For the Children: In 2020, Let's Do Better and Be Better

Saturday, 28 December 2019 22:12

For the Children: In 2020, Let's Do Better and Be Better Featured

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By Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman

As 2019 comes to a close, it seems safe to say that many Americans will not look back on this year as one of the country's finest moments. It has become almost cliché to bemoan political polarization, lack of civility in politics and in public dialogue, inequality, or racism as a sign that something in our culture and politics has been poisoned. For many, regardless of political party or ideology or age, this is not the best of times.

So, as we enter the New Year, here is my challenge to us all: Do something about it. Start 2020 with a shared mission and a determination that we can all be better, and do better, for our state and our nation. Let’s all be personally responsible for doing what we can to improve Oklahoma for the next generation and beyond.

Former State Auditor Clifton Scott often would comment about his service that he “wanted to make sure he left the woodpile just a little bit higher than he found it.” This meant that he wanted his service to improve that state in some way better than when he started his political career. That, in my opinion, should be the goal of not only every elected official, but every single Oklahoman and American during these turbulent times.

There are several ways each person can do this, ranging from volunteering for their favorite cause, contributing to the financial stability of a nonprofit dear to them, or even simply advocating for an important cause with their friends and neighbors. Certainly, filling out the upcoming census and voting in an informed manner are also critical.

At the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA), leaving the woodpile higher than it is today will mean doing everything in our power to work with policy makers to successfully implement a legislative agenda that increases opportunities for all young Oklahomans. It also means redoubling our commitment to serving as a megaphone for underprivileged children and making sure we are broadcasting loudly and clearly about their needs and what you (and our elected officials) can do to help them.

Next year’s public policy environment will be ripe with both challenges and new opportunities. It is our hope that the financial situation does not deteriorate from what the State Board of Equalization forecasts as a flat budget compared to last year. With the decline in energy production over the past year, we are thankful that the previous Legislature saw fit to increase other areas of revenue collection to help provide for the coverage of essential services, along with shoring up the state’s saving account in case of needed additional support for stabilizing the annual budget. We hope to see increased opportunities for working Oklahomans, ranging from restoration of refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to additional incentives to aid this struggling to cover early childcare. Innovative ideas such as these have proven to be successful, and we hope Oklahoma lawmakers are able to carry these and other beneficial policies forward.

In the new year, OICA will be vigilant and watchful and work to empower those who wish to act on behalf of Oklahoma’s children and families. We invite you to become one of those people, and to channel your energy and passion towards improving conditions for children and families in-need. Please sign up to receive our action alerts at and we will let you know how you can best make an impact. Together, we can make 2020 the year for a brighter future for Oklahoma’s children.


About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.

Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“













David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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