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Podcast Ep. 45 | Carpathians, Kardashians, and Cardassians

News Round-Up

Take-Aways

  • First of all, you probably should know the difference between CarpathiansKardashians, and Cardassians.

    • And here's the article we discussed about the actor who played Vigo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters 2.

  • Despite the behavior of some of the folks at the top, most rank-and-file employees at the Oklahoma State Department of Health do really great (and important) work. During this episode we mentioned that Oklahoma has a high teen birth rate as well as high rates of STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. To help reduce all those things, OSDH is now able to distribute free condoms to organizations who request them, and all you have to do to request them is send them an email.

  • Beyond that, this week was primarily a discussion of the articles listed above. 

  • Oh, and we announced our Let's Fix This Election Watch Party on November 6th! Details are on our website and our Facebook page

 

Join the LFT Board of Directors

This past Saturday was our annual board retreat, and it was fantastic. Staged in Verbode's beautiful downtown office space, we began the day with a recap of the past year and then moved into our strategy session. Tons of great ideas about how we act our our mission - educating and equipping Oklahomans to engage with their government. 

As we worked to identify our target audience, someone used the term "politically curious," and it was like mental lightbulbs went on throughout the room. That term describes most of our board when we started this organization - people who were not particularly involved in politics, but who were curious about it. We saw that things were a mess, and at a time when some people were tuning out from the news at the State Capitol, we couldn't help but tune in. 

As we move into our second full year as a "real" nonprofit organization, we are seeking to fill a few spots on our board. If you're interested in joining, submit your application between now and 7/31. The board plans to review the applications and make decisions at our August meeting. 

 

2018 Session: Week 3 Recap

Hey guys! Welcome back - this will be a short post as the weather made for a short legislative week. The House met only on Monday and Tuesday while the Senate met briefly on Wednesday.  All legislative offices were closed on Thursday with no floor or committee activity. That also meant our first Capitol Day of the year was canceled.  Don’t worry though, we have several more coming upand we’d love to see you there.  Also, be sure to catch up with us on Let’s Pod This - next week should be a busy one!

2018 Session: Week 1 Recap

Hey guys! Since we recorded our weekly episode of #LetsPodThis early this week for Governor Fallin’s State of the State Address, we put together a quick blog post to make sure you’re up-to-date with what has been a pretty busy first week of session.

Currently the Legislature in concurrent session, trying to wrap up the 2nd Extraordinary Session of 2017 and beginning the First Regular Session of 2018. Most of the action this week has been taken on bills filed as part of special session and most of that has been in the House.We’ve got all the details for you down below.

Capitol Restoration Project, vol 1.

If you've driven by or seen photos of the Oklahoma State Capitol recently, you probably noticed that about half of the building is surrounded by scaffolding and shrouded in white tarps. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go behind the curtain with the project manager, Trait Thompson, to tour the capitol restoration efforts. It was an impressive, down-right fascinating look at how we maintain one of Oklahoma's top tourist destinations. It's a lot of work and a lot of attention to detail. Mike Holmes would be proud.

It's time to Save Our State

It's time to Save Our State

Yesterday we joined more than two dozen nonprofit and professional organizations to announce the Save Our State budget plan. This three-year budget blueprint is far more than just the gimmicky fixes that the legislature often passes - this plan puts Oklahoma on a real, sustainable path to prosperity. It steers us away from more devastating budget cuts and allows us to actually invest in education, public safety, healthcare, and transportation.

Why We're Here

A few hours ago I watched President Obama deliver his farewell speech to the nation. It was a good speech - warm, reflective, inspiring. All the things you'd want an outgoing, two-term president's speech to be. After the speech I did some laundry and did some tidying up around the house, but I couldn't stop thinking about one passage of the speech that resonated with me so strongly that it kinda weirded me out.

Knowing Your Limits

Several months ago Together Oklahoma invited me to write a blog about the importance of self care for advocates, and at the time I eagerly agreed. We had just finished the 2016 state legislative session and everyone was exhausted, including myself. I knew I had done a terrible job at self care - Let's Fix This began more-or-less on accident and blossomed more quickly than I had ever imagined. In response, I gave it my all without consideration for what it would mean for my physical or mental health. By the time the legislature proclaimed sine die near the end of May, I had a full-blown sinus infection, middle school-grade acne, and a sleep debt that could only be counted on both hands and feet. I was the poster child for "How not to take care of yourself."

Promoting Public Comment

You know how most city council meetings have an item on the agenda for "public comment?" That's the time when they allow residents to get up and share their opinion/perspective on a given issue. Pretty cool, right? Our city government actually setting aside time to hear from the public on matters that will affect them. Well, our state government doesn't really do that. Currently there isn't a provision in the state legislature's operating procedures that allow for public comment during committee hearings. 

The Plan for 2017

Wow, what a year it's been! It's hard to imagine that it was just 8 months ago I created a Facebook event and invited a bunch of people to join me at the Capitol to talk to our lawmakers about the dire situation in which we found ourselves. That event exceed my wildest expectations and it was clear that the public was thirsty for way to be involved, so we held another event, and then another, and then another. Since April, we've mobilized thousands of Oklahomans - most of them just regular folks who, like me, had never done anything political in their lives. We've worked hard to create opportunities for people to engage with their government in meaningful ways. We've fostered conversations between the public and their legislators wherever we can - at the Capitol, on social media, at restaurants, and even in bars. And that was just the first year!

2016 State Questions Compendium

It's pretty clear that, in Oklahoma, the 2016 election is about two things: presidential candidate hoopla and the seven state questions. With less than a week until the election and early voting already under way, it's hard to believe that anyone has yet to make up their mind about these issues. However, these are complicated issues with far-reaching implications which may not be immediately clear to the average person, and we want to help with that.