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.
“We are grateful to Damario for his outstanding work for OK Policy and look forward to his continuing to be a close and cherished member of the OK Policy family,” said Executive Director David Blatt. “At the same time, we realized we need a more continuous and active presence at the Capitol and in the Oklahoma City area. Bailey is exactly the right person to deepen our connections to key players in the legislative process and to magnify our impact on policy debates and decisions.”
A native of Lawton, Perkins earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history as a Clara Luper Full Tuition Scholar from Oklahoma City University and later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has spent the past two years serving as a State Policy Fellow for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families where she researched, analyzed, and advocated for education and fiscal policies that help low and moderate income families in Arkansas.
“I am delighted to be returning home to Oklahoma and to have this chance to be part of an organization that is improving the lives of Oklahomans through public policy research and advocacy,” Perkins said.
Bailey’s first experiences in the nonprofit field came from working as the Coordinator of Teen Leadership Initiatives for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City and serving two years as a board member and advocacy chairman of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Her work in policy and politics began as a National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership alumna and graduate assistant, a staffer in the office of Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, and a campaign manager for Oklahoma U.S. Senate candidate Connie Johnson. She was also a participant in OK Policy’s first Summer Policy Institute in 2013 and later was part of our inaugural class of Research Fellows.
Perkins is now the fourth member of OK Policy’s nine-member staff who previously participated in the organization’s student programs. “Adding Bailey reaffirms the commitment our Board and donors are making to nurturing young leaders through the Summer Policy Institute, Research Fellows program, and internships,” Blatt said. “It’s particularly gratifying to be adding another staff person who we know brings a strong experience with our organization, close ties to our staff, and a heartfelt commitment to our mission.”
Perkins will be working closely with the other members of OK Policy’s outreach team, which includes Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator Kara Joy McKee, Outreach & Operations Associate Tyler Parette, and Oklahoma Assets Network Coordinator DeVon Douglass. “Having Bailey in Oklahoma City offers us a chance to strengthen relations with a wide array of community partners and statewide organizations and to be more effective in building a strong, effective movement for policy change,” said McKee, who joined OK Policy in 2013.
Bailey is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the board of directors for the Young Non Profit Professionals of Little Rock – an organization committed to “learning, networking, and serving.”