- COVID-19: Helping working families and businesses navigate the crisis
- Education: Refueling the Teacher Pipeline
- Health and Mental Health Care: Greater cost transparency and access
- Criminal Justice Reform that is fair and safe for all
- Action Coalition Tulsa State and National candidate forum
- Quality of Life and Workplace
- Supporting Small Business Growth
- Social Justice
- School Choice
"My teacher thought I was smarter than I was - so I was." -Six-year-old
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched us all. The health care, infrastructure and technology systems in our state have been subjected to the same lack of attention as education due to a decade of cuts - and we are feeling the pain. I have spent more time talking to constituents than ever before and getting them connected to support systems. So many are worried. So many are struggling. Biggest concerns: Access to health care. The loss of a job. Making payroll. Paying the mortgage. Being a parent, teacher and employee from home all at the same time and worrying that you aren't doing any of it right. I've also spent much of my time asking the tough questions of our state agencies and leadership and not letting up until we get the right answers.
Restoring the Teacher Pipeline
Our teacher shortage crisis continues to deepen, and will get worse as teachers who have held off retiring begin to leave over the next 1-2 years. 17% of the teachers in our state are eligible to retire now, today. We must restore the teacher pipeline through our universities, who are experiencing a drop in enrollment. Studies across the nation clearly demonstrate that the best teachers for our children are those university trained professionals.
Access to Health Care
Voters approved SQ802 which expands Medicaid in Oklahoma. Now we must turn our focus to ending surprise medical billing.
Supporting Small Business
Small businesses make America. Easy to understand tax laws, as well as support for funding entrepreneurs and start-up companies, are critical. The Covid-19 pandemic has left our small business owners struggling to make ends meet.
Mental Health in Tulsa County
1 in 7 Tulsa residents
Curious about where Melissa stands on Gun issues?
Watch her debate a proposed gun bill on the floor of the House during the 57th Session.
Action Coalition Candidate forum for all Tulsa national and state races
Click the link: Action Coalition Candidate Forum - October 8th, 2020
First question: would you fight for AND vote for funding for public schools, including
money to expand technology and internet access for our students?
- to hear Melissa's answer, please go the the 58:37 mark to the 1:00:07 mark
Second question: would you vote for legislation guaranteeing the wages of hourly support staff when schools close due to emergencies?
- to hear Melissa's answer, please go to the 1:05:17 mark to 1:06:17
Third question: would you vote for the “Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights” legislation?
- to hear Melissa's answer, please go to the 1:09:45 mark to 1:10:50
To hear all candidate responses please start at the 43:40 mark
Adequate funding for supplies, textbooks, and technology is a critical need for all Oklahoma classrooms. Last session the State Legislature made an excellent start in turning education funding around in our state. We must protect this budget in the coming year, and ensure that we spend those funds in the most efficient and effective way, and special interest must be shown the door.
Criminal Justice Reform
Many defendants who have served their time in jail spend the next several years paying off fines and fees incurred while incarcerated. They often have to make tough choices between providing for their families or paying off these fees, which often lands them back in the system. We can do better. We should:
- Disclose to defendants the total amount of fines, costs and fees before they accept a plea deal.
- Determine the defendant's ability to pay, and offer community service in lieu of fees if they are not able.
- Bail reform that is fair and feasible for defendants.
Discrimination in any form is not acceptable. All voices matter and have merit. Opinions, lifestyles, and backgrounds may differ, but working together to find common ground unites us as one.
Quality of Living and Workplace
Oklahomans have the right to earn a fair living wage that allows them to invest in a secure retirement while still putting food on their table each day and night.
School Choice is the right of every parent. With our tax dollars, we must demand transparency in spending as well as equal access for all in every public school setting, be it charter, virtual charter or brick and mortar. Public schools (this includes all charter schools) serve over 700,000 students and their families across the state. Every child deserves the same fair access in the setting that suits them best. (Read More)