2019 SPI Agenda


August 4 – August 7, 2019
All events are at the University of Tulsa, Allen Chapman student union unless otherwise noted.

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Sunday, August 4th

*Group photos will be taken after final presentation

12:00 – 1:00 – University of Tulsa room and program check-in Allen Chapman Student Union, TU, 440 S. Gary Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104

1:00 – 1:30  Welcome and Introductions – David Blatt (Executive Director, OK Policy), Shiloh Kantz (Deputy Director, Operations and Development Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A

1:30 – 2:00 – Activity with SPI Caucus – Great Hall A
Get to know your fellow SPI attendees and OK Policy staff in this fun, getting-to-know-you activity.

2:00 – 2:30 – Legislative Introduction – Sabine Brown (Legislative & Outreach Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A
At the end of the day, politics is nothing but the process of who gets what, when, and how of the public’s resources and power. 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.

2:30 – 2:45 – Break

2:45 – 3:30 – Budget & Tax Overview – Paul Shinn (Budget & Tax Senior Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A
In this presentation, OK Policy Senior Policy Analyst Paul Shinn will discuss the major components of Oklahoma’s tax system and state budget, and will review recent changes and upcoming challenges in the state fiscal landscape.

3:30* – 5:15  Check-in with SPI Caucus followed by free time Great Hall A
This is an opportunity to check in with your SPI Caucus members, participate in challenges, and answer questions from the day’s sessions.

5:15 – 6:30 – Dinner from Andolini’s Food Truck Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104

6:30 – 9:00 – “Race: The Power of an Illusion; Ep. 3” (Circle Cinema)
The division of the world’s peoples into distinct groups – “red,” “black,” “white” or “yellow” peoples – has become so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that’s exactly what this provocative, new three-hour series by California Newsreel claims. “Race – The Power of an Illusion; Ep. 3” questions the very idea of race as innate biology, suggesting that a belief in inborn racial difference is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth.
Discussion: “Race – The Power of an Illusion; Ep. 3” (Circle Cinema) – Ashley Philippsen (Deputy Chief of Community Development and Policy, City of Tulsa)

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Monday, August 5th

8:15 – 9:00  Breakfast Great Hall A

  • University Basic Income — Courtney Cullison, Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst
  • Education — Rebecca Fine, Education Policy Analyst
  • ACEs, Trauma, and Mental Health — Lauren Turner, Mental Health Policy Analyst
  • The Intersection of Family and Criminal Justice: What it means for justice-involved families and juvenile justice — Ashley Harvey, Open Justice Oklahoma Data Analyst

9:00 – 10:15 – Panel Discussion: Budget & Tax Great Hall A
How does Oklahoma ensure that its public services are adequately funded? How do we create a fairer tax system? In this session, key policymakers and experts will explore some of the critical issues surrounding budget and taxes at the state, local and tribal levels.  Panelists will identify the short-term and long-term challenges that Oklahoma faces in aligning tax revenues with spending needs and will identify the policy decisions needed to maintain fiscal stability and ensure that Oklahoma is able to make adequate investments to meet our shared goals.

Participants: Rep. Meloyde Blancett (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Jodi Lewis (Director of Legislative Affairs, Oklahoma Municipal League), Kim Teehee (Vice President of Government Relations, Cherokee Nation Businesses), Rep. Jon Echols (Majority Floor Leader, Oklahoma House of Representatives), Tony Hutchison (Senior Vice Chancellor, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education)

Moderator: Dr. Cynthia Rogers (Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma)

10:15 – 10:30 – Break            

10:30 – 12:00 – Roundtable Discussion: Careers in Public Policy Great Hall A / Great Hall B/ Chouteau A/ Chouteau B
Running for office isn’t the only way to have a career in public policy. In small groups, students will have an opportunity to ask questions of policy professionals from a wide range of fields. Make sure you take a look at the policy professionals’ bios in advance. Time will allow for attendees to participate in three small group discussions.

