What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
The top three are funding issues, all of which directly impact the children of our state.
- Fully funding Education: from teacher’s raises to property maintenance. I support restoring all funds cut over the last decade, particularly tax cuts to the wealthiest among us and a 7% GPT. Oklahoma spends $8,075 per pupil (funding cuts = 28% since 2008. To achieve the regional average of $9,505, OK must invest $1billion dollars.
- Restore health care funding and accept Federal Medicaid Expansion funding. I believe DHS corruption calls for an investigation by a strong team of outside experts in conjunction with a Federal Investigation. A healthy child needs a healthy family and a system built upon that priority. With proper funding and a well run DHS, schools can work hand in hand with DHS to make sure no child falls through the cracks.
- Prioritize Mental Health Care: treatment prevents tragedies. OK’s domestic abuse problem, #1 incarceration state, babies born addicted, teen births, and more can be dramatically reduced with a focus/funding on Mental Health Care. A traumatized child needs treatment, care & safety. We’re failing our children.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
In my 25 years as a journalist, my expertise is health, medical & family issues. I’ve worked extensively with DVIS, DHS and the Children’ Childhood trauma creates adults with wounded souls and scars that never quite heal. I’ve served the non-profit community extensively: serving on boards, development, planning and hosting fundraisers big and small.
Some of those positions include;
– On the board of the Tulsa American Lung Association with a focus on asthma in children: I was named the National Communicator of the Year for American Lung Association.
– Spokesman for Hillcrest Medical Minutes
– Education video for soon to be parents at St. Francis produced/anchored.
– Created Health Team 8 program where I worked with PE teachers who allowed me to do a fun presentation and provided basic challenges. By following up regularly and connecting with the kids we were able to track a significant decrease in bad habits.
– Chair of Development, School of St. Mary, 1998-2008
– School Board, 2002 – 2009
– Major Gifts Committee, Catholic Charities 2005-208
– Producer/host Cooking Up Compassion, raising $750,000 funding new campus
-VBS teacher, Home Room Mom, Cafeteria mom
– As an adult I’ve stepped in personally to stop situations of abuse, calm down a parent, reassure a frightened child and help connect them with help.
– There are many more things my family and I do to support children. We make them a habit, not a special effort.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
I am a survivor of childhood abuse. By sharing my stories, I believe I can bring a deeper understanding to Legislators, creating a commitment to save our children & families.
– By fully funding DHS I want to see social worker’s offices right in the middle of our high risk areas. Hopefully, accompanied by well trained police officers who focus on that area (Neighborhood Policing). And backed up by WIC and other programs.
– I will fight to get rid of the Statute of Limitations regarding abuse of any kind. It takes time to escape abuse, start over and gain the courage to speak out. Oklahoma’s Statute of Limitations protects offenders.
– Tax cuts to the wealthy over the last decade have cost Oklahoma $1billion in revenue so far. These revenue sources must be reestablished, removing the burden from our middle-lower income families.
– OK’s GPT should be 7%. In my opinion the Oil/Gas industry is so intertwined with our failed Republican leadership, they’ve become one and the same. Again, it’s going to take a lot of work, investigations and huge changes to put the control of our state, our priorities and our funding back into the hands of the people.
As a child I needed rescue. I’ve lived it. I’ll do whatever it takes to protect the children of our state.