The state of Oklahoma has 101 state House districts. Each district elects one representative. All 101 seats are up for election in 2020, with a primary to be held on June 30, a runoff (if necessary) on August 25 and the general election on November 3.The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Oklahoma State Legislature. Together with the Oklahoma State Senate, they form a legislative branch of the Oklahoma state government and work directly with the governor of Oklahoma to create laws and establish a state budget. The Oklahoma House of Representatives authority includes legislation on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes. Oklahoma state representatives serve two-year terms and are limited to a total of 12 years of cumulative service in the House and Senate. They are scheduled to receive a pay increase in November 2020, from $35,021 to $47,500 annually. When the legislature is in session, they also receive a $156 daily "per diem" allowance. Members of the House of Representatives must be twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They must be qualified electors in their respective counties or districts and must live in those counties or districts during their term of office.
Clackamas Community College; B.S. United States Air Force Academy; J.D. University of Colorado, Boulder
Cold War Real-Time Intelligence Analyst - USAF Security Service/ESC (enlisted); Infantry Officer, US Army 101st Airborne Division; Managing Partner, Spaulding Barlean, LLP; City Councilmember, Langley, Washington; Washington State House of Representatives - Vice Chair Appropriations; City Attorney - Sterling, Colorado.
On 6/4, 29% of Oklahoma’s workforce filed for unemployment with no letup in sight. I will work to bring to Oklahoma as many of the companies possible that will be relocating their manufacturing back to the USA from China. I will work to secure upfront money, through bonds, to be able offer them the infrastructure (land/water/roads) they need to get running quickly in addition to tax credits. Savings from the unemployment reduction, the taxing of new pay checks and the resulting sales tax revenue should make this feasible. We also have an opportunity to both wean the state off its dangerous overreliance upon federal dollars to balance the budget and to diversify the state’s economy so it will not parallel the luck of the oil & gas industry. Also, I will do something about the surge in crime in our district. We should be able to walk our dogs safely and to be able to leave things on the porches without them being stolen. Our kids should be able to live without fear of drive-by shootings.
My background is unique and successful. I was a Teamster (forklift driver), USAF Security Service Intelligence Analyst (enlisted), USAF Academy graduate, Infantry Officer 101st Airborne, city attorney and stay-at-home dad. I was also a state representative for two terms in the state of Washington (no term limits). I delivered tangible results to my constituents. Elected by only 304 votes, I was placed on the Appropriations Committee and promoted to vice-chair one year later. After a couple special sessions due to a budget impasse, I negotiated and drafted the compromise bill that allowed passage of the state’s budget.
Locally, I stepped in to prevent the state from cutting down a 600 acre forest and used my position on the Capital Budget committee to secure a capital budget of $57 million for Western Washington University when UW only got $17 million in a tight year. I also helped negotiate first tribal tobacco tax compact with state. I was reelected by a 16,600 vote margin.
As an USAF Academy graduate, I cannot in good conscience sit idly by when I have the demonstrated ability to aid in this time crisis. When the federal stimulus money arrives, my neighbors need an experienced legislator who knows how to bring dollars home to the district.
As a practical matter, I will be giving the people of the district a seat at the table and using my skill set to deliver tangible results that they can never attain with a representative in the minority party. I worked well across the aisle which enabled my bills to pass and to steer a lot of project money to the district. Many Democrats voted for me when I was reelected in a landslide. I was endorsed by AFL-CIO, Sierra Club,Human Services and Housing Now,NFIB, Farm Bureau, and many other interest groups.
I share backgrounds with many of my diverse neighbors. My grandpa swam the Rio Grande and settled in Pueblo, CO. He helped build/landscape the college from which I graduated– the United States Air Force Academy.
