2014 Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute

Aug 5, 2014

This year’s Summer Policy Institute was held August 3-6, 2014 at The University of Tulsa. The event brings together more than 50 highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students for a four-day learning experience. The Institute is hosted by the staff of OK Policy, a Tulsa-based think-tank guided by core commitments to the fair and adequate funding of public services and the expansion of economic prosperity for all Oklahomans.

Panel Discussion: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

Panelists: Brian Bingman (Senate President), Ken Miller (State Treasurer), Scott Inman (House Minority Leader), Anthony Francisco (City of Norman), Amanda Ewing (Oklahoma Education Association), Dan Rickman (Oklahoma State University). Moderator: John Feaver (OK Policy Board member)

Oklahoma Campaigns and Elections

Will Oklahoma remain the reddest state in the nation? Will Democrats ever again win a statewide office in Oklahoma? Will Tea Party Republicans and Chamber of Commerce Republicans find ways to get along? Panelists: Prof. Keith Gaddie (University of Oklahoma), Sheryl Lovelady (Political Analyst), Pat McFerron (CMA Strategies). Moderator: Randy Krehbiel (Tulsa World)

Presentation of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Good Sense/Good Cents Award to Gov. Henry Bellmon

Statesmanship – The Legacy of Gov. Henry Bellmon

Panelists included top advisors and political leaders from the Bellmon era: Andrew Tevington (Chief of Staff to Gov. Bellmon), Penny Williams (former State Senator), Sandy Garrett (Secretary of Education for Gov. Bellmon), Lee Paden (Oklahoma and Washington staffer for Gov. Bellmon). Moderator: Wayne Greene (Tulsa World) 

Education

Education policy has been the focus of some of the most contentious debates at the Capitol in recent years. Panelists: Curt Adams (University of Oklahoma), David Goin (Edmond Public Schools), Anthony Marshall (Booker T. Washington High School), Lee Denney (House of Representatives), Rob Miller (Jenks Middle School). Moderator: Ann-Clore Duncan (OK Policy Board member) 

Policy Journalism

How do you make policy issues accessible to the public? Panelists: Warren Vieth (Oklahoma Watch), Scott Carter (Journal Record), Jaclyn Cosgrove (NewsOK), Kim Jackson (Channel 8). Moderator: Gene Perry (OK Policy) 

Immigration

Presented by Richard Klinge, Catholic Charities, and Elizabeth McCormick, University of Tulsa. Learn about the experiences of and response to more than 1000 children held in a temporary detention center at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma; the likely outcomes and possible options available to these and other unaccompanied immigrant children; and the connection between this child refugee crisis and the broader debate over comprehensive immigration reform. 

What Do We Do to Move People Out of Poverty?

Oklahoma ranks consistently among the top ten states for its high rate of poverty.  In fact, poverty has marked the landscape of Oklahoma since before statehood.  Early settlers faced enormous odds – drought, food insecurity, and nonexistent infrastructure – and possessed few material resources. Panelists: Christy Finsel (ONAC), Christina Mendoza (Connexiones), Kris Steele (TEEM), Marilyn Feaver (Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition). Moderator: Kate Richey, OK Policy 

Political Leadership: Myths and Realities

Panelists: Jari Askins (former Lieutenant Governor), Kathy Taylor (former Mayor of Tulsa), Kirk Humphreys (former Oklahoma City Mayor), Chief Bill John Baker (Cherokee Nation). Moderator: Linda Edmondson, OK Policy Board member 

Medicaid

Community leaders, policy experts, and health care providers share and explain their perspectives on the health care safety net in Oklahoma. Panelists: Dr. Charles Grim (Indian Health Services); Nico Gomez (Oklahoma Health Care Authority); Laura Dempsey-Polan (Morton Comprehensive Health Services); April Merril (Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma); Angela Monson (OU Health Sciences Center). Moderator: John Schumann (OU-Tulsa) 

Who’s Keeping Working-class Americans Out of Office?

Millionaires make up majorities of all three branches of the federal government, and that makes it harder to pass policies that help working Americans. Why don’t more middle- and working-class people run for public office — and what can we do about it? 

Criminal Justice

Presented by Amy Santee (George Kaiser Family Foundation) & Judge Jesse S. Harris (retired Tulsa County district judge). Oklahoma locks up more people than almost any other state or country. Experts discuss the costs of mass incarceration for the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma families, especially for low-income communities and people of color.