Sally’s List knows that far more issues unite us than divide us, and that’s why we work with candidates–regardless of political party– who prioritize the needs of their communities. Our Lawmakers have an obligation to find the best policies for all Oklahomans, and the most effective way of doing this is by working across the aisle with productive and respectful dialogue.
Unfortunately this is rarely the case. Time and again, too many Oklahoma legislators engage in vicious and hateful rhetoric while introducing extreme and blatantly unconstitutional bills. This behavior is irresponsible and hurts our economy, our reputation, and most importantly our people. At Sally’s List, we reject the idea that this is how politics works. Instead, we recruit and train leaders who fight to protect the wellbeing of all Oklahomans — regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. We need leaders who serve the needs of the constituents they represent.
If Oklahoma is going to thrive:
A robust and well-funded public education system is critical to Oklahoma’s future, and state leaders have an obligation to guarantee parents that our public schools will be able to prepare their children for a better life. This obligation extends from pre-k to higher education, including community colleges, vocational schools, and our public universities. Oklahoma’s students must be prepared with the skills to meet the demands of the modern job market. A strong public education system drives a robust economy, a healthier workforce, and a stronger future for all Oklahomans.
Limited access to quality healthcare is a life-or-death reality faced by too many Oklahomans. A person’s location or how much they earn should never be a deciding factor when it comes to accessing quality healthcare facilities or services. Meaningful access to healthcare extends far beyond the doctor’s office, including education on nutrition and lifestyle, comprehensive sex education, addiction recovery, and mental health services. These components of comprehensive healthcare are too often neglected or politicized. Accessing healthcare services should not be curated by the moral compasses of legislators, and Sally’s List stands for a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions for herself and her family. In order for Oklahoma to thrive economically, adequate access to healthcare is a necessity.
“You have to spend money to make money” is a more than just a saying; it’s a fact. Elected officials have an obligation to serve the best interests of their constituents, investing in programs and policies that are meant to help citizens become more financially secure. Unemployment, Workers’ Comp and Human Services that focus on educating, re-training, and assisting Oklahomans in becoming fiscally independent are paramount in a strong economy. But Oklahoma’s economy is not one sided. If we want to provide economic and entrepreneurial opportunities for all Oklahomans, we must ensure that women have equal pay for equal work. When the state legislature supports bills that discriminate against gender, ability, race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation, it is detrimental to long and short-term economic growth. Protecting a person’s ability to provide for their family and ensuring their liberty to make their own fiscal decisions ensures a sustainable economic future for all Oklahomans.
Oklahoma is the number two overall incarcerator in the nation and the number one incarcerator of women in the world. The financial bind this has on Oklahoma has made the Department of Corrections dependent on private prisons. This costs, costing taxpayers even more, as the state pays private corporations to house our inmates. In 2015 alone, $92.7 million taxpayer dollars went to privately owned prisons. This level of incarceration and its expenditure in this state is unsustainable and irresponsible. We must invest in programs that will protect the citizens of Oklahoma while being considerate of the long-term repercussions that high incarceration rates create. Treating individuals with reasonable sentencing and increasing opportunities to fulfill one’s sentence in a community service fashion will reduce the state’s financial expenditures and keep families together. We cannot afford to continue down the current path. The criminal sentencing and justice system must evolve and meet the demands of a modern society. Locking up individuals for nonviolent or drug- related crimes destroy families, hurts our economy, and only increases the current mess that our Department of Corrections is facing.