Linda Wade 

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

I believe that we must do better for our children. For too many years, our elected officials have slashed services that directly impact our children and families. I will champion policies and plans that show a true investment in our children. We must prioritize our public schools by increasing teacher pay, providing funds for textbooks, technology, and healthy learning spaces, and ensuring our students and teachers have a safe space to learn and thrive. With Tinker Air Force Base in my district, I want to have schools that attract military families to live and work nearby. I want our service members and their families to be excited to be stationed at Tinker, and I believe that our public schools are the foundation for building a stronger, healthier community. I will count on organizations like OICA, Mid-Del Public Schools, and family-focused groups at Tinker to provide guidance on issues relating to children and families.

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

I have always advocated for children rights and protection. I have taken in around 5 adolescents and teenagers to protect them from toxic family dynamics. One stayed with me for 3 years… she turned out to be great. All she needed was a chance to be herself in a stable home.

I will always support and advocate for children just as I have done in my life. Kids are our future and bringing them to a healthy adulthood is critical to making that future bright.

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

Our working families are being negatively impacted thanks to years of failed policies that are helping wealthy families and corporate interests. We must restore the Earned Income Tax Credit as it has shown to benefit low-income families significantly. I would also seek to eliminate tax credits that only benefit a few very wealthy companies if they show that they are not benefitting the greater community by providing good-paying jobs. We can support families by enacting policies that help small business owners as much as large employers.

I support a major overhaul in our current criminal justice system. Having a parent ripped from a family because of a drug-related charge is damaging our communities. We must provide mental health care to those battling addiction that leads them to the justice system. Many would also benefit from the expansion of alternative sentencing programs like Drug Court and Veterans Court. In Oklahoma, we have a for-profit prison system that is incentivizing incarceration and that must be stopped. As a state, we are spending twice as much to incarcerate someone as we are to educate them, and that must stop.