February 7, 2019. It was Lending Reform day at the Capitol, and many advocates were eager to talk about better lending practices with their legislators. A week earlier, Together Oklahoma (TOK) held several events across the state for members of the community to join in on the conversation about predatory lending. It was here that three TOK members from the Carter County chapter decided to take action. On February 7th at 9 o’clock in the morning, those three determined members and TOK Southeast Field Coordinator, Kyle Lawson braved icy roads and a slick parking lot. “We had a unique group, each with their own area of concern,” he reflected.
Oklahoma House members approved another teacher pay raise last week. HB 1780, which increases teacher pay by $1,200, passed unanimously and now heads to the Senate. This is good news for teachers, but a small raise will do little to address the conditions teachers have endured over the past decade.
For many Oklahomans, visiting a legislator is something new. Even those of us have been to a rally on the lawn may not have working knowledge of how to do one of the most important things you can do at your state Capitol — and that is to have a productive conversation with legislators. This tipsheet will go through each of these steps for how to do it:
Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is modeled on an a federal tax credit that has been proven to be effective in encouraging work and supporting low-income families with children. But in 2016 , the Legislature slashed the state EITC for over 200,000 Oklahoma families by making the credit “non-refundable,” meaning it does nothing for families who pay sales taxes and property taxes but don’t earn enough to pay state income taxes.
This year, Oklahoma lawmakers have the opportunity to bring Oklahomans the health care they need. SB 605, authored by Sen. McCortney, represents an important first step in the discussion about expanding access to health insurance in Oklahoma. SB 605 is up for a vote in the Senate Retirement and Insurance committee TODAY at 10am. Please call committee members and ask them to vote YES on SB 605.
Oklahoma leads the nation in incarceration. Oklahomans are put behind bars for things as minor as simple drug possession and inability to pay a fine or a fee. This practice costs our state millions of dollars which could go towards real solutions like job training and mental health and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, it is not making us any safer. Fortunately, there is something you can do right now. Please call your legislators and ask them to vote YES to two bills that will help break this cycle of over-incarceration.
The next legislative session starts on February 4th. A new class of legislators is headed to the Capitol soon to start tackling important issues. So now what do we do? For people like you and me who advocate for policies that improve the lives of Oklahomans, our work doesn’t end after election day. With so many new legislators, it’s key time to let them know who we are and what we care about. Here are three things you can do to start the next legislative session off on the right foot.
It’s been a year of big things for Together Oklahoma. From adding new chapters to growing our membership, Together Oklahoma has grown exponentially and we couldn’t have done it without you. Here are just some of the things you accomplished this year. In addition to our chapters in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, we added […]
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6th and early voting starts Thursday, Nov. 1st through Saturday, Nov. 3rd at County Election Boards. This election will determine how we address pressing problems facing our state. This is our chance to build a more prosperous Oklahoma, but that can only happen with your vote. Watch a short video from that staff at the Together Oklahoma and Oklahoma Policy Institute explaining all the reasons to get out and vote this year.
This year, Oklahomans will head to the polls to elect a new governor and the next class of state legislators. The people we elect will decide how we address our state’s most pressing problems. It is up to us to know where candidates stand on issues affecting our communities and our families, so we can make informed decisions at the ballot.