I know many of you feel stressed out about the state of politics in Oklahoma and nationally. That makes sense, a lot of things are a mess! But please, bear with me as I explain why Together Oklahoma is having a party. As you’ll see below, we have some really good reasons to celebrate.
Our next event will instead be a statewide celebration of our efforts called the Better Budget Bash, to be held on June 25th from 2-4 pm in multiple locations across the state. We will take the time to recognize each other for our dramatically increased efforts this year and the impact we had on this past legislative session. You can find out more about how to join the fun HERE.
If you are not sure what we are celebrating, here are 9 things to consider:
- We had many more constituents visit the Capitol than ever before!
- We finally managed to cancel the next auto-triggered income tax cut.
- We finally got gross production tax and combined corporate reporting on the table for discussion.
- Lawmakers on the left and right and all the way up to the governor were saying “structural budget deficit” and “need for new recurring revenues.” Those are our words!
- We helped build a very strong coalition with the dozens of other member organizations in Save Our State at saveourstateok.org.
- Very few terrible bills passed this year! (We can’t usually say that.)
- We are actually winning the argument on key issues around the budget and taxes. This is the first year in a VERY long time when none of our legislators were arguing for more tax cuts or more budget cuts. Almost all of the legislators finally realize that we need to invest more in public education, health, and public safety.
- Some of the newer legislators seem much less interested in passing wacky bills that are horrible or unconstitutional. (Much of the worst didn’t even get out of committee.)
- We have large and growing groups of citizens and organizations mobilizing for a better budget. You and so many others like you are now actively engaged on the issues!
That is a lot to celebrate! If that isn’t enough for you then consider these other 9 things:
- The Better Budget Bash will be a great way to find out more about what you can do.
- There are tough times ahead, and it is important to take time to bond with your teammates.
- Celebrating helps keep us on track and motivated toward our goals.
- Seeing who else is with you in this can help you feel less alone in your frustrations than you did this time last year.
- We need to take time to honor those who have worked so hard to make things better!
- You probably did something new this year, maybe it made you nervous, but you did it and that is worth celebrating!
- Celebrations can be incredibly fun and you like fun, right?
- It is important to cultivate a sense of community with other people who care.
- We all need to hear the year in review to remind ourselves and each other why there actually is hope.
Those are the reasons why we decided to have a celebration to kick off our summer efforts. There will be plenty of time for work days later. I hope you agree, I hope you fill out this little form if you want to help out with the fun on the 25th, and I really do want you to know that, from where I stand, in the thick of public policy in Oklahoma, there are a lot of strong signs that times, they are a changin’.