In The Know: Evictions rising in OKC | Highly contagious COVID-19 strains | Voter turnout drops in primaries

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Oklahoma News

‘We’re really nervous’: Evictions in Oklahoma City are rising as rent help is running out: Eviction court starts at 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and the last few months have seen an increase in cases, with nearly 300 on the docket some days. This is “almost completely unmanageable,” said Legal Aid attorney Victoria Wilson. [The Oklahoman

Two more COVID strains have made their way to Oklahoma. Here’s what to know: Even more COVID subvariants have made their way to Oklahoma, and as always, they’re acting a bit different than earlier strains. They’re six times more contagious, but appear to be less damaging. That being said, long-term impacts are still a major risk, even if we aren’t sure what they are yet. [State Impact Oklahoma

  • COVID wastewater surveillance to expand as positivity, new cases surge in Oklahoma [Tulsa World

Oklahoma voter turnout anemic for primary elections: The Oklahoma Election Board certified primary results this week that marked a steep dive in turnout from the 2018 primaries, when voters flocked to the polls to legalize medical marijuana. Less than one-third of registered Republicans voted in the gubernatorial primary last week that gave Gov. Kevin Stitt the nomination for a second term. [The Oklahoman

State Government News

Stitt requests a special audit of Tulsa Public Schools: A letter from two members of the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education has prompted Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt today to request that the State Auditor & Inspector’s Office conduct a special audit of the district. [NonDoc

  • Oklahoma governor orders special audit of Tulsa schools [Tulsa World
  • Gov. Stitt blurs facts in calling for audit of Tulsa Public Schools [The Black Wall Street Times
  • Gist responds to Stitt’s call for special state audit of Tulsa Public Schools [Tulsa World

Federal Government News

Secretary Haaland to visit Riverside Indian School in Anadarko: Oklahoma had the highest concentration of federally run Indian boarding schools according to a report released by the Department of Interior. The state is the first stop in the Road to Healing Tour. [KGOU

  • Guest column: Pain of boarding school survivors is foundation of modern Indigenous life [Column / The Oklahoman

Voting and Election News

Voter development aim of new Republican party’s Hispanic Community Center in south OKC: The Republican National Committee and Oklahoma Republican Party hope a new Hispanic Community Center in south Oklahoma City further develops a relationship between the GOP and Oklahoma’s Latino voters. [The Oklahoman

Education News

Report reveals graduates of Oklahoma’s teacher prep programs down more than 25 percent in last decade: Amid a teacher shortage, Oklahoma’s educator prep programs are graduating fewer students ready to go straight into classrooms. The number of teacher college prep graduates fell by more than 25% over the last decade, per a report published by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education. [KOSU

Quote of the Day

“If we are not able to find a way to address those issues — like reform of landlord tenant laws and affirmative right to counsel in eviction court — we could really see the numbers go up, and the resources just aren’t there.”

-Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dan Straughan speaking about the connection between evictions and homelessness. [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


Voter turnout for Oklahoma’s June 28 primaries with 359,871 voters in the Republican primaries and 167,807 voters in the Democratic primary, which this year was open to both Democrats and Independents. Oklahoma had 2.2 million voters registered as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents [Oklahoman] | [Oklahoma Election Board Voter Statistics]

Policy Note

Conquest in the Courts: With a few sentences, the Supreme Court casually dismissed the hard-won legal promise of a domestic dependent nationhood free from state power. Without having to sign a treaty or fight a war, the Supreme Court handed the states presumptive power over Indian lands. [The Nation]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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