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What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This Week from OK Policy

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OK Policy is currently hiring for three positions:

Weekly What’s That

Sine die

Sine die is a term for the adjournment of an assembly for an indefinite period, from the Latin “without day”. In March 1989, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 620,  which provided that regular legislative sessions begin on the first Monday in February and adjourn sine die not later than 5:00 pm on the last Friday in May. Special sessions are also adjourned sine die but there is no set date for their adjournment.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“I am 107 years old and I have never seen justice. I pray that one day I will.”

-Viola Fletcher, a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor who testified before Congress earlier this month [Reuters]

Editorial of the Week

Tulsa has much to apologize for in the 1921 race massacre and what happened afterward

Again and again, we hear: I was not alive in 1921; my family had nothing to do with it; I am not responsible.

The moral statute of limitations has not lapsed, and the failure of too many to recognize the continuing pain — the failure even to offer a genuine apology in the name of the people of Tulsa to their fellow Tulsans — prevents true healing.

Until we have atoned for the sins of the race massacre, culpability continues and compounds.

How to expiate such awful acts is a question for the entire community.

It’s a process that should require a thorough, thoughtful and public examination of what led to the massacre, what happened there and what happened afterward. Truth and reconciliation are not a moment but a process, and one that ends only when the pain does.

For the state, it should begin with a new era of policy designed to address disproportionate burdens on the Black population in health care and criminal justice.

For the state and city, it could also include consideration of reparations, direct or indirect. This remains a controversial issue, but one that deserves a public debate.

For individuals, it should mean many things, including acts of charity, self-education and acknowledgement.

For all, it should start with an act of contrition … of apology.

For what happened … for what was done and not done … for what led to it and led from it … for the failure to empathize then and now… we are sorry.

[Read the full Tulsa World editorial]

Numbers of the Day

  • 86 of 1,000 – In Oklahoma, 86 of 1,000 employees is likely affected by depression. Employees with untreated depression lose an average of 45 work days annually to absenteeism and presenteeism. [Source: Healthy Minds Initiative]
  • 421:1 – Oklahoma’s average student-to-counselor ratio currently, compared to the recommended ratio of 250:1. [Source: Oklahoma Policy Institute]
  • 46th – Oklahoma’s ranking in state mental health agency per capita mental health services expenditures. [Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • 45th – Oklahoma’s overall ranking in prevalence of mental illness and access to care. An overall ranking of 39-51 indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. The overall ranking includes both adult and youth measures. [Source: Mental Health America, 2021]
  • 11-year delay – There’s an average delay of 11 years between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment in Oklahoma. Integrated care is ideal for improving access to behavioral health care in our state. [Source: Healthy Minds Policy Initiative]

What We’re Reading

Note: May is national Mental Health Awareness Month.


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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