Meloyde strongly believes quality public education is the cornerstone to the viability of our community. For too long, our state has under-prioritized and underfunded public schools. We know that our schools can provide quality educations, but we need leaders who will fight for more resources in our classrooms and higher pay for our educators so that we don’t lose our best talent to surrounding states and so Oklahoma has a pipeline of teaching talent we can immediately rely on when needed.
She also knows that education and the economy are directly related. Meloyde believes we need to do more for working families struggling to make ends meet, because success in school starts at home. Every child is capable of learning but there is a direct correlation between poverty and that child’s ability to be successful in school. She also wants to find ways to help our schools propel students into either good colleges or quality technical training, because an educated and trained workforce helps our entire community thrive both socially and economically.
Criminal Justice Reform
Meloyde believes that we need to take a serious look at our criminal justice system because of its significant cost and ineffectiveness at reducing crime. Our prisons are dangerously overcrowded, understaffed and underfunded. Oklahoma is spending an incredible amount of money warehousing non-violent offenders for long periods of time only to further expose them to a more dangerous criminal population then release them with little or no skills to be productive. Oklahoma also incarcerates more women than anywhere else in the world, and Meloyde finds this unacceptable. She believes that excessive fees, job-restrictions, and other barriers to re-entry keep ex-offenders from reaching their full potential and contributing to our economy. It costs less to educate a child than to jail them and we all benefit when our state makes proactive investments, such as youth services and alternative schools.
She believes until changes across the board are made to replace long incarceration with drug treatment and community sentencing, Oklahoma’s criminal justice system will remain costly to taxpayers, ineffective at reducing crime, and destructive to many Oklahoma families. The bipartisan, national momentum for reform of mandatory minimums offers a good opportunity for progress in Oklahoma.
Meloyde is a small business owner, an artist, a proud mother, and a longtime Tulsan - not a politician. We need a leader who will stand up for hard-working Oklahomans and put the issues first - not a political party of one flavor or another. This past legislative session, the majority party twisted arms of their own caucus members to irresponsibly pass a budget that under prioritized education and cut from dozens of state agencies, while proceeding with tax cuts in the face of an expected multi-million-dollar revenue shortfall with no plan to replace the lost revenue. It’s time for our leaders to make smart decisions that push our state forward instead of hiding behind partisan ideals. Meloyde will work on both sides of the aisle to come up with common sense solutions. She knows that our community is used to having a committed, service-oriented leader at the state Capitol and is dedicated to working hard for all Oklahomans.