Oklahoma Policy Institute has grown a lot in the past few years. From humble beginnings in 2008, we now have a staff of 19, including talented individuals who focus on a wide range of policy issues, intensive data analysis, outreach, communications, events and operations, and more. To give you a better idea of who we are and what we all do, we are running an OK Policy Blog series highlighting our staffers.
For this edition, here’s Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison:
What do you do at OK Policy?
Most of the work I do connects poverty (specifically, reducing or eliminating poverty) in some way. I analyze legislation and work on issues connected to the safety net, wages and benefits, the labor force, and anything else that might help people living in poverty to get ahead.
I also serve as our intern coordinator! If you have any questions about our program and the internships we offer, you can always reach out.
What’s your favorite thing about doing this work?
Though the data that I work with indicates that we’re not doing as well as we should be in alleviating poverty, I enjoy being the person who sorts through that and provides perspective. We really could be doing more to help people, and I’m proud to be one of the people who reminds others of that. It’s hard, but very rewarding!
What would you most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in?
Valuing work! All workers deserve to be fairly paid for their labor, and we all need to be able to take time off to take care ourselves and our loved ones without putting ourselves at risk of not being able to pay the rent or mortgage. Too many Oklahoma work hard and still struggle to get by – that shouldn’t be the case.
What else should OK Policy’s readers know about you?
Before coming to OK Policy I was a college professor, and there are moments when I miss teaching! I also used to work in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. and can probably still find my way around in that underground tunnel system if I ever need to!