Participants: Rep. Daniel Pae (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Ed Long (Principal and Founder, Cross Sector Innovations), Commissioner Carrie Blumert (Oklahoma County Commissioner), Nick Doctor (Chief of Community Development and Policy, City of Tulsa), Moises Echeverria (President and CEO, Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice), Ahniwake Rose (Incoming Executive Director, OK Policy)

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch Great Hall A

1:00 – 1:30 – Overview: Criminal Justice – Damion Shade (Criminal Justice Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A
Oklahoma has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. This year reforms aimed at reducing the unsustainable cost of this incarceration crisis have begun to take hold at both the state and local levels. This session will examine the challenges facing the criminal justice system and recent efforts at reform.

1:30 – 2:45 – Panel Discussion: Obstacles and Opportunities for Better Justice in Oklahoma  Great Hall A
Several of Oklahoma’s most respected current and former justice leaders will share reflections and insights from their years of work in our community. They will focus on the challenges related to Oklahoma having the highest per capita incarceration rate in the nation and their various perspectives on a path forward.

Participants: Aisha McWeay (Executive Director, Still She Rises), Erik Grayless (First Assistant District Attorney, Tulsa County), Hon. April Seibert (Special Judge, Tulsa County District Court), Kris Steele (Executive Director, TEEM and former Speaker, Oklahoma House of Representatives), D’Marria Monday (Criminal Justice Reform Advocate)

Moderator: Ryan Gentzler (Director, Open Justice Oklahoma)

2:45 – 3:00 – Break

3:00 – 4:15 – Breakout Sessions #1 Attend one of the below sessions:

  • Voting Rights Act – Dr. Jason F. Kirksey (Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer at Oklahoma State University) Great Hall B
    This session will discuss the history and significance of the Voting Rights Act and how it continues to impact current public policy.
  • OJO Data Demonstration – Ryan Gentzler (Director, Open Justice Oklahoma) Alcove
    Oklahoma, like most other states, collects very little data about what happens in its jails, courts, and prisons each day. This makes it very difficult to understand what’s behind our extremely high incarceration rate and to know whether our efforts to reform the system are working. Open Justice Oklahoma (OJO), an OK Policy program founded last year, uses free, open source technology tools to collect and analyze data produced by our justice system. This session will showcase some of the research produced by OJO in its first year and provide an introduction to some of the tools that we use to do our work.
  • Grassroots Advocacy – Jacobi Crowley (Southwest Oklahoma Field Organizer, Together Oklahoma) Chouteau B
    This session will examine the need for grassroots advocacy in Oklahoma, the best practices to advocate via a grassroots network, and some of the challenges advocates face. Participants will have opportunities to discuss methods and ask questions of the OK Policy advocacy team.

4:15 – 5:15 – Presentation: Black Wall Street: Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre Kristi Williams (Operations Manager, Greenwood Leadership Academy), Chief Egunwale F. Amusan (President, Tulsa African Ancestral Society) Great Hall A
An interactive conversation regarding Historic Greenwood aka Black Wall Street.

5:15 – 5:30 – Check-in with SPI Caucus and break for evening activities
This is an opportunity to check in with your SPI Caucus members, participate in challenges, and answer questions from the day’s sessions.

7:00 – 9:30 – Social Night at the IDL Ballroom 230 E. 1st Street, Tulsa, OK 74103
We will host a casual evening of food, drinks, and games, and the chance to meet SPI alumni, financial supporters, elected officials, and other friends of OK Policy.

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Tuesday, August 6th

*Group photos will be taken at the close of the Tuesday evening program at The Bond Center

8:15 – 9:00  Breakfast Great Hall A 

  • Mental Health — Maggie den Harder, Mental Health Policy Fellow
  • Budget & Tax — Paul Shinn, Budget and Tax Senior Policy Analyst
  • Building a Movement — Sabine Brown, Legislative and Outreach Director
  • Criminal Justice — Damion Shade, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst

9:00 – 9:30 – Overview: What the Health? – Carly Putnam (Policy Director/Health Care Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A
What’s happening with health care in Oklahoma? In this overview, we’ll review Oklahoma health stats, talk about who has access to what kinds of care, how we pay for that care, and what the heck’s happening with Medicaid expansion.

