Hello, Oklahoma Advocates! Let me introduce myself. I am Sabine Brown and I am taking over for Kara Joy McKee as the new Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for Together Oklahoma. I want to tell you a bit about myself, but first I’m going to tell you a story about my son.
My son is 10 years old, he’s in the 4th grade, and he attends public school. He’s always done well there, but he is super shy. Due to that shyness, recess hasn’t always been his favorite part of the day. That changed when he met a teacher’s aide named Elizabeth. Elizabeth talked to him when he was feeling anxious or lonely. They discussed movies and books, and she made him finally feel comfortable at school. He eventually started making friends of his own, but when he started having trouble with bullies Elizabeth was there to save the day once again.
One day last year he came home looking quite down. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “Elizabeth isn’t going to be there anymore.” I asked him where she was going and he responded, “I don’t know, but she said something about the budget.”
The budget is personal. I’m sure many of you have more heartbreaking and more life-altering stories than mine—teachers trying to make ends meet, parents struggling to care for disabled children, family members helping loved ones battle mental illness and substance abuse. I hope that we will come together to elevate all our voices and fight for a budget that reflects our Oklahoma values.
I look forward to seeing you all at Together Oklahoma meetings and events and at the Capitol! I’m bringing with me five years of organizing experience as the Oklahoma Chapter Leader for a gun violence prevention organization, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I will do whatever I can to help make your job as citizen advocates easier.
If you’re ready to dive in and get started, I hope you will join me in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5th. Together Oklahoma is proud to be a co-sponsor of “Women and Children First” advocacy training. We will have a great line-up of speakers to help you learn how to more effectively communicate with your legislator.
The next regular session is right around the corner, so I will be hitting the ground running, as I’m sure you will too. Let’s lace up our shoes and get this state moving in the right direction!
–Sabine Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org