Think Tank Encourages Enidites to Get Involved (Enid News)

By Dale Denwalt

Even though Oklahoma is tied to dismal statistics in education, incarceration and civic involvement, Kara Joy McKee thinks it’s not time to “tuck our tails.”

McKee, who is an outreach specialist with Oklahoma Policy Institute think tank, was in Enid Tuesday as part of the Together Tuesdays statewide tour.

The tour, sponsored by the Together Oklahoma coalition, also will visit Lawton, Muskogee, Shawnee, Bartlesville and Norman. The group will be in Woodward Oct. 7 at the Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward commons 5-6:30 p.m.

McKee cited statistics researched by OK Policy that show Oklahoma is among the worst on health, underfunded schools, health care, child welfare and corrections.

“On almost all of the core services, we spend far below the national average,” she said.

That, along with tax and budget policies the think tank rails against, tarnishes the state’s image.

“It’s not a pretty picture, and that’s what those outside Oklahoma see when they’re criticizing us,” McKee said.

Still, she said, she’s hopeful Oklahomans will become more active despite the state’s civic participation rank of 47th. McKee said she hears from people all over the state who want to make things better. She then hears those same people say they’re the only one around who thinks the same way.

“And I say to them that’s not the case,” she said. “There are people who care and get this stuff, who get the math.”


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