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Join us in November for OKC and Tulsa release parties of our new book, Neglected Oklahoma!
You can find more info about the events here or purchase the book online here.

OK Policy Summer Policy Institute Agenda 

August 3-6, 2014

ALL SUNDAY-TUESDAY EVENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA, LORTON PERFORMANCE CENTER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. WEDNESDAY’S PROGRAM IS AT THE SUNOCO BUILDING, 907 S. DETROIT, 10TH FLOOR.

Click here to link to audio from many of the sessions taped by KWGS Tulsa

Sunday, August 3rd

1:00 – 2:00 –  Registration and room check-in 

2:00 – 2:30 –  Welcome (David Blatt, OK Policy) Graves (lobby)

2:10 – 2:30Speed-friending (Kara Joy McKee, OK Policy) Graves

2:30 – 3:30Legislative Introduction (Damario Solomon-Simmons, OK Policy) Meinig

At the end of the day, politics is nothing but the process of who get what, when, and how of the public’s resources and power. So, while political campaigns draw most of the non-stop media coverage, it is the mostly mundane, but extremely important legislative process where the bulk of the State’s resources and power are allocated.  This seminar will provide participants an overview understanding of the Oklahoma State Legislature process, timelines, and procedures. Download the presentation slides.

3:30 – 4:30Begin Interactive Policy Project Meinig

4:30 – 5:30Free time & Room check-in 

5:45 – 9:00 – Movie (Circle Cinema) and Dinner (Kendall-Whittier Food Trucks)  10 S. Lewis Ave.

We are pleased to screen two award-winning films by local filmmakers that address urgent social issues facing Oklahoma. Women Behind Bars, by SPI participant Amina Benalioulhaj, will take viewers inside Oklahoma’s state prisons, and face to face with the women we place there – women who struggle with the very real and often ignored issues just outlined. One in three women have or will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. The film 1 in 3, by filmmaker Lagueria Davis, tells the story of Ophelia Betz, one of those women, and of the shelter worker who learns that her life is not very different than Ophelia’s. 

Between the two films, dinner will be available from a number of food trucks.

Monday, August 4th

8:00 – 8:45Breakfast Graves

9:00 – 10:00 Overview: Budget and Tax Policy, David Blatt, OK Policy Meinig

In this presentation, OK Policy director David Blatt will discuss the major components of Oklahoma’s tax system and state budget, and will review recent changes in the state fiscal landscape stemming from legislative policy decisions, the Great Recession, and economic and legal trends. Download the presentation slides.

10:00 – 11:30Panel Discussion: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges Meinig

In this session, policy leaders and academic specialists will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by a changing fiscal landscape at the local, state and federal levels

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)

11:30 – 11:40: Break

11:40 – 1:00Lunch/ Panel – Oklahoma Campaigns and Elections Graves

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? The lunchtime panelists will discuss the state of political campaigns in Oklahoma, focusing on competition between and within the two major political parties.

Panelists: Prof. Keith Gaddie (University of Oklahoma), Sheryl Lovelady (Political Analyst), Pat McFerron (CMA Strategies)

Moderator: Randy Krehbiel (Tulsa World)

1:00 – 1:15: BREAK

1:15 – 1:30Presentation of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Good Sense/Good Cents Award to Gov. Henry Bellmon. The award will be presented to daughters Pat Hoeth and Ann Denny by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Gussman Auditorium

1:15 – 3:00Panel Discussion: Statesmanship – The Legacy of Gov. Henry Bellmon (public invited) Gussman Auditorium

This session will reflect on the contributions of former Governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon, focusing on the impact that he had on state and national politics and policy. Panelists will include top advisors and political leaders from the Bellmon era.

Panelists: 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)

3:00 – 3:30Refreshments

3:30 – 4:30 – Continue Interactive Projects  Graves

5:45 – Shuttle leaves for Tour of Greenwood and Brady District Outside Lorton Performance Center

6:15 – 7:15 –  Tour of Brady District & Greenwood 

7:15 – 9:00 – Dinner at the Dilly Deli, 402 E. 2nd Street

9:00 – Shuttle leaves for University of Tulsa

Tuesday, August 5th

8:00 – 8:45Breakfast  Graves

9:00 – 9:45Overview: Education Issues – Gene Perry, OK Policy  Meinig

9:45 – 11:30Panel Discussion: Education  Meinig

Education policy has been the focus of some of the most contentious debates at the Capitol in recent years. This session will discuss how the battles over such issues as high-stakes testing, school choice, education funding, and educational standards translate to what’s happening in the classroom.

