Meet OK Policy: SE Oklahoma Field Organizer Kyle Lawson

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 Southeast Oklahoma Field Organizer Kyle Lawson:

What do you do at OK Policy?

I work through our grassroots organization Together Oklahoma to educate, engage and organize citizens in Southeast Oklahoma. Individuals in rural Oklahoma often feel like they don’t have a voice. It’s my job to teach them they do have a voice and how to use that voice to create change in their community and their state.

What’s your favorite thing about doing this work?

I love working with people and legislators. Often people will go through life and never communicate with their legislators about their concerns, not because they don’t want to but they simply don’t know how to. The best part of my job is witnessing those individuals become engaged and encouraged once they learn how to use their voice.

What would you most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in?

A solid educated workforce, quality health care, and access to working infrastructure are all key components our state needs in order to become a top ten state. A company will not bring their offices to a location that doesn’t have a healthy, educated work force. In addition, if they don’t have proper telecommunications, clean water, and properly maintained roads and bridges, their industry won’t have the opportunity to flourish.

What else should OK Policy’s readers know about you?

People are often shocked when they meet me because I’m taller than the average Joe.


Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. 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. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Kara Joy McKee, who is a Tulsa City Councilor.

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