By State Rep. Regina Goodwin
Eagle Guest Writer
Sending heartfelt appreciation for the blessing to serve; I am Regina Goodwin, State Representative, HD-73, Tulsa, Ok. On Tues. Jan. 8, Capitol Organizing Day was held for the 57th Legislature, our ranks have been reduced from 28 to 24 Democrats; there are 77 Republicans in the 101 member House of Representatives. Unfortunately, whether we take up a 51, 68 or 76 vote measure, if Republicans have unified voting, our Democratic votes will not be needed. Fortunately, a diversity of Democrats nationwide were elected to the U.S. Congress (OK Congresswoman Kendra Horn). We are still fighting for people over profits and politics. My appointment to serve on the leadership team as Assistant Floor Leader by Democratic Minority Leader Emily Virgin and my role as Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Black Caucus demands an informed, honest and bold voice. Into 2019, as “The Power of We” moves forward, let’s look at 2018 challenges and achievements:
- Historic Events – Time was spent in the 56th Regular Session and two extra special sessions at the State Capitol. My strong stance fighting alongside a minority of Democratic members led to a more fair tax package and the largest teacher pay raise in Oklahoma history.
- While Oklahoma teachers deserve more, it took 26 long years, before we delivered House Bill (HB)1010XX, a bipartisan tax package to fund the $5,000-$8,300 teacher pay increase. Support staff and state employees also received wage increases. Teachers, 35,000 strong and The Oklahoma Teacher Walk Out, had my full support and was a grand demonstration of democracy! My teaching visits to numerous schools are ongoing.
- We fought and helped move Big Oil and Gas companies from 2 percent to pay 5 percent in Gross Production Taxes, bringing $450 million more in revenue. Planned cigarette and fuel taxes, we cut from $1.50 to $1.00 per pack and from 6 cents to 3 cents per gallon. We should not take the most from those who have the least and the least from those who have the most!
- As the principal author of House Bill (HB) 3393 with Sen. Griffin (R), the bill was signed into law. Many great people helped advance the bill. The law bans the shackling of incarcerated females during childbirth and allows a friend, doula, member of family or clergy to be present in the delivery room. Learned in a recent Mabel Bassett Correctional Center visit, an incarcerated pregnant woman is scheduled to be with her mother in the hospital delivery room.
- My HB1357 with Sen. Griffin (R) now law, The Caregiver Support Act, helped lead to a nearly million dollar grant, now aiding caregivers. We, Dept. of Human Services, AARP, Morton Health, among many, held a large, supercharged caregiver conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Led with four senior women, fair housing fix at Cherokee Meadows Senior Housing. Dangerous infrastructure and driveway curbs of all 48 units were redone. Initiated federal Housing and Urban Development investigation. Worked with Councilwoman Harper, Tulsa Dev. Authority, Attorneys, Oklahoma Housing Financing Agency, People’s Protests and Two Lawsuits.
- Initiated the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Advisory Board to foster greater participation in job contracts and led with (DBEs), an Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation investigation.
- My efforts are ongoing with Councilwoman Hall-Harper and Rose Washington to provide a quality grocery store with fresh produce and meats in north Tulsa.
- Communicate with Chief Jordan and Sheriff Regalado, continuing my years urging the implementation of comprehensive community policing. Involved with the reinstatement of police officer helpful to the community. Stand with the Harris, Lake, Barre, Crutcher and other families. Publicly vocal against the killing of unarmed, innocent citizens by police officers. Protest Betty Shelby’s employment to serve and protect and her training public safety officers in Oklahoma; successfully helped prevent her training in another state.
- Joined protest/boycott of Jun’s/QDL Beauty Supply business, after some video and more than 16 reported incidents of customer mistreatment and physical assaults of women. Contacted fire marshal who ordered clean-up of store fire hazard; remote door locks removed to prevent innocent customers from being held captive.
- Engaged with criminal justice sentencing reform laws
- Attended court hearings aiding in expungements.
- Helped build children’s playground at Drexel Academy.
- Initiated and hosted with the Dream Center, Family Fun Day with brain games, music, black history, basketball, board games and dancing. Great volunteers made the day!
- Involved with approx. $40,000 in college student funding.
- Meet health professionals regarding Sickle Cell Disease/Trait Awareness to secure more education, treatment and resources.
- Years leading Brady Heights name change talks. The Neighborhood Association in scheduled to vote.
- Commemorated the passing of Race Massacre survivors Julius Scott, Hazel Jones and Dr. Olivia Hooker. Years engaged in halting grave desecration of potential 1921 race massacre victims. Active on City of Tulsa committee exploring mass grave excavation of 1921 race massacre victims.
- Welcomed to Dakar, Senegal by US Ambassador T.S. Mushingi; met and discussed economic, educational and cultural opportunities.
Thank you, God is blessing us.