American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma
Campaign for Smart Justice (Criminal Justice Reform): Regional Field Director – Based in Oklahoma City, OK
● Aid in community outreach between ACLU of OK and four (4) Oklahoma Counties
● Identify community leaders or help in developing the skills of community leaders and move them up the ladder of engagement
● Create curriculum to train community members and aid in creating a self-sustaining community organizing model
● Identify the intersections of criminal justice reform that the ACLU of OK might be missing and educate
ACLU of Oklahoma Community Advisory Board
Co-Founder – Based in Oklahoma City, OK
● Assist with community outreach and identifying those who already do criminal justice reform work
● Guiding the ACLU of OK in how to effectively build partnerships with impacted communities
● Aid in putting on community centered programs surrounding criminal justice and its intersections
● Helping to rebuild the bridges between the ACLU and communities that have ended up on the negative end of litigation
Council on American-Islamic Relations of Oklahoma (CAIR)
Board Member – Based in Oklahoma City, OK
● Maintain financial well-being of the organization and approve all budgets
● Ensure that we are staying true to the mission and purpose of the organization through events and litigation
● Continuously bring a fresh lens for the way we provide intersectional support to our community
● Assist in publicizing events as well as growing donor base
Board Member – Based in Oklahoma City, OK
● Creating and nurturing an organization built with community-based justice and action
● Managing final budgets and bringing a creative and inclusive lens to fundraising
● Bridging the gap between communities-based solutions and policy reform
● Ushering in a new era of inclusive community-based activism that is forever expanding with our youth
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Youth and College Division: President – Based in Stillwater, OK
● Communicating between all youth and college NAACP Oklahoma chapters and nationals
● Eliminating race-based discrimination by securing the political, educational, social and economic equity
● Creating education and financial wellness models for chapters in order to stay in compliance with nationals
● Working with Oklahoma adult NAACP chapter to provide better transitions from youth and college chapters to adult
Oklahoma State University Off-Campus Student Association (OCSA)
Off-Campus Student Housing Specialist: Secretary / Treasurer – Based in Stillwater, OK
● Understating the Landlord Tenant Act to better help off-campus students navigate property rental agreements
● Connecting students looking for housing with students / property managers
● Managing listserv for all off-campus and relaying campus wide information to them
● Managing expenses for the OCSA department and payroll
Regional Food Bank
Oklahoma Resource Hub
My heart's work is deep community organizing. In being a community organizer and able to do direct policy advocacy it was made apparent our public office holders could be doing so much more if we listened to our community members that have been filling the gaps our government, local and national, leave for us. In speaking to my community members I began to understand the folks our local government carves outs in hopes of a quick solution. I don't want what my family went through, for any other family and I certainly don't want families left behind because it's more palatable. My community helped me realize in order to make the changes we need - not only in our justice system, but also for the representation we seek, I had to run for State House of Representatives.
Justice Reform - In Oklahoma our top three (3) drivers of incarceration in Oklahoma - drug charges, property charges, and the fact that if you get either of those you stay in prison roughly 80% longer than anywhere else in the world. We need to put an end to sentence enhancements to start but so much more goes into this.
Living Wages - In a time where 1 in 3 families in our metro areas has to choose between what basic essentials to provide for their families each month, we can’t afford to not raise the minimum wage- and this was before the Coronavirus hit. In order to save out children and create an economic system for people to thrive - not just scrape by - we need to raise the minimum wage.
Integrated Healthcare - We are operating in a system that relies on incarcerating our folks suffering from poverty and mental health issues, rather than dedicating time and resources to get them the help they need - before coming in contact with our prison system. Medicaid expansion now.
What makes me the best for the job is I'm a community organizer - something that has been missing from our Oklahoma legislature. I not only have lived experience with the issues that plague everyday Oklahomans, but I also have a track record for building bridges and fighting for Oklahoma without an elected position. House District 88 is composed of folks that live in life's intersections and we have been continuously left out of the decisions that are made. I'm different because I am an everyday Oklahoman, and I listen to those that have a different experience than me about the changes we need to make and the community sees that.