What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
It is time to invest in public education in Oklahoma. For over a decade we have underfunded and overloaded Public Education and we wonder why teachers are leaving. We must partner with teachers to identify solutions to improve educational outcomes and provide them with the resources, textbooks, and manageable class sizes to make this a reality.
Our state must do a thorough background check of individuals before they are appointed as guardians of minor children.
I will fight to have our state accept federal medicaid dollars to improve the health options and outcomes for our neediest children.
Our children are our state’s future. We must work together to build a better Oklahoma for them and for ALL of us.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
I am the president of the Mid-Del Public Schools Foundation, where I work to build community business partnerships to raise funds to support education excellence in the Mid-Del Public School System. Additionally, I served for a number of years in the United Way Subcommittee budgeting process, focused on programs involving Youth and Family Services where I reviewed and advocated for community resources desperately needed by our families.
Every spring for the past 33 years I have taken a week of vacation from work to serve as the lead instructor for the Oklahoma Close Up program. We take high school kids from across our state to the state capitol to teach them civic engagement by giving them a “close up” view of the processes and the people involved in our state government.
For the past 15 years, I have worked with middle school and high school band students at Kerr Middle School and Del City High school. I teach jazz performance and work with their award-winning jazz bands as a way to give back to the band programs where I learned to love music. I spent almost a decade tutoring elementary students in math and english at North Highland Elementary in the Oklahoma City Public School System.
I also teach elementary age Sunday School at our church.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
I support full restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families.
Our state incarcerates far too many people who need need treatment instead of incarceration. This causes family separations and puts undue stress on our foster care and childhood support systems. We need to implement fully the recommendations of the Governor’s task force on Criminal Justice Reform. And we need to expand diversion programs statewide, to provide treatment options instead of incarceration.
I support finding new revenue sources for rural towns and communities that today are dependent on ever-shrinking sources of income. Without new revenue, these communities are doomed.