9:30 – 10:45 – Panel Discussion: Mental Health Care Great Hall A
Oklahoma has historically not invested in mental health — and this trend has continued through the most recent legislative session. Oklahoma ranks 46th in the nation for mental health funding, we spend half as much as other states per person on mental health. We have work to do. This panel describes the challenges in the mental health system and opportunities for improvement including mental health care in schools, prevention programs, Medicaid expansion, and other innovations in mental health and substance use treatment.

Participants: Bryan Blankenship (Executive Director, Counseling & Recovery Services of Oklahoma), Rep. Carol Bush (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Jeff Dismukes (Director of Communications, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse), Sabrina Harrison (Recovery Support Specialist, Family and Children’s Services), Juli Skinner (Clinic Administrator, Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health)

Moderator: Zack Stoycoff (Senior Director of Policy & Planning, Healthy Minds Initiative)

10:45 – 11:00 – Break            

11:00 – 12:00 Breakout Sessions #2 Attend one of the below sessions:

  • Gender in Public Policy – Tamya Cox (Lobbyist and Attorney), Liz Charles (Executive Director, Oklahoma Women’s Coalition) Great Hall B
    It is critical to have equity in positions of power because representation matters. In today’s political climate, it is ever-more important to be able to assess, formulate, and implement policies that promote gender equality.
  • Direct Lobbying – Kyle Lawson (Senior Field Organizer, Together Oklahoma) Alcove
    This session will examine the best practice for direct policy advocacy in Oklahoma and the best practices to advocate directly to a legislator. It will also look at the lobbying system as a whole. Participants will have opportunities to discuss methods and ask questions of the OK Policy lobbying staff.

  • Social Media & Design – Jessica Vazquez (Communications Associate, OK Policy) Chouteau B
    We have the data, now what? This session will explore how we use social media to engage our audience and shape public policy. From designing eye-catching graphics to curating relevant content, OK Policy’s Jessica Vazquez will share tips on how to craft a social media strategy that furthers your organization’s mission and goals.

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch Great Hall A

1:00 – 1:30 – Overview: Economic Security – Courtney Cullison (Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A
Despite ample natural resources and a strong sense of charity, Oklahoma is one of the poorer states in the nation – our poverty rate is consistently above the national average.  This presentation examines poverty in Oklahoma, focusing on the daily challenges of poverty and factors that hinder economic opportunity and long-term economic security.  Why can it seem nearly impossible for the economically disadvantaged to get ahead?

1:30 – 3:00 – Panel Discussion: The Lived Experience of Poverty  Great Hall A
Policies sometimes fail to address the problems they are intended to address – and when that happens it’s often because the voices of those who are supposed to be helped by the policy are not included in the policymaking process. Policies to address poverty often fall victim to this pitfall. The voices of individuals struggling with poverty are, very often, not heard by policymakers. On this panel, individuals who have personal experience with the realities of poverty will share their knowledge with us.

Participants: Eli Guerrero (Community Health Worker, Youth Services of Tulsa), Camille Landry (co-owner of Nappy Roots Books), Julie Sorrels (Manager of Operations for the Board, Workforce Tulsa)

Moderator: Courtney Cullison (Policy Analyst, OK Policy)

3:00 – 3:15 – Break  

3:15 – 4:45 – Check-in with SPI Caucus Great Hall A
This is an opportunity to check in with your SPI Caucus members, participate in challenges, and answer questions from the day’s sessions.

4:45 – 6:30 – Break for the evening activities

6:30 – 9:00* – Dinner at The Bond Center 608 E. 3rd Street, Tulsa, OK 74120

Panel Discussion: Public Leadership Myths and Realities (Bond Event Center)
Several of Oklahoma’s most distinguished public officials, past and present, will share reflections and insights from their years in public service. They will focus on some of the ways that the reality of holding office and exercising leadership differ from popular myths, and will also reflect on some of the toughest challenges and proudest successes of their careers.

