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We're surrounded with the audible pulse of life everywhere throughout northeastern Oklahoma. Here are sounds which we've captured with our microphones at special events and throughout the community.

2014 Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute

This year’s Summer Policy Institute was held August 3-6, 2014 at The University of Tulsa. The event brings together more than 50 highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students for a four-day learning experience. The Institute is hosted by the staff of OK Policy, a Tulsa-based think-tank guided by core commitments to the fair and adequate funding of public services and the expansion of economic prosperity for all Oklahomans.

Panel Discussion: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

Panelists: Brian Bingman (Senate President), Ken Miller (State Treasurer), Scott Inman (House Minority Leader), Anthony Francisco (City of Norman), Amanda Ewing (Oklahoma Education Association), Dan Rickman (Oklahoma State University). Moderator: John Feaver (OK Policy Board member)

Oklahoma Campaigns and Elections

Will Oklahoma remain the reddest state in the nation? Will Democrats ever again win a statewide office in Oklahoma? Will Tea Party Republicans and Chamber of Commerce Republicans find ways to get along? Panelists: Prof. Keith Gaddie (University of Oklahoma), Sheryl Lovelady (Political Analyst), Pat McFerron (CMA Strategies). Moderator: Randy Krehbiel (Tulsa World)

The panelists discuss the state of political campaigns in Oklahoma, focusing on competition between and within the two major political parties.

Presentation of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Good Sense/Good Cents Award to Gov. Henry Bellmon

The award was presented to daughters Pat Hoeth and Ann Denny by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett

Statesmanship – The Legacy of Gov. Henry Bellmon

Panelists included top advisors and political leaders from the Bellmon era: Andrew Tevington (Chief of Staff to Gov. Bellmon), Penny Williams (former State Senator), Sandy Garrett (Secretary of Education for Gov. Bellmon), Lee Paden (Oklahoma and Washington staffer for Gov. Bellmon). Moderator: Wayne Greene (Tulsa World)

This session reflected on the contributions of former Governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon, focusing on the impact that he had on state and national politics and policy


Education policy has been the focus of some of the most contentious debates at the Capitol in recent years. Panelists: Curt Adams (University of Oklahoma), David Goin (Edmond Public Schools), Anthony Marshall (Booker T. Washington High School), Lee Denney (House of Representatives), Rob Miller (Jenks Middle School). Moderator: Ann-Clore Duncan (OK Policy Board member)

This session discussed how the battles over such issues as high-stakes testing, school choice, education funding, and educational standards translate to what’s happening in the classroom

Policy Journalism

How do you make policy issues accessible to the public? Panelists: Warren Vieth (Oklahoma Watch), Scott Carter (Journal Record), Jaclyn Cosgrove (NewsOK), Kim Jackson (Channel 8). Moderator: Gene Perry (OK Policy)

Working journalists discuss their experience covering Oklahoma policy issues for a mainstream


Presented by Richard Klinge, Catholic Charities, and Elizabeth McCormick, University of Tulsa. Learn about the experiences of and response to more than 1000 children held in a temporary detention center at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma; the likely outcomes and possible options available to these and other unaccompanied immigrant children; and the connection between this child refugee crisis and the broader debate over comprehensive immigration reform.

A presentation and discussion of the so-called border crisis involving the apprehension and detention of more than 50 thousand immigrant children crossing the southern border of the United States since last October

What Do We Do to Move People Out of Poverty?

Oklahoma ranks consistently among the top ten states for its high rate of poverty.  In fact, poverty has marked the landscape of Oklahoma since before statehood.  Early settlers faced enormous odds – drought, food insecurity, and nonexistent infrastructure – and possessed few material resources. Panelists: Christy Finsel (ONAC), Christina Mendoza (Connexiones), Kris Steele (TEEM), Marilyn Feaver (Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition). Moderator: Kate Richey, OK Policy

Innovative efforts are explored to expand access to economic opportunity and elevate political consciousness around poverty continue to move us forward

Political Leadership: Myths and Realities

Panelists: JariAskins (former Lieutenant Governor), Kathy Taylor (former Mayor of Tulsa), Kirk Humphreys (former Oklahoma City Mayor), Chief Bill John Baker (Cherokee Nation). Moderator: Linda Edmondson, OK Policy Board member

Distinguished political leaders draw on their experience in government to share key lessons on how the political system operates and what is needed to be a successful political leader


Community leaders, policy experts, and health care providers share and explain their perspectives on the health care safety net in Oklahoma. Panelists: Dr. Charles Grim (Indian Health Services); Nico Gomez (Oklahoma Health Care Authority); Laura Dempsey-Polan (Morton Comprehensive Health Services); April Merril (Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma); Angela Monson (OU Health Sciences Center). Moderator: John Schumann (OU-Tulsa)

Panelists discuss challenges and opportunities in providing care; characteristics of those covered and those still in need of care; and the future of Medicaid in Oklahoma

Who’s Keeping Working-class Americans Out of Office?

Millionaires make up majorities of all three branches of the federal government, and that makes it harder to pass policies that help working Americans. Why don’t more middle- and working-class people run for public office — and what can we do about it?

Prof. Nicholas Carnes, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, speaks about political gatekeepers and the unequal social class makeup of government

Criminal Justice

Presented by Amy Santee (George Kaiser Family Foundation) & Judge Jesse S. Harris (retired Tulsa County district judge). Oklahoma locks up more people than almost any other state or country. Experts discuss the costs of mass incarceration for the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma families, especially for low-income communities and people of color.

Discussion about what is needed to reduce incarceration in the state, including job opportunities, mental health and drug treatment, and other innovative solutions to end the cradle-to-prison pipeline

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