top of page

People, not politics.

As a candidate for House District 26, I am committed to fighting for the issues that matter most to the people of Pottawatomie County. This includes improving economic development to create good-paying jobs, increasing access to affordable healthcare, making housing more affordable, investing in our schools, and improving infrastructure, in both urban and rural communities.  I will work with community members, medical and mental health experts, and education leaders in our district to identify issues and develop feasible, sustainable solutions.  We are a community, and working together, we can make amazing things happen!

Homelessness and Mental Health

According to The Oklahoma Academy, the population of people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma has increased by 15% over a decade and has steadily risen since 2015.  Housing costs have increased faster than wages, resulting in residents paying a higher percentage of income on housing.  More than 70% of Oklahomans pay over half their income on housing and utilities.  

Chronic substance use, those experiencing mental illness, veterans, and domestic violence victims make up a large percentage of the unhoused population.  Criminalizing homelessness exacerbates the situation for these vulnerable populations.  Funding for mental health and drug treatment and prevention resources must be made available to communities across the state.

 

I will work to prioritize treatment and prevention programs in our state and increase funding to support housing assistance for very low income residents, veterans, and victims of domestic violence to include tax credits for landlords who invest capital into housing that serves vulnerable tenants.  We must invest in programs that benefit all members of our community.

Education:

Benjamin Franklin said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."  The authors of our state constitution agreed and established in Article 1, Section 5 that a public school system, open to all children, will be established and maintained and free from sectarian control.  For over a decade, prior to 2018, the legislature cut public school funding in Oklahoma every year.  More than $38 million has been shifted from public schools to private schools over the last decade with no accountability for how private schools spend the money or student achievement (https://www.ossba.org/advocacy/vouchers/).

I will work with local and state educators to identify ways to be more efficient and equitable in funding and providing educational opportunity.  I will work to fund mental health counseling and support and ensure all kids receive free meals in our schools.  I will work across the aisle to find sustainable solutions to ensure our public school classrooms are resourced, and our kids, teachers, and staff have a safe place to learn and our parents are supported. 

Healthcare:

According to the University of Oklahoma, "Oklahoma ranks among the states with the worst health.  In a 2021 America’s Health Ranking Report, Oklahoma ranked 44th in health outcomes and 47th in clinical care.  The primary drivers are social determinants such as education and income, lack of access to healthcare, and poor quality of care.

Regular and reliable access to quality healthcare is imperative in preventing disease and disability, increasing life expectancy, increasing quality of life, early detection and treatment of illness, and reducing premature death.  Comprehensive healthcare is critical to maintaining the viability of our workforce.

Healthcare policy must be informed by doctors and the medical community at large.  I will collaborate with the medical community in rural and urban areas to identify a more targeted approach to reduce healthcare disparities in our state.  I will work with healthcare and policy experts to find ways to expand healthcare coverage and address skyrocketing costs.

Economic Development and Jobs:

Small businesses account for 99.4% of all businesses in Oklahoma and employ 52% of the labor force.  A sustainable economy that continues to grow can only be accomplished when we take care of our small businesses and the employees that make them function.  Many employees in our district do not have paid time off or sick leave.  The lack of accesible, affordable childcare puts a strain on working parents and non-existent public transportation prevents some families from being able to get to work consistently.  We cannot focus on tax incentives for corporations to grow our local economy.  We need policies that allow small businesses to provide benefits for their employees.  An employee that has childcare, a consistent means of transportation, healthcare and paid sick leave to take care of themselves and their family makes for a more productive, more reliable worker.  Reliable, stable workers improve a company's bottom line and lead to greater profit.  Providing a living wage and benefits through targeted incentives for small businesses, would greatly impact the health and sustainability of our workforce. 

I will work to develop and fund resources to allow small businesses to provide benefits to their workers, and identify ways to increase affordability and availability of childcare and transportation.

An Oklahoma sunset
bottom of page