Our state’s health is reflected by us, the citizens. Oklahoma ranks 47th in the nation in overall health. We have the ability to create a healthier Oklahoma and healthier Oklahomans. You have put in the hard work and your tax dollars should work hard for you. We can achieve this by expanding Medicaid in our state. I believe that all of us should have access to quality and affordable healthcare no matter where you're from or what your finances look like. When elected, I will support expanding Medicaid and I will make sure you have access to the healthcare you need and deserve. Expanding Medicaid doesn't take money out of your pocket, we already have the funds, we just need to hold our elected officials accountable to ethically appropriate our funds. Our legislators have let us down by refusing to take a stand and support Medicaid. They have voted again and again against our health and well-being. Many of those who’ve voted against us have what they need. I will take a stand for us and let them know that enough is enough. At the capitol, I will advocate to ensure that our tax dollars are being invested in our communities instead of extravagant upgrades to the Governor's Mansion. Growing up in a rural community, I understand the importance of having fully-funded hospitals in all areas of our state. Our health and lives depend on each other, which we cannot forget. Our state is on the brink of a life-altering decision. We can insure our health and the health of our children for years to come, but we must take the fight into our own hands. I will take the fight to the capitol and protect our families and our health.
The foundation of a solid community begins with a solid education. Oklahoma has not done enough for our schools, educators, and students. In 2018 teachers stood up and demanded action and their voices were heard...in part. While our teachers did receive a modest salary increase Oklahoma teachers still rank 34th in pay. Our legislators turned a deaf ear to their cries for properly funded school districts and classrooms. Our teachers are still paying for supplies and other classroom essentials out of pocket. As a former educator I can tell you that those expenses, glue here, paper there, add up in a big way. These are expenses for which teachers should not have to bear the burden. I can tell you first hand that if teachers do not make these purchases their classrooms do not function. We have to fund our schools now! We have to fund our schools fully! Oklahoma is only 1 of 4 states where a significant portion of school districts have a four day school week. Our children deserve better. Together we can give Oklahoma’s teachers and children the education system they so desperately need.
Criminal Justice Reform
In 2017 Oklahoma voters passed SQ 788 which allows Oklahomans the right to use marajuana for medical purposes. With that in mind, it is time we look at our prison system and begin to create laws that will truly bring about criminal justice reform. Oklahoma puts more men and women in prison per capita than any other state. We are also number 2 in the country of overall incarcerated individuals, with our numbers rising rapidly. Drug crimes are by far and away the most common felony offenses in our state. Now that we have SQ’s 780 and 781 in place we can continue releasing people from unjust prison sentences. It is not enough that we give people their freedom. We must help them find jobs, get training, and rehabilitate.
I have seen first hand that it is vital to have a solid infrastructure. My parents suffered through an inadequate county road and many people in my neighborhood have told me about the damage poor roads have done to their cars. This damage results in unnecessary expenses for hard working families. According to a recent report written by the American Society of Civil Engineers Oklahoma received a “D” for our quality of roads. Creating better infrastructure for our community not only creates safer driving conditions but it also creates good paying jobs for the many Oklahomans who are in desperate need. We can no longer ignore our roads, bridges, and railways. We have to create a system of oversight for our state’s funds so that the money we have can be spent properly. According to the ASCE “more than 70% of motor vehicle fees are diverted to non-transportation purposes.” In this and many other areas our leaders are not looking out for us and that must stop. Because of our leaders dismissive attitude toward our crumbling infrastructure our rural communities are unable to get the emergency care they need which will mean an increased loss of life to our neighbors and families. With your help I will go to the capitol and advocate for the roads we need.