This evening, I met with a group of Democratic Precinct Chairs at a Thai restaurant in downtown Bethany, Oklahoma. Currently, we are represented by Rep. Sally Kern in the state legislature--whom many of you here in the Kos community may have heard of before. (See this story, for example.)
While it may seem that a district that elected Rep. Kern in the first place isn't likely to change hands, the evidence on the ground suggests that her divisive brand of politics has turned off many of her own Republican voters. There is a real opportunity this year for a Democratic candidate who focuses on issues such as jobs, education, and economic development to swing the 950 or so votes needed to move this seat into the Democratic column. (You can help by contributing at www.brittany4hd84.com).
I want to share my remarks from this evening, as we get ready for an action-packed election year:
Back in September, I decided that this year was a great election year to be involved in Oklahoma politics. The challenges we face are as great as any we’ve seen in our lifetime. People are afraid—and suspicious—of politicians who claim they can fix things.
I’m not here to claim that I can fix anything. Alone, I can’t fix a thing. There is no single policy or idea that can move us forward. The fact is, however, that we cannot solve our problems and create better government by standing against government, no matter what some folks with a loud megaphone would like us to believe.
Our government is not a monolithic entity out to control our individual lives. In reality, our government is the public schools we depend on to help us educate our children; it’s the roads we count on to get us and our goods where we want to go; it’s the firefighters who come to our aid in an emergency; it’s the social workers who look out for the best interests of neglected children.
When Republicans, “tea party” activists, and libertarians say they want to “cut government down to size,” they rarely mention that cutting government means laying off our teachers. We should ask, and demand answers, as to how they plan to drive to work when government can no longer afford to maintain roads and bridges.
The truth is that we all rely on government to provide certain essential public services—and these services our enshrined in both our federal and state constitutions. America and Oklahoma weren’t founded on the idea that government had no place in our lives. Rather, they were founded on the idea that government has a specific role to play in providing the essential education and infrastructure to allow our private economy to flourish.
The choice between Democratic and Republican policies has never been more clear than it is today. The G.O.P. and many folks in the mainstream media push the narrative that the choice is between “big government” of Democrats and “small government” of Republicans. This is not the choice. The real choice is between good government that ensures a brighter future for all of us and impotent government that clings to fear and division, ensuring that only the few will reap the benefits of political power.
Because those before us understood this, they drafted a constitution that gave “we the people” the power to vote out those politicians who are failing to do the people’s business and vote in new ones who dedicate themselves to the cause of good government.
This task will not be easy and will require that all of us renew and restore our public faith in political involvement. We can win elections, as candidates and for candidates, by organizing, volunteering, and contributing money. No one says this will be easy—the things worth doing usually are not.
But I firmly believe that working together for a common vision of a brighter future for our kids and grandkids, sharing our common values of community, responsibility, and hard work, we will emerge victorious this November.
When Oklahomans have faced adversity in the past, we persevered and we cannot stop now. From Guymon to Idabel, Tulsa to Lawton, and right here in HD 84, we can make a difference. Join us this year in building a brighter future for Oklahoma!
[If you're interested in helping our campaign, please contribute at www.brittany4hd84.com]
UPDATE: Thanks to those of you who have already contributed. "You know me man" has indicated that it's a good idea to add $0.10 to the end of your contribution so we can keep track of who contributed as a result of this diary. I like that idea and endorse it. Also, here is a link to our Facebook fan page.
UPDATE II: The meeting with precinct chairs went very well, and we are lining up dates for them to host house parties and invite all the Dems and Independents in their neighborhoods. Also, this diary has driven in over $500 in contributions, so keep up the good work, folks! Each dollar you raise allows me to spend more time knocking doors and less time calling people to beg for money.