Oklahoma Policy Institute has grown a lot in the past few years. From humble beginnings in 2008, we now have a staff of 20, 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 Nicole Poindexter, our Outreach and Legislative Liaison:
What do you do at OK Policy?
I work between the OK Policy analysts and the state legislators and policymakers to ensure that they create good, data-driven policy that betters the lives of Oklahomans.
What’s your favorite thing about doing this work?
My favorite thing about doing this work is that I get to help change the lives of Oklahomans in real ways. Plus it involves a lot of talking, which I am really good at according to all my report cards growing up. I love getting to interact with the legislators and learning about how they got to the State Capitol. Many are great people who really want to make a difference and that’s exciting to me.
What would you most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in?
I would love to see Oklahoma be a top ten state in many ways but the most important to me right now is, I would love to see Oklahoma be a leader in child well-being. By bringing up the next generation in positive ways we could fundamentally change Oklahoma for generations. We could stop generational Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), domestic violence, obesity and early death by addressing the way children grow into adults.
I would also love to see us take the lead in addressing and changing the outcomes predicted by ACE’s which would help us be a better state for child well-being in the future. It’s cliche but true to say that children are our future, and we have to do better by them. Additional things I would like to see Oklahoma be top in, is access to medical care and ending homelessness. Both would further reduce ACE scores but would also better the lives of many Oklahomans.
What else should OK Policy’s readers know about you?
I am passionate about many areas and have a varied work experience that leads to an interest in many fields. I have worked on an ambulance crew, in a neonatal intensive care unit, as a substitute teacher, even an umpire!