To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, July 19, 2024

Observercast

Continuing The Conversation With Dr. Fuxa

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Dr. Robin Fuxa, candidate for State Senate in District 21, had plenty to say about education in our last conversation. This time, we are tackling other issues important to Oklahoma voters.

Q. What can the Legislature do to improve healthcare access in Oklahoma, and how do we address healthcare deserts?

Dr. Fuxa is excited about the partnership between the Cherokee Nation and OSU to create the first tribally affiliated medical school. They had their first graduating class in May of this year. The partnership will place needed doctors in the Cherokee Nation.

A. “We need more partnerships. And we need to make sure health careers are accessible to Oklahomans. Incentives that bring people in too often see them exit as soon as that incentive stops.”

Q. How do we get rid of the stigma of veterans’ mental health issues?

 

A. “We need mentors to bridge the gap between military and civilian life. Pair veterans with a trusted confidant who has been where they are, whether the need is career transition, mental health, relocation, or anything else.

“In talking with veterans across age groups about the services they need, there are many simple things we could be doing that we aren’t. I’m eager to explore implementing their ideas.”

Q. You come from a family of service members and first responders. Tell me more about how this shapes how you might respond as a legislator to the needs of those who serve in these capacities.

A. “My dad and his dad are veterans, alongside other family members. My dad served as a volunteer firefighter for almost 20 years in Chandler, alongside his work at OGE, and he was an EMT for a time, as well. I’m committed to making sure our first responders have what they need to keep us safe. While many of those funding responsibilities are municipalities, the state can make sure policies don’t negatively affect first responders.

“I sat with local officers and the retiring OSU chief of police to talk about needs. I want to make sure that I hear from the public safety people themselves.”

Q. What can Oklahoma do to attract more businesses?

A. “The Legislature left $1.4 billion on the table this year that could have – and should have – been appropriated. That’s not the Rainy Day Fund; that was revenue for the year that we should have invested in Oklahoma schools, human services, public safety, health care access, and more. When we don’t invest in our people with their own tax dollars, all the while the governor is pushing for a tax cut that would exclusively benefit wealthy people in a tangible way, we are not serving the people. It’s shortsighted, and it’s wrong. Oklahoma does not need to increase taxes, but we do need to wisely use the funds we have. Businesses will never choose to come to Oklahoma when they know we are not meeting even our most basic obligations to the taxpayer. That’s not an attractive business or living environment.

“Oklahoma is 41st in business attractiveness according to the 2023 CNBC ranking. One of the biggest factors? Education. Let’s do better.”

Q. Let’s talk about the right to bear arms and the need to protect citizens. How can we do both and still stay true to the Constitution?

A. “I come from a family of hunters and have done a little hunting myself. I support the 2nd Amendment, and like 87% of my fellow Americans, I support common sense use of background checks. We can also ensure proper storage and gun safety that my family made sure I knew as part of a gun-owning family.  These are measures with wide support that would save the lives of children who are killed daily in avoidable gun accidents.”

Q. How do we get past the culture wars?

“Building real relationships is where we have to begin. There’s a lot of distrust right now. Town Halls, Coffee with Candidates, and knocking on doors helps build those relationships.

“People say they don’t like politics. What they are really saying is they don’t like partisanship. Some politicians try to keep focus on the most divisive issues. I think most of us agree on most things.

“We have to be on Team Oklahoma, Team USA.”