It has been a pretty busy time for me since the Take Shelter Oklahoma petition drive began on September 18! We have been adding volunteers daily to the effort and I appreciate each of you who have taken sheets to help collect the necessary amount of signatures. I will be sure to mention all the locations in our area who have agreed to have petitions at their business in the near future. If you would like a copy of the petition to help circulate, email TakeShelterOklahoma@gmail.com for a copy. For more information, be sure to keep up with things at www.TakeShelterOK.com on the Internet.
The thing that I have appreciated the most in this effort is the work done by the parents of the children who died in the May tornado that hit Plaza Towers Elementary. Each has been very active as the honorary chairpersons for the petition drive. They have dedicated time each day to promoting the cause, while at the same time helping raise funds for the private venture assisting local schools. This initiative, called Shelter Oklahoma Schools, is coordinated by four legislators assisting with the fundraising and distribution of those dollars to schools in need. Their website is www.ShelterOklahoma Schools.org and the effort is run by Reps. Jon Echols, Mark McBride, Eric Proctor and Richard Morrissette; two democrats and two republicans. I had the chance to discuss both efforts with Rep. Echols on Inside the Issues, shown on Cox Channel 3 and 703, so that will air several times this week in their service area.
I am especially pleased that Friend Public Schools and Carnegie Public Schools will be receiving assistance from this group to help build shelter space. Shelter Oklahoma Schools has collected just over $2 million from groups (including a donation from me) to help those schools with no bond capacity left or that simply do not have the tax base to build shelters. This effort, combined with Take Shelter Oklahoma, will certainly get us to the goal of getting security standards and proper tornado shelters in every school in Tornado Alley!