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For The Children Weekly Column

Do Your Research to Find Out Which Politicians Work for You

April 4, 2022

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117

Email: jdorman@oica.org

OKLAHOMA CITY – The filing period for elected offices at the county, state, and federal levels is one week away. While we will have some interesting choices for various offices, I would recommend not believing the messaging solely from advertising. I strongly encourage folks to research candidates to see which would best serve those policies most important to us.

Since the beginnings of our system of government, there has been distrust toward politicians. In my opinion, many individuals lump too many elected officials into a single, negative category. Many good leaders often are unfairly blamed for actions of others,

Former Gov. George Nigh, likely the most popular elected official in Oklahoma history, once described the profession of politics to me. He said he was never embarrassed by the title “professional politician.” He felt the practice of public service was noble and that he wanted to be a professional in whatever job he pursued.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) seeks to help others understand the work done by elected officials. Annually, we monitor legislation at the Capitol and work with lawmakers to support policies, improve ideas, or voice opposition based on data and past experiences to avoid mistakes.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job at OICA is working with lawmakers and state agency leaders to find solutions to the problems we face in our state. Getting to know elected and appointed officials gives me hope that Oklahoma will rise from the many dismal rankings we have regarding child and family well-being.

The men and women of the Legislature and executive branch genuinely care about their constituents, the state, and the nation, often from different perspectives. Building consensus and seeking compromise when sides differ is a foundation of our system. Sadly, “compromise” has become a dirty word in politics. Still, it is essential – because, in a diverse state of almost 4 million people, we all are never going to agree on everything.

Last week, OICA distributed commendations to lawmakers who received stellar grades from their 2021 scorecard based on their voting records for children’s policies. OICA thanks those who voted for the best interests of children or authored significant policies which supported youth.

You can go to https://oica.org to review the 2021 scorecards and the Children’s Legislative Agenda for 2022. OICA will again grade lawmakers this year; those results will be available once the session ends. And while we do not endorse or support candidates, we appreciate the work done by those who care about our state’s children.

OICA also thanks lawmakers for raising awareness of a critical issue: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Protective and Compensatory Experiences (PACEs). Lawmakers will recognize efforts to reduce childhood trauma during a ceremony Thursday. We are pleased to be a part of this effort.

Finally, please wear blue this month and post pictures to social media to help bring awareness to child abuse prevention efforts. Together, we can all help to make our state better for children. These simple actions help promote better for our state’s children.

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