Oh Oklahoma, where do we go from here?

photo by MJ Alexander
photo by MJ Alexander

The Oklahoma legislative session ended on May 27th with such a bang that our folly made national headlines. The New York TimesReutersThe Guardian, and The Economist were just a few of the sources telling the world about how our state legislators couldn’t pull it together well enough to save jobs, improve mental health care, and support our students from cradle to career.  So now what?

Are you wondering what you can do as an advocate for a better Oklahoma now that our legislators aren’t in session? Well, it turns out there is a lot you can do! You are invited to join Together Oklahoma at a series of upcoming events where we will:

  • Celebrate our wins and mourn our losses;
  • Get to know the folks in our communities who agree that Oklahoma can do better;
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of our coalition;
  • Plan our strategy for a better future for all Oklahomans.

So far we have two events scheduled, and we hope you’ll plan to come and invite your friends:

Post-Session Party and Planning! Central Oklahoma, Saturday, June 11, 2PM – 4PM

Post-Session Party and Planning! NE Oklahoma, Sunday, June 12, 2PM – 4PM

If neither of these dates or locations work for you, then contact me via this speaker request form to help me plan another Together Oklahoma event for you and the people in your community.

While many of us feel disappointed in the outcomes from this year’s state legislative session, it is important to note that it could have been much worse. Our efforts prevented cuts to the Child Tax Credit and Sales Tax Relief Credit, which were both on the chopping block in earlier versions of the state budget. The many Oklahomans who spoke out for the importance of common education and SoonerCare funds also ensured that these vital services were spared from deep cuts this year.

In other ways we fell short this session, including in stopping an unnecessary tax cut, preventing deep cuts to many importance services, and protecting the state Earned Income Tax Credit. However, to put these losses in context, it is important to remember that most Oklahomans didn’t vote for the legislators we have, those who did vote often don’t know who their legislators are, those who know their legislators rarely watch how those legislators vote on issues, and fewer still actually hold our elected officials accountable by communicating with them directly.  These are all problems we can fix!

Oklahoma will have a primary election on June 28th. While I won’t say who you should vote for, I will enthusiastically endorse that we all do more than cast an informed vote on June 28th.  

I hope you will:

There is a lot we can do, and I am proud to be on a team with all of you who are doing it. I know that you know what it means to DoSomethingOK!