Nicole Nixon, a Republican candidate for Senate District 37, spoke at the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce candidate forum at Tulsa Technology Center Monday morning in Sand Springs.
The following is a transcript of her opening remarks. Candidates were given a five-minute time limit, followed by a question and answer session.
"My name is Nicole Nixon. I'm a mom. I live in Southwest Tulsa.
Three of my community schools were consolidated. The schools that were consolidated; they'll have you believe that it was because we have low enrollment numbers. They'll have you believe that we have too many schools out there and we're spending too much money on them. The truth is, the more that I dug into this, the more their numbers were skewed, and the more none of this made sense.
I was told that they were going to consolidate North Tulsa schools but because of the Betty Shelby case, that they didn't want to have a riot on their hands. So they attacked Southwest Tulsa.
As far as the funding, Tulsa Public Schools is the second largest school district in Oklahoma. Tulsa Public Schools is not properly utilizing their funding. And the second-largest school district in the state not properly utilizing their funding is sending a message to the legislature that none of the public schools are adequately utilizing their funding. It makes all of us look bad. And when they stand their and they point their finger at the legislature, half of the reason that they have problems is because they put themselves in that. It's not acceptable.
I used to be a metal salesman. I worked in the steel industry. I am familiar with hard hats, safety glasses, steel-toed boots. I worked with tons of manufacturing businesses: aerospace, defense. I have the ability to negotiate.
I want to have a voice when it comes to my children's education. I want all of us to have a voice when it comes to our community and what is going on in our legislature. It's not acceptable what they're doing.
We have leaders that are not being leaders. A good leader makes more leaders. They have tried to blame it on the freshman legislators. But when in actuality, they haven't reached out and tried to help them learn or pulled them on the team. They've been using them as pawns.
I decided to run because I'm tired of it, as most of us are. As far as job growth and our economy, education comes number one. We have a great education, we attract businesses, we have a well-educated workforce.
Some of you may have seen me on the news. I was down in Oklahoma City at the Capitol, fighting for our schools. If you visit my website, there's media links to all the reports of me standing up and fighting. Tonight I'll be at the Tulsa Public Schools Board meeting, like I am at most of those board meetings.
Without a presence by the parents and the people, we have no chance of making government accountable to the people. We've got to step up, join our PTAs. You don't have to have a student that goes to school there to join. We have to make a bigger presence.
As far as bringing more voter awareness, I think the key to that is having a solid election day every year. From school board all the way up, we need to create a culture where people know 'today is voting day and I'm gonna go vote for this candidate, but I know there's going to be a whole bunch of other names on that list and I don't want to get it wrong.' We need to have them looking at our school board members. We need to have them showing up. We've all got to do this together.
I humbly ask for your vote. Give me a voice. I just want to be able to help my children and your children and our state. I want to have the opportunity to get in there and find out what is going on and start fixing the root of our problems rather than treating symptoms."