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By Nate Morris
June 26th will be one of the most consequential primary elections in Oklahoma in years. As the state stands at an undeniable crossroads, citizens will have the power to determine its future.
For decades, Oklahoma has fallen dramatically behind the rest of the nation in progressing toward creating a system rooted in socioeconomic justice. In fact, as voters head to the polls on Tuesday, they will be casting a ballot in the state that:
- Incarcerates the most individuals per capita in the developed world
- Has the highest per capita police involved shooting deaths in the nation
- Has per student education funding that remains nearly $400 lower than a decade ago
- Ranks as one of the lowest in life expectancy and quality of life in the nation
- Ranks amongst the highest in teen pregnancy in the country
- Ranks as one of the worst states in the nation for transportation infrastructure
- Has the third highest decline in economic growth in the nation
- Has one of the least educated workforces in the United States
This is the current reality of our state ― a reality of which many of our leaders seem to be unaware. However, it is not a reality we must accept.
On Tuesday, we have the chance to look to the future and begin building the state we know we are capable of becoming.
We have the chance to nominate and elect candidates who steer us in a new direction and show those who have stood in the way of progress the door.
We have the chance to pass progressive laws, like SQ 788, which will serve as incredible foundations for future success.
We have the chance to look at our challenges head on and begin to face them rather than continue to pretend that they do not exist.
The future of Oklahoma will quite literally be in the hands of those who choose to pick up and fill out a ballot on Tuesday.
Do not forfeit your chance to shape that future. Your voice and your vote are powerful.
Don’t stay silent on the sidelines. We need you in the game.
Polls are open from 7am to 7pm on Tuesday June 26th.
You can find your polling place and sample ballots by clicking on this link: bit.ly/OklahomaVoter
Nate Morris is a contributing editor of The Black Wall Street Times. He was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to Tulsa in 2012 after graduating from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. He received his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2015. Morris is a Teach for America alumnus and has worked in schools throughout the Tulsa area. He is an advocate for educational equity as well as racial and social justice throughout Tulsa and the nation as a whole.