Panelists: Curt Adams (University of Oklahoma), Kevin Burr (Sapulpa 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)

11:30 – 11:40: BREAK

11:40 – 1:00 – Lunch/Panel – Policy Journalism  Graves

Working journalists will discuss their experience covering Oklahoma policy issues for a mainstream audience. How do you make policy 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)

1:00 – 1:15: BREAK

1:15 – 2:30 – Breakout Sessions #1

  • Energy – Montelle Clark, Oklahoma Sustainability Network  Graves

The challenge of energy policy in Oklahoma is to balance competing priorities — meeting the needs of an industry that is crucial to our economy, protecting our natural environment, and keeping energy costs affordable for Oklahoma families. This session will discuss Oklahoma’s policy debates around electricity generation: coal-fired power, natural gas, wind, solar, efficiency, and the challenging issue of carbon emissions.

This session will examine the need for policy advocacy in Oklahoma, the best practices to advocate directly to a legislator and/or via a grassroots network, and some of the challenges advocates face. Participants will have opportunities to discuss methods and ask questions of the Oklahoma Policy advocacy team. Download the presentation slides.

A presentation and discussion of the so-called border crisis involving the apprehension and detention of more than 50 thousand immigrant children crossing the southern border of the United States since last October.  During this session we will 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. Download the presentation slides.

2:30 – 2:45: BREAK

2:45 – 3:15 – Overview: Poverty & Opportunity – Kate Richey, OK Policy  Meinig

3:15 – 5:00 – Panel Discussion: What do we do to move people out of poverty? Meinig

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. Yet innovative efforts to expand access to economic opportunity and elevate political consciousness around poverty continue to move us forward. Download the presentation slides.

Panelists: Christy Finsel (ONAC), Christina Mendoza (Connexiones), Kris Steele (TEEM), Marilyn Feaver (Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition)

Moderator: Kate Richey, OK Policy

6:30 – 9:00 –Reception, Banquet: Jazz Hall of Fame – 5 S. Boston Ave.

Panel:  Political Leadership: Myths and Realities

Distinguished political leaders will draw on their experience in government to share key lessons on how the political system operates and what is needed to be a successful political leader.

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

Wednesday, August 6th 

WEDNESDAY’S PROGRAM IS AT THE SUNOCO BUILDING, 907 S. DETROIT, 10TH FLOOR

8:00 – 8:45 – Breakfast 

9:00 – 9:30 – Overview: Health care issuesCarly Putnam, OK Policy. Download the presentation slides.

9:30 – 11:00 – Panel discussion: Medicaid

In this session, community leaders, policy experts, and health care providers will share and explain their perspectives on the health care safety net in Oklahoma, discussing challenges and opportunities in providing care; characteristics of those covered and those still in need of care; and the future of Medicaid 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)

11:15 – 12:00 – Interactive Project Presentations (1)

12:15 – 1:30 – Lunch/Keynote Address 

Prof. Nicholas Carnes, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University: “Who’s Keeping Working-class Americans Out of Office? Political Gatekeepers and the Unequal Social Class Makeup of Government.”

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?” Download the presentation here.

1:45 – 3:00 – Breakout Sessions #2

The pervasive occurrence of instances of gendered violence in Oklahoma compared to other states is alarming.  This session explores how violence (both intimate and structural) and disenfranchisement continue to narrow life choices and frustrate economic advancement in gendered ways.

  • Natural Resources and Rural IssuesClay Pope, former legislator and consultant on natural resources issues

This session will focus on the many issues facing rural Oklahoma and its natural resources.  A source of wealth and pride to the state, natural resource policy often is overlooked at the State Capitol and underappreciated by the public at large. The future of our state will be greatly determined, however, by the effects of future weather variability brought about by the changing climate.  Issue that will be discussed include water quality and quantity, effects on infrastructure, agriculture adaptation needs, wildlife challenges, and the interaction between all of these areas

  • Careers in Public PolicyNick Carnes, Duke University

Who works in public policy, how do they get started, and what do they do when they get there? This session will offer practical advice from a professor at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Download the presentation slides.

  • Criminal JusticeAmy 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. In this seminar, experts will discuss the costs of mass incarceration for the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma families, especially for low-income communities and people of color. We will also discuss what is needed to reduce incarceration in the state, including job opportunities, mental health and drug treatment, and other innovative solutions to end the cradle-to-prison pipeline. Download the presentation slides.

3:15 – 4:30 – Interactive Project Presentations (2)

4:30 – Farewell