleagues and constituents to strive for a brighter tomorrow with creative compassion.