As a long-time teacher in the Broken Arrow district, I can confirm first hand just how dire the need for public school improvements are. From a lack of books to buses, our students simply don’t have the tools necessary to learn skills to prepare them for their futures. We lose too many valuable and talented educators to states that can afford to pay them properly, resulting in large class sizes that don’t focus on individual success. We cannot allow our children to receive sub-par educations that put them at a lifelong disadvantage any longer. It is my mission to give every child access to the learning materials and technology they need to receive the quality classroom experience they deserve. I will also make sure that our teachers are compensated fairly for the extremely important work they do.
Access to quality healthcare must be a fundamental right for all Oklahomans. Excellent coverage should not only be an option for the very wealthy. My struggles with cancer over the course of my life have made it abundantly clear how lucky I was to have access to good insurance, but getting lucky should not be the biggest step on the path to recovery. Too many Oklahomans are one illness or injury away from financial disaster, and that is unacceptable. In my experience as a teacher, I have seen both students and parents struggle with physical and mental challenges, but lack access to proper treatment. This is problem not only for our healthcare industry, but for our schools. I will fight to expand Medicaid, improve access for all Oklahomans, and increase resources for healthcare in our schools. I will push for expanded access to high-quality health care at an affordable price so that citizens will no longer have to suffer financial disaster when illnesses come up.
Oklahoma’s current weak regulations and legislative bias towards oil and natural gas companies is detrimental to our environment. Increased use of fossil fuel energy sources and harmful groundwater disposal practices are causing greater amounts of chemical emissions, groundwater pollution, and seismic activity which affects every member of our community. Additionally, our over-reliance on oil and gas for energy sources is strangling our economic potential. Failure to shift and diversify our energy platforms will leave Oklahoma in the dust in the 21st century economy. I will work to enforce stronger regulations on waste water disposal and invest in a diverse energy economy in order to protect our state from environmental disasters and economic crises.
Criminal Justice Reform
Oklahoma has long had one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. This is due to the excessive incarceration of women and non-violent offenders. Our schools have become pipe lines directly into prison that too many students can't escape from. The state exploits them with harsh sentences to fulfill commitments to for-profit prisons. Children far too often follow in their family's footsteps repeating cycles of crime that have been ongoing for generations. We must end these punitive cycles by teaching rehabilitation in our prisons, instead of expecting high rates of recidivism. We can begin to solve this problem in three steps. First, we must improve educational outcomes. The large majority of incarcerated individuals do not have a high school diploma. Second, we must put an end to private prisons that incentivize incarceration over rehabilitation. Third, it is crucial that we stop the cycle at its source. We have to teach rehabilitation to prisoners so they're mistakes aren't passed down to their children.
Sound good to you?
Matt is running a grassroots campaign for everyday Oklahomans just like you. Will you make a contribution today for a better Oklahoma tomorrow? No amount is too small, every dollar makes a difference!