Participants: Leslie Osborn (Oklahoma Labor Commissioner), Steve Lewis (Attorney, former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives), Hon. David Lewis (Vice-Presiding Judge, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals), and Chief  James R. Floyd (Principal Chief, Muscogee (Creek) Nation)

Moderator: David Blatt (Executive Director, OK Policy)

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Wednesday, August 7th

8:15 – 9:00 – Breakfast Great Hall A

  • Open Justice Oklahoma Data — Ryan Gentzler, Open Justice Oklahoma Director
  • Health Care — Carly Putnam, Policy Director and Health Care Policy Analyst
  • Mental Health and Jail Diversion — Brittany Hayes, Mental Health Policy Fellow
  • Immigration — Jessica Vazquez, Communications Associate 

9:00 – 9:30 – Overview: Education – Rebecca Fine (Education Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A
Education policy has been the focus of some of the most contentious debates at the Capitol in recent years. This overview will discuss debates over such issues as education funding, racial and economic inequities in education, and how these translate to what’s happening in the classroom.

9:30 – 10:45 – Panel Discussion: Education Policy Perspectives Great Hall A
Addressing Oklahoma’s education deficits and inequalities will require change from all levels of school governance. Education leaders will discuss the challenges they see in public education from their multiple perspectives at the state, district and school-level, and discuss the changes that are needed to improve our education system.  

Participants: Lisa Kramer (Bixby School Board and PLAC), Ed McIntosh (President, AFT Tulsa), Mary Beth Lykins (School Counselor, Booker T. Washington H.S. and Oklahoma School Counselors Association officer), Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman (Oklahoma State Senate), Elton Sykes (Principal, Carver Middle School)
Moderator: Rebecca Fine (Policy Analyst, OK Policy)

10:45 – 11:00 – Break            

11:00 – 12:00 – Discussion: Oklahoma’s Political Landscape with Dr. Keith Gaddie Great Hall A
Policymaking is rarely easy, and the context in which it takes place can be very different depending on where you are. This discussion will explore the political landscape here in Oklahoma, including our political trends over time, our recent electoral trends and outcomes, and how that influences policymaking in the state.

Facilitator: Courtney Cullison (Policy Analyst, OK Policy)

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch Great Hall A

1:00 – 2:15 Breakout Session #3 Attend one of the below sessions:

  • Finding & Using Data – Gene Perry (Manager of Government Relations, Cherokee Nation Businesses) Great Hall B
    How do we do what we do? In this session, Gene Perry will share tips for where to find data, how to use it, and what to watch out for when researching public policy. We will also share tips and tools for visualizing your data as charts, maps, infographics, and more.
  • Presentation: Running a political campaign – Michael Whelan (President, Camelot Consulting) Great Hall A
    Have you ever thought about running for office, working on a campaign, or becoming a political consultant? Attendees will hear from an experienced political consultant who will share insight into what it takes to run a good campaign, the realities of managing a firm, and best practices when working on a campaign or running for office.

  • Mental Health Fellowship Breakout – Maggie den Harder & Brittany Hayes (Mental Health Fellows, OK Policy) Chouteau B
    Oklahomans struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders at alarming rates. Because of the lack of investment in mental health, many people are not able to get the help they need. This year Oklahoma Policy Institute, with the support of Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, launched the Mental Health Policy Fellowship to assist in addressing this problem. Come learn about the fellowship program, the work the current fellows are doing, and opportunities to participate in the future.

2:15 – 2:30 – Break

2:30 – 2:45 – Check-in with SPI Caucus Great Hall A 
This is an opportunity to check in with your SPI Caucus members, participate in challenges, and answer questions from the day’s sessions.

2:45 – Wrap-Up Activities, SPI Caucus Awards, Goodbyes, and Certificates Great Hall A

3:30 – Check-out of University of Tulsa Housing Chi Omega and Tri Delta Houses

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