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The official podcast of Oklahoma Policy Institute. Interviews and lively discussion of the most important issues affecting Oklahoma.

The official podcast of Oklahoma Policy Institute. Interviews and lively discussion of the most important issues affecting Oklahoma.
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The official podcast of Oklahoma Policy Institute. Interviews and lively discussion of the most important issues affecting Oklahoma.








OKPolicyCast 37: Together Oklahoma (with Sabine Brown)

In this episode, I spoke with Sabine Brown, who is the outreach and advocacy coordinator for Oklahoma Policy Institute. Through that work, Sabine heads up Together Oklahoma, a grassroots coalition with chapters across the state of people joining with their neighbors to advocate for better public policy. We talked about how Sabine got into this work, and how many others have become members and leaders of Together Oklahoma without having a lot of prior experience working on state policy or...


OKPolicyCast 36: Back to School (with Rob Miller)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org. This month many kids and teachers are heading back to school in Oklahoma. Also this month, an increase in Oklahoma's teacher pay scale is...


OKPolicyCast 35: A frank conversation about criminal justice

Last week, Oklahoma Policy Institute hosted our annual Summer Policy Institute for about 60 college students from all over Oklahoma. The 4-day event featured speakers and panels on a wide range of topics. For this episode of the OKPolicyCast, we're sharing the live recording of one of those panels — an interesting, frank, contentious discussion of Oklahoma's criminal justice system. If after listening to this you'd like to hear more from panelist Jill Webb, check out Episode 25 of the...


Episode 34: No job? No doctor. (with Carly Putnam & Hannah Katch)

This year, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and the state Legislature ordered the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which runs Medicaid in Oklahoma, to come up with a plan to require Oklahoma adults on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours each week. If they don’t meet this requirement, or if they don’t do the paperwork to report their work or get an exemption in time, they will lose their Medicaid coverage and become uninsured. OK Policy’s Carly Putnam has been doing a lot of work on this issue,...


Episode 33: Keith Gaddie on the forces shaking Oklahoma politics

A couple weeks ago was one of the most interesting and unexpected elections in Oklahoma in a long time. From a big surge in turnout, strong approval of medical marijuana, and numerous incumbents either being forced into a runoff or voted out altogether, it's clear that something is changing in Oklahoma politics. What happened, what does it mean for the coming runoffs and general elections, and what will our state look like after it all shakes out? To better understand these questions, I...


Episode 32: Danielle Allen, from South Central Los Angeles to the Declaration of Independence

We've got something really special for you today. In this conversation between author Danielle Allen and Tulsa civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, they dig deep into how the inequalities of America — racial inequality, social inequality, economic inequality — play out not just in statistics and political debates, but in the personal dynamics of real individuals and families — as Danielle Allen puts it, in the "rending of kith and kin." It was a powerful, impactful conversation,...


Episode 31: Elizabeth Nichols on medical cannabis and SQ 788

For this episode, we spoke with Elizabeth Nichols, an attorney who has worked extensively with the emerging cannabis industry in Oklahoma and nearby states. With Oklahomans voting in just two weeks on State Question 788 to legalize medical cannabis, Nichols shared her perspective on how the medical cannabis industry is developing in other states, what she sees as the best models for implementing medical cannabis in Oklahoma, and what she expects from the SQ 788 vote on June 26. You can...


Episode 30: DeVon Douglass on taking on Tulsa's toughest challenges

We spoke with DeVon Douglass, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Tulsa, about the work her team is doing to take on Tulsa's toughest challenges, from teen homelessness to deep inequities in housing, transportation, and education. Their recent Tulsa Equality Indicators report assesses many of the barriers to a good life and better opportunities for Tulsans — but DeVon's not only working to describe the problems. She tells us how the Tulsa city and community is gearing up to take on...


Episode 29: What Just Happened

The OK PolicyCast is back! In this episode, we look at what just happened in one of the most tumultuous legislative years in Oklahoma history. Bailey Perkins speaks about what it was like being at the state Capitol before, during, and after the teacher walkout. Carly Putnam shares some major developments in health care policy. And Ryan Gentzler talks about this year's most important criminal justice legislation, both the good and the bad. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google...


