Richard Castaldo

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

We have a responsibility to defend the life of every individual child including the preborn. If Oklahoma passed a Life at Conception Amendment we have the authority to do so, regardless of Supreme Court decisions. However, women who get abortions should never be prosecuted as criminals and I would advocate for their protection. We also have a responsibility to provide opportunities for education, rehabilitation, and adoption for children of all ages. I want to privatize education. It is most successful as a responsibility of parents and a local community. I want Oklahoma to stop prosecuting crimes where there is no victim. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and we should not be splitting up families over non-violent offenses. Instead of prosecution for drugs let’s invest in rehabilitation, especially for at-risk teenagers. Private adoption agencies should be allowed to form their own adoption policies that refuse services to someone, but they should not receive state financial support. We need to remove the barriers on state adoption agencies that prevent good families, gay or straight, from adopting children in desperate need of a caring home. Every child is an amazing gift to society and we should take every opportunity to honor and protect them. In the past we have tried using government for this purpose, but in spite of good intentions it has been a failure. Let’s renew parental rights and let communities work to protect their children locally instead of passing more state and federal regulations and laws.

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

Prior to running for Congress I have been an advocate for children in several capacities. When we launched our faith community, GrandLakeLife, we made it our primary purpose to care for all the children in a way that provides hands on learning experiences, personal nurturing, and provision of food and shelter for those in need. We paid careful attention to those who might have been experiencing dysfunctional homes and as the Pastor I made every effort to form personal relationships with the parents or guardians. I connected them with agencies in our community that could assist them with rehabilitation services, clothing, financial aid, and pregnancy centers. Whenever possible I would take up offerings for families in need. Our ministry often did things like providing hotel rooms for moms and children in abusive situations. I have also been a youth minister and a missionary with focus on children. In my trip to Guatemala as a young boy I formed relationships with the orphans we reached out to and that mission trip in particular has impacted my beliefs that children of all ages, of all nationalities and economic means, of all races and political associations have inherent dignity. Every life matters.

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

If am honored to be elected as your Congressman education will be one of my primary focuses. I believe with all my heart that education is best when it is provided and organized by those closest to the child, which includes parents, grandparents, church leaders, teachers, and community neighbors. It’s time to get the federal government out of education. They have turned it into a business, treating it more like a chicken factory instead of personalizing each experience according to the individual child’s needs and strengths. I will also act on criminal justice reform. It is time to quit dividing families in crimes where there is no victim. Kids need their fathers and mothers. Stop incarcerating parents for non-violent offenses. I believe unless those parents are putting the life of the child in danger the parents should remain solely responsible for the child, not the public school system, the state or the federal government. We should not prosecute children who are experimenting with drugs. Instead, we should provide education and rehabilitation. I will always be supportive of lower taxes and I fully support the Earned Income Tax Credit. I would also act to end the Income Tax entirely. If families keep more of their paychecks (especially 100%) they will be better providers and educators for their kids.

 

John Foreman

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

One of the issues that concerns me as a candidate is that of hungry/under nourished children and the number of homeless children in not only Oklahoma but the nation as a whole. I will seek advice from those in the field and experts to work towards a resolution. I do not pretend to have the answers, but I am always open to suggestions.

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

I would like to say I have been active in community programs, but I have spoke with my children and their friends about not trying drugs and to avoid harmful things.

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

I am open to helping our families who are in need of assistance. I think we need to always help in needy, especially families with children. This assistance includes educational, nutrition, shelter, and economic. I see the responsibility and care of the people in the US Constitution in the Preamble. It is time to think less of the needs of the wealthy and more of the people in the middle and opportunity classes.