What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
I believe the beginning of children having better lives starts by providing and funding education and healthcare. Included as well are programs to ensure children receive adequate nutrition. The school lunch programs should be expanded to include access to breakfast and meals even when the child is not in school. Medicaid should be expanded to garner federal money even if it means the state puts up matching money. Thus, if the child is not hungry and comes from a household in which other members are productive and supportive, then education has a chance to flourish in the child. A well educated child will grow to command a well-paying job and provide his or her eventual family with support, stability and success.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
Our family has been active in our church and its youth programs as leaders, we have volunteered and coached in Little League, sponsored state and local speech contests and contributed as mentors and leaders in our school’s National Honor Society. I have been on the advisory board for our local FFA and have worked closely with that organization and 4-H in supporting agricultural projects of the children involved. I am a board member of CASA-CANO (Court Appointed Special Advocates–Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma. The important work this organization does ensures children have an advocate when encountering the court system in situations of foster care and placement of children in safe homes.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
I support the restoration of the EIT and the other ideas mentioned such as criminal justice reform and fiscal policies for child-related programs. Our children are our greatest assets and depriving them of adequate health and education will spell doom for our state. An investment in Oklahoma is an investment in our children, and just as in business, the higher the quality of investments the higher the quality of results.