“We know that where everybody has decent, safe, affordable places to live, economies can thrive. When housing is threatened, it is hard to think of almost anything else.”

-Becky Gligo, City of Tulsa’s housing policy director [Tulsa World]

“We have a large number of students classified as ‘homeless.’ It is very hard to focus on academic achievement when you do not know where you will be sleeping from night to night.”

-Leon Ashlock, Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent  [CNHI]

“When fees are required to access diversion or treatment programs as an alternative to incarceration, the result is a two-tiered system of justice — one for those who can pay and one for those who cannot. This breeds distrust of our justice system and undermines public confidence in our courts.”

-Judy Perry Martinez, president of the American Bar Association. [Tulsa World]

“(Not having class-size data) hampered our ability to know where things stood and know the appropriate trigger to put limits back in place.”

-Carolyn Thompson, legislative liaison and deputy chief of staff at the state Department of Education, speaking about penalties for exceeding school class sizes, which hasn’t been measured in the state since 2012. [Oklahoma Watch

“Frankly, I’m hoping we’ll see the light and put less in savings and invest more in education. We need to put this money to work in workforce development and think of education in terms of kindergarten through grade 16 and not just K-12.” 

-Robert Dauffenbach, Director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma. [Journal Record]

“You’re seeing the people take it upon themselves to act. Oklahomans want to use their voice to change policy, and our constitution allows us to do that.”

-Amber England, spokesperson for Yes on 802 campaign to expand Medicaid discussing citizen-led ballot measures. [CNHI

“We recognize that when our kids’ families live in poverty and when schools have concentrations of poverty, those schools need additional resources in order to help those students achieve. But we don’t give it to them, and then we give them a grade that only reflects the lack of resources that we’re providing.”

-Tulsa School Superintendent Deborah Gist speaking about recently released school report cards [Tulsa World]

“We still have work to do to ensure we have a sufficient educator workforce to reduce class sizes and bolster student learning, but this sustained uptick in (teacher) numbers is a strong indicator that we have begun to reverse course and attract new talent to a profession with unparalleled impact on young lives.”

-State Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister [Tulsa World]

“We can keep locking them up and locking them up – I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years and that hasn’t changed at all, so we’ve got to start rethinking the way we serve our communities. Yes, there’s always going to be jails and there’s always going to be bad-doers, but what are we doing on the front end to prevent people from even going there?”

-Lt. Wayland Cubit with the Oklahoma City Police Department speaking about the pilot Man-Up program for justice-involved youth in Oklahoma [KOCO

“Employers have never been effective in forcing down prices. The providers are very consolidated and powerful. The employers are fractured.”

-David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund, speaking about a new report showing employer-based health care costs are continuing to rise, including in Oklahoma [Tulsa World]