In The Know: President Obama calls Tulsa mayor to discuss city’s response to fatal police shooting

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

President Obama calls Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett to discuss city’s response to fatal police shooting: President Barack Obama complimented the city of Tulsa and city leaders, especially Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan, for their handling of the aftermath of Terence Crutcher’s death, Mayor Dewey Bartlett said Wednesday. “He called, and I had a nice conversation with him,” Bartlett said. “He was very complimentary of Tulsa, of me — which I was proud to hear — and he was very complimentary of our police chief. I was very proud to hear that.” Bartlett said Obama thanked him for transparency efforts following Crutcher’s fatal shooting by a Tulsa police officer [Tulsa World].

We the People meets with Tulsa Police chief to talk community policing, policies in department: We the People Oklahoma’s Marq Lewis met with the Tulsa’s chief of police Wednesday afternoon to discuss practices and policies within the department. Lewis said he and Police Chief Chuck Jordan discussed community policing and policies, including psychological evaluations and blood tests for officers involved in shootings. Lewis praised the department for having a dialogue with the community, but he also said release of the video of last week’s fatal police shooting of Terence Crutcher could have been better because there is concern with the audio [Tulsa World].

KIPP charter schools mourn parent shot and killed by police in Oklahoma: The shooting Friday evening of an unarmed motorist by police in Oklahoma is more than a news story for the KIPP schools. Terence Crutcher, the 40-year-old motorist killed by Tulsa police after his car broke down, is a KIPP parent. He leaves four children. KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) is a national network of high achieving charter schools. KIPP CEO Richard Barth addressed Crutcher’s death in a letter to staff and parents [Atlanta Journal-Constitution].

Fallin: Oklahoma justice reform strengthens families: As governor of Oklahoma, I’ve seen first-hand the profound impact incarceration has had on our families, children, communities and state. Our first priority will always be keeping the public safe from dangerous people, but now we’re seeing our state prisons filled to 112 percent of their capacity, with nearly 27,000 people behind bars. Fully one-half of inmates are behind bars for drug-related and other nonviolent crimes [Governor Mary Fallin / Washington Times].

Fallin to Rotary: ‘I know it hasn’t been an easy time’: Calling Vance one of the most important air force bases in the nation, Gov. Mary Fallin spoke on the state of Oklahoma and its future at Enid Rotary on Monday. “I know it hasn’t been an easy time for Enid,” Fallin said, regarding the downturn in the oil and gas industry. “It’s certainly very important to this community — the energy sector — and it certainly has not been easy for the state of Oklahoma.” Calling this past legislative session and state budgeting process “one of our toughest,” Fallin said she and the Legislature did their best balancing the needs of the state [Enid News & Eagle].

Why Oklahoma teachers need a raise, in two charts: One of the most hotly debated State Questions that Oklahomans will decide this year is SQ 779. The measure would increase the sales tax to improve education funding — with most of the new funding dedicated to teacher raises. While opponents of the measure have criticized using a sales tax increase as the funding source, there is widespread, bipartisan agreement that Oklahoma teachers need a raise [OK Policy].

Oklahoma Policy Institute releases highest, lowest state aid numbers: Oklahoma Policy Institute released a report detailing how much state aid per student each district in Oklahoma receives, and one district in Northwest Oklahoma is at the bottom of the list. Billings Public Schools, in Noble County, receives $15.55 in state aid per student, in contrast to Eagletown Public Schools in McCurtain County, which receives $7,740 per student. The report noted state aid per student trended higher in Southeast Oklahoma and lower in Northwest Oklahoma [Enid News & Eagle]. You can see the full map showing state aid per student here.

Strong to leave Water for Wildlife: Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong has been picked to lead the state’s wildlife agency. After closed-door deliberations among the Wildlife Conservation Commission Wednesday morning, Strong was the favored candidate over three other applicants. He has been the director of the state’s water agency since 2010, and will now replace Richard Hatcher, who has worked at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for 37 years [Journal Record].

State eyes tougher rules on hunting guides to lessen confrontations: Rogue hunting guides are crossing private farms more frequently in rural Oklahoma, as they lead clients to prized prey. Illegal hunters are increasingly getting into face-offs with game wardens and landowners, so much that lawmakers are considering whether to license guides to add an extra layer of accountability. But the idea has critics — especially within the hunting community. “To me, it’s just a big can of worms we do not want to open,” said Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, in an interview. “I do not need the state telling … me I need a license to do that.” [Claremore Daily Progress]

Plaintiffs celebrate 40th anniversary of Supreme Court case that ended Oklahoma gender discrimination law: The Craig v. Boren Supreme Court decision paved the way for higher scrutiny of state laws with gender discrimination. It originated in Stillwater, where 19-year-old Mark Walker challenged the statute allowing for women to buy alcohol at 18 but men at 21. Oklahoma was the first state to not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and laws based on gender discrimination remained legal. The Supreme Court heard the case in 1976, and it became a landmark precedent as the first time a majority on the Supreme Court determined gender classifications were subject to the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause [Daily O’Collegian].

Artist unhappy with new Native art show rules: With the Master’s Show art display and competition approaching in November at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, some controversy has arisen about the requirements for entry. In past years, the contest has been open to artists acknowledged as American Indians, but this year, some artists have been surprised to learn they must now carry Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood cards. “It is embarrassing for a bunch of people,” said local artist Murv Jacob, who won the Master’s Show last year, but is now ineligible. Jacob said he is descended from the “Kentucky Cherokees,” though his ancestors’ names do not appear on any tribal rolls [Norman Transcript].

Oklahoma’s legislative term limits: ‘It seemed like a good idea’: In 1990, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved State Question 632 to impose term limits on the service of legislators. The constitutional amendment, which received 67 percent of the vote, capped the number of years that Oklahoma citizens could serve in their Legislature at 12. Twenty-six years later, many Capitol insiders and political stakeholders now look back wistfully on the days when competent lawmakers were not forced to leave office simply because the Earth had orbited the sun 12 times since they were first elected [NonDoc].

Quote of the Day

“One of our greatest rights as a citizen is our right to vote. However you look at it, term limits take away your right to vote. If, as a citizen, you dislike an elected official, it is not only your right but your obligation to become involved in the process and replace that official. It is not the job of the government to limit or determine who I can or cannot vote for. In Oklahoma, term limits have created a Legislature void of historical knowledge. With these limitations, goals have become short-term.”

-An Oklahoma lobbyist with 25 years of experience, speaking anonymously to NonDoc (Source)

Number of the Day


How much Oklahoma’s average teacher salary dropped between the 2009-2010 and 2015-2016 school years, adjusted for inflation.

Source: Oklahoma Policy Institute

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

How ranked-choice voting could make voters more open to third-party candidates: Maine’s gubernatorial races often feature more than two candidates, and for 50 years, none of them has won a first term with majority support. Fed up with unpopular chief executives who lack mandates for their proposals, voters will decide in November whether to adopt an instant runoff, or ranked-choice voting, system whenever there are more than two candidates. If voters approve the measure, Maine would become the first state to use instant runoffs in primary and general elections for U.S. senators and representatives, governor, and state senators and representatives, starting in 2018 [PBS].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

One thought on “In The Know: President Obama calls Tulsa mayor to discuss city’s response to fatal police shooting

  1. Ah, yes, the good old days of long-term legislators who voted down the Equal Rights Amendment. Those “capitol insiders and stakeholders” have always been about the public good.

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