Episode 28: Mid-Session Update

Now that we're just past the halfway point in the Legislative session, Kara Joy and Gene talk about which key bills are still alive, which are dead, and what's at play in negotiations over the state budget. To find out how you can take action on bills during the rest of session, see OK Policy's Advocacy Alerts page, and to join efforts for a better Oklahoma state budget, visit Together Oklahoma.


Episode 27: So You Want To Effect Change

Today on the OK PolicyCast, we speak with Shay White, a social worker and advocate with Together Oklahoma and ACTION. She spoke to us about what motivated her to get involved with policy change, what keeps her going, and "that one thing that gets us up every morning." If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you'd like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org. Extra links: Together OklahomaACTION TulsaVOICE OKC


Episode 26: The GOP Health Plan

We speak with OK Policy health care analyst Carly Putnam about the new plan from the House GOP to replace the Affordable Care Act. We talk about how the bill does and doesn't change the Affordable Care Act, what chance it has to pass, and how it could affect Oklahomans' health care. Extra Links: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


Episode 25: How the criminal justice system really works

On this episode we speak with Jill Webb, an attorney with the Tulsa County Public Defender's office. She gives us a tour of how the real criminal justice system is different from popular ideas about police and the courts, embodied by shows like Law and Order. Extra links: (New York Times) (OK Policy)


Episode 24: All about the revenues

The OK PolicyCast is back! Governor Fallin surprised many observer of Oklahoma politics by calling for dramatic revenue increases and major tax reforms in her State of the State address. In this podcast, we discuss the Governor's ideas, what's most likely to make it through the Legislature, and what other ideas Oklahoma Policy Institute has put forward to fix our state's budget hole. Extra links: https://www.ok.gov/OSF/documents/bud18.pdf...


OK PolicyCast Episode 23: Do we have the blueprint for ending poverty?

This October, Stanford University's Dr. David Grusky visited Oklahoma for a talk at the University of Tulsa. Dr. Grusky's books include Social Stratification, Occupy the Future, The New Gilded Age, The Great Recession, The Inequality Reader, and The Inequality Puzzle. His presentation at TU was titled, "A Blueprint for Ending Poverty... Permanently." Dr. Grusky also spent some time with OK Policy's staff discussing how the research on poverty and inequality is inspiring an ambitious new...


OK PolicyCast Episode 22: Predatory payday lending in Oklahoma

This week we speak with Kate Richey of OK Policy and the Oklahoma Assets Network on her research into payday lending in Oklahoma and how it can trap families in a vicious cycle of debt. On Wednesday, March 4 there will be a Town Hall Forum on predatory lending in Oklahoma. A local panel of experts will discuss how payday lenders target military families, older Oklahomans, single parent households, and other vulnerable communities and demographics. Click here for more information and to RSVP.


OK PolicyCast Episode 21: An Economic Check-Up for Oklahoma

This week we share a panel discussion from OK Policy's 2015 State Budget Summit. In recent years Oklahoma has seen among the lowest unemployment and highest personal income growth in the nation. At the same time, there's evidence that is rising tide is not lifting all boats. Oklahomans continue to struggle with relatively high levels of poverty, low educational attainment, and falling behind on many measures of quality of life. In this informative and wide-ranging discussion, panelists...


OK PolicyCast Episode 20: A final push for health insurance | Takeaways from Governor Fallin's budget

This week we talk with Affordable Care Act Navigator Donna Orban on what's being done to get Oklahomans signed up for health insurance during this year's Affordable Care Act enrollment period. We also speak with OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt, who shares some takeaways from Governor Fallin's new budget proposal.


OK PolicyCast Episode 19: Who pays taxes in Oklahoma?

This week we talk about about a new study on who really pays the highest rates of state and local taxes in Oklahoma, and why it’s not what many people think.


OK PolicyCast Episode 18: An 'emergency room' for legal assistance

Each week the OK PolicyCast brings you the most important news about Oklahoma and what it means. This week, we speak with April Merrill, an attorney with Legal Aid Oklahoma, a non-profit organization that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income Oklahomans throughout the state. She'll tell us about what it's like serving as part of Oklahoma's "emergency room" for legal assistance.