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Where We're Not Welcome: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Stories Of Us
Meet the brave folks who are making our cities a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Show transcript
00:02
We are one of the Reddest state in the nation.
00:05
There's just a large part of our population that is just not
00:10
being served by our state government.
00:19
Tulsa wants to be a great place and it can be a great place, but
00:22
there's just still a lot of work that needs to be done.
00:28
I had taken a semester off of school.
00:31
I kind of didn't really know what I was doing.
00:33
I was kind of drifting around a bit.
00:35
My Uncle John invited me to come visit him in Tulsa.
00:40
I didn't really know at the time what I was getting into.
00:43
I always wanted to be a public school teacher.
00:45
I never wanted to be anything more.
00:47
But what I saw of year after year, the budget gets cut for education
00:52
The legislature doesn't seem to be investing in public education
00:55
and a lot of politicians out there don't even seem to believe
00:58
in the mission of public education anymore.
01:00
Back in July or September 2015, I did something stupid on Facebook
01:04
and I pronounced that I was gonna run for a Senate seat.
01:08
Right.
01:08
It's like Santa's workshop here.
01:12
A lot of our cynicism about politics comes from a lack of participation
01:21
I always say this but Oklahoma needed another progressive
01:26
voter.
01:26
If 18 to 35 year olds reliably voted, we would have the student
01:32
loan problem fixed tomorrow.
01:33
We need more young people to care.
01:36
They are mentioning stuff about different candidates.
01:38
Which ones would help the Latinos more than others.
01:44
Everyone wants to be super active.
01:46
But then again time passes, every single time time passes
01:50
people get comfortable again, they figure, oh, I'm just
01:53
going to deal with it.
01:57
I got off of the plane.
01:59
It was 100 degrees out.
02:01
We went home, ate some leftover pasta that was in the fridge
02:04
for lunch and then immediately started knocking doors.
02:07
Oftentimes I find myself going back to fix the mistakes of
02:11
junior campaign staffers and volunteers and I've never had
02:16
that problem with Andre.
02:16
I was sort of blown away.
02:18
She's a quick study and picks up the stuff very quickly.
02:23
But on top of that, she has a work ethic that you don't see very
02:26
often door to door canvassing.
02:29
It's when you go door to door down the street, knock on doors
02:33
and see.
02:33
Are you going to vote for my candidate?
02:36
It's been said to be one of the most influential pieces of at
02:40
least local politics.
02:42
So you get the idea of whether somebody wants to vote for your
02:45
candidate.
02:46
All right, not home.
02:52
Do you have an idea of whether or not you would continue to support
02:55
John.
02:56
Awesome.
02:57
And would you be interested in getting a yard sign when the
02:59
time comes around?
03:00
Awesome.
03:00
Thank you so much, ma'am.
03:02
Have a great day.
03:03
Thank you.
03:05
You too.
03:08
I think the best thing that people can do is just be involved
03:13
with politics on a small scale as possible.
03:17
You do have a voice.
03:18
It's just not going to come up every four years when you vote
03:21
for president to make real change.
03:23
It takes the stuffing envelopes and it takes the knocking
03:27
doors and the things that might be a little less fun.
03:31
But if you care about these things, it's the most important
03:34
work that you can do.
03:35
It feels amazing like the envelope stuffing last night or
03:39
over the summer when we would be holding door knocking events
03:43
all of the people showing up who support John and who support
03:46
the same beliefs that we have.
03:48
It's exciting too to watch it all change and to feel like I'm
03:52
working to make that change right now.
03:55
I'm at the ground floor of what could be a really great movement
03:59
in Oklahoma.
04:00
I had a lot of people working with me with a lot of experience
04:03
and contact but Andrea made the team work together and her
04:07
contributions.
04:08
I couldn't put a price on it.
04:10
Our district was 53% Republican and 35% Democrat, but we ended
04:16
up winning 47% of the vote.
04:18
That's something I'm incredibly proud of, we made such a huge
04:21
impact.