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Quotes of the Day

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“We have a tremendous number of lane miles to keep up with. Our individual taxpayers have got to be responsible for more miles of asphalt than the average resident of Boston, the average resident of New York, or any number of other cities. It’s just a cold, hard reality.”

-Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, responding to OKC’s ranking No. 6 in the country among cities for vehicle operating costs as a result of rough roads. [NewsOK]

“Our police officers are spending hours and hours and hours in emergency rooms, often waiting on unnecessary and nonscientific-based tests and labs instead of out patrolling our streets.”

-OSU Center for Health Sciences chair of psychiatry Jason Beaman, who is leading a task force that wants to streamline the process for getting people having a mental health emergency into proper care [Public Radio Tulsa]

“Hundreds of Oklahomans like Juanita Peralta are still serving the type of unjust, draconian drug possession sentences Oklahoma voters roundly rejected two years ago. The Pardon and Parole Board has a historic opportunity approaching to use its authority as intended, follow the law, uphold the will of the voters and commute Juanita’s destructive, decade-long drug possession sentence. Stories like Juanita’s matter because they are shared by families all across Oklahoma who also deserve the type of restorative justice we are seeking for Juanita. We want those families to know they are not alone, and there is hope.”

– John Estus, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform Chief of Staff [KFOR]

“We know that children with incarcerated mothers are five times more likely to end up in prison themselves. ReMerge gives these mothers the opportunity to be part of their children’s lives and chart a new course for their family’s future.”

-Bob Ross, president and CEO of the Inasmuch Foundation, on a comprehensive diversion program in OKC that helps mothers and pregnant women avoid incarceration through treatment and rehabilitation [NewsOK]

“Strong mental health is essential for a good quality of life, but Oklahoma still ranks among the worst in the nation on many measures of mental health. We’re glad to be able to increase the focus on this issue that is sorely needed for Tulsa and all of Oklahoma.”

-Policy Director Carly Putnam, on the launch of OK Policy’s new mental health initiative [OK Policy]

“The hate and vitriol about our differences must stop. Accepting and celebrating differences and finding common ground is absolutely critical to our city, state and country in all areas, but most certainly in public education. Oklahoma City’s renaissance would have been impossible without it.”

-Mary Mélon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools [NewsOK]

“Teachers have been down this road. I think if we get somebody else to hold that football we’ll be a little better off.”

-Retired teacher Rob Reck, who said that claims by Kevin Stitt and other candidates that Oklahoma can fully fund schools without ever increasing taxes are like Lucy repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown [State Impact Oklahoma]

“The untapped potential of younger voters is so large that if they start showing up in larger numbers, election outcomes in Oklahoma could change faster than anyone expects. At the least, our elected officials would have to take the concerns of younger adults much more seriously.”

-OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt, discussing the low turnout among Oklahomans age 18-34 and what could happen if they voted in larger numbers [Journal Record]

“If you’re one or the other, then you’re not adequate to be a Tulsa police officer. We want you to be both of those things. This isn’t policing in the ’80s.”

-Capt. Matt McCord, assistant director of training for the Tulsa Police Department, speaking about why TPD moved to training that includes empathy, cultural competency, and de-escalation as well as self-defense and catching suspects [Tulsa World]

“When you look around and see that our art is alive, our stories are alive, our people are alive and vibrant, and that our communities are strong, you know that Indigenous People’s Day is not a celebration of the past. Ladies and gentlemen, Indigenous People’s Day is a celebration of a bright future, and we’re doing it right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.”

-Chuck Hoskin Jr., Cherokee Nation secretary of state, speaking at yesterday’s celebration of Native American Day in Tulsa [Tulsa World]

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