I have to start my story with my parents because every person’s story is built upon those who have come before them. My dad got his degree in nursing and my mom got her degree in education. My dad worked at the Clinton Indian Hospital as a wound care nurse and my mom as a teacher. I became very involved in my local church where eventually I would become the Youth Pastor. I followed in my parent’s footsteps and attended SWOSU, where I got a degree in Parks and Recreation Management. After graduation, I began working in different ministries across the country, eventually ending up in NYC where I got my Masters of Divinity. It was during my travels that my family moved to Edmond, my new Oklahoma home.
My dad’s job at the Indian Health Service was one of a kind in the state and he supported the family as my mom had suffered on the job injuries. Tragically, the champion of my dad’s job and of diabetic foot care for Native Americans, died unexpectedly and with his death my dad lost his job over “budget cuts.” Only a few months later, my dad was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. When these things happened I moved back to Oklahoma where I would find that my parents were living on undrivable county roads.
I called the County Commissioner to assess the problem and discussed how we could reconcile the issue. My mom, who had to return to the workforce, and my dad, who had medical treatments, were unable to get where they needed to go, unless my dad got on his tractor and pushed them through the mud. I explained all of these things to the Commissioner over the course of several phone calls. For a very long time we couldn’t get anything done because he told me that: my parents should purchase a four wheel drive vehicle, that they should get helicopter insurance, that they should move to town, and that there were plenty of other people sicker than my dad so I should stop complaining. As his excuses poured in I began to get video and picture evidence of the situation.
I mounted a social media campaign which was eventually picked up by a local news station.
It was after this that an acquaintance of my mom reached out and shared that her nephew was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. My mom’s friend came through for my family and the other families of the community and eventually the road was fixed. It was at that time that I realized what had happened. I was able to work with people across demographics and party affiliations to get this county road fixed. That is when I decided to run for the House of Representatives in my district, District 81.
I am running because I want to advocate for those who do not always know how to advocate for themselves. I want to continue to work for everyone in my district no matter party affiliation or political views because we all need health care, good roads, and great education.