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Registration now open for Fall Policy Boot Camps in Tulsa and Edmond

by | August 25th, 2016 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)

P1020339Do you want to learn more about the state budget, criminal justice reform, poverty, and other critical policy issues affecting our state? If so, you’re in luck: registration is now open for OK Policy’s second Fall Policy Boot Camp (FallPol). This year, we will host two FallPols — one at OSU-Tulsa on Friday, October 14th and one at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond on Saturday, October 15th.

FallPol is an intensive, one-day policy training intended primarily for emerging professionals working for non-profits, advocacy groups, government, and businesses, as well as educators, parents, civic volunteers, and other rising leaders with an interest in Oklahoma issues but without in-depth familiarity with the state’s policy landscape. Advocates and professionals with expertise in one policy area who wish to be better informed across a broader canvas of issues will find this training especially useful.

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Bailey Perkins joins OK Policy as new Outreach & Legislative Liaison

by | August 17th, 2016 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

BaileyPerkins2016Oklahoma Policy Institute is excited to announce that Bailey Perkins is joining the staff as Outreach & Legislative Liaison. The full-time position will be based in Oklahoma City.

Perkins will be assuming primary responsibilities for representing OK Policy at the State Capitol during the legislative session, as well as working closely with advocacy groups and coalitions in the Oklahoma City area to help advance OK Policy’s agenda for broad-based prosperity.  The role of legislative liaison had been carried out for the past three sessions on a part-time contract basis by Damario Solomon Simmons.

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Join our team as a fall intern

by | August 15th, 2016 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)
OK Policy staff and summer interns

OK Policy staff and summer interns

OK Policy is now accepting student applicants for paid part-time internships during the fall of 2016. Interns will be expected to work between 10 and 20 hours per week, depending on their schedules and availability. The position will be based in our Tulsa office.

Interns have the opportunity to work as full members of the OK Policy team and participate in most activities of the organization. The work will involve assisting staff members as well as conducting independent research under guidance of staff. Most interns will author multiple blog posts on state policy issues such as poverty, economic development, health care, immigration, and other subjects.

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Upcoming Event: Sleeping Giant author on how the ‘new working class’ is transforming America

by | August 11th, 2016 | Posted in Blog, Economy, OK Policy, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

sleeping giant2There was a time when America’s working class was seen as the backbone of the economy with considerable political, economic, and moral authority. In recent decades, the working class has transformed as far more female and racially diverse workers have been employed by the restaurant, retail, health care, and other service industries. At the same time, this new working class has been marginalized, if not ignored, by politicians and pundits.

As Tamara Draut makes clear in an important and timely new book, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America, this is changing, swiftly and dramatically. As the November election draws near, Tamara Draut will be visiting Oklahoma to discuss her book at a pair of public events in Tulsa and Oklahoma City:

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Send in your summer internship application by April 29

by | April 15th, 2016 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

OK Policy and internsWe are pleased to offer two exciting opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in Oklahoma public policy.

We are now accepting student applicants for a paid, part-time or full-time internship during the summer of 2016. Interns will be expected to work between 15 and 40 hours per week, depending on their schedules and availability. The position will be based in our Tulsa office, with occasional opportunities to work from home or school.

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ATTN College Students: Apply for the 2016 Summer Policy Institute

by | March 10th, 2016 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (5)

Summer Policy Institute studentsOklahoma Policy Institute is excited to announce our fourth annual Summer Policy Institute (SPI) from July 31 – August 3, 2016 at the University of Tulsa.

SPI brings together highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students for an exciting and in-depth learning experience. SPI offers participants a unique opportunity to become better informed about vital Oklahoma policy issues, network with fellow students and leaders in the policy process, and prepare for their future studies and work in public policy-related fields.

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Norman Superintendent, Cherokee Nation business leader join OK Policy Board

Oklahoma Policy Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph (Joe) Siano, Superintendent of Norman Public Schools, and Charles (Chuck) Garrett, executive vice president at Cherokee Nation Businesses, have joined our Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to add two widely-admired and respected individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our state through their professional careers and community service,” said Ann-Clore Duncan, OK Policy’s Board Chair. “Joe and Chuck will add to our tradition of building a strong, nonpartisan board that is thoughtful, far-sighted, policy-focused, and comprised of individuals who bring a wide range of personal and professional experiences to the table.”

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Ryan Gentzler joins OK Policy as criminal justice policy analyst

Ryan Gentzler

Ryan Gentzler

Oklahoma Policy Institute is pleased to announce that Ryan Gentzler has joined the organization in a new policy analyst position that will focus on criminal justice issues. The position is funded through a grant from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that is intended to support state policy groups in work that can have a significant impact on critical policy issues.

“We are very excited to be adding a dedicated staff person to examine Oklahoma’s criminal justice policies,” said David Blatt, OK Policy’s Executive Director. “Many organizations have laid the groundwork for criminal justice reform, and with an increasing number of political and civic leaders getting on board, the time is ripe for significant and urgently-needed progress.”

With the addition of an analyst focused on criminal justice issues, OK Policy will be able to expand its research on how to reduce incarceration while protecting public safety, expand proven community-based alternatives to jail and prison, and make it easier for Oklahomans with felony records to rebuild their lives after incarceration.

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Five reasons NOT to make a year-end donation to OK Policy

by | December 30th, 2015 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

scrooge1As the end of the year approaches, you’re no doubt besieged by dozens of organizations that do good and important work pleading for a donation. While we too spend a lot of time telling our supporters why they should donate to OK Policy, it’s become a year-end tradition for us to remind you that there are plenty of great reasons not to contribute to OK Policy as well. Here are five of them:

1. Facts don’t matter

Facts, schmacts – who needs ’em?? If you believe public policy debates and decisions should be guided by party affiliation, ideological beliefs, and ill-informed opinion, please do NOT click here to donate to OK Policy. Because our role is to provide independent, data-driven information, analysis, and ideas on the major policy issues facing Oklahoma. Our legislative primer, county facts, poverty profile, and budget highlights all provide the facts you’ll want to avoid.

2. There’s only one side to every debate

When one party controls the legislature and executive branch, it can be easy to get everyone on board on issues like cutting the income tax or opposing the expansion of health care coverage. Who needs a think-tank complicating matters by presenting the other side of the argument in a way that claims the attention of policymakers, editorial boards, and engaged citizens? OK Policy is that irksome voice ensuring that competing points of view are heard in Oklahoma. But if you believe there’s only one side to every debate, then you should most definitely not donate to OK Policy

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15 for ’15: Our most popular blog posts of the year

by | December 28th, 2015 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (1)

2015It’s been another busy and productive year for OK Policy. We organized a series of major events, including our 3rd Summer Policy Institute, 2nd State Budget Summit, and 1st Fall Pol workshop; added two new staffers, Tyler Parette and DeVon Douglas; hosted seven interns and mentored two sets of Research Fellows; updated our CountyStats, Legislative Primer and Poverty Profile; wrote some 60 columns and op-eds, gave over 80 public presentations, compiled over 225 issues of In the Know, and traveled through every county in Oklahoma on a unicycle (not really – that was Todd Lamb).

We also posted on our blog almost every weekday throughout the year. Here we look back at some of the highlights with a countdown of our most popular blog posts in 2015. 


Please don’t feed the stereotypes: In July, the Oklahoma Republican Party ignited a firestorm with a Facebook post pointing out a so-called irony of signs in national parks warning that feeding animals can create dependence on handouts at a time when a growing number of Americans are receiving federal food stamp benefits. We took the time to explain who’s served by the food safety net and to argue that we’d be better off creating more opportunities for workers to earn a decent living.

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