Balancing the needs for both rural & urban Oklahoma

When we drive from rural Oklahoma to Tulsa or Oklahoma City we’re proud of the new buildings, roads, bridges and event locations being developed in our two larger populated areas.

Hats off to the leaders and people of these and other Oklahoma cities for passing and investing in their communities, while benefiting everyone in the state.

As Oklahomans, we understand that these investments enhance our entire state, as rural and out of state visitors bring in new spending for city, county and state revenues.

Without a doubt, when a state has thriving and prosperous cities, it helps all of Oklahoma to be become more visible and respected in the business world, aiding in our business population recruitment, which we all support.

While we see an explosion of new development in our state’s largest populated areas, it’s easy for our entire focus to be planted on the needs of urban Oklahoma for health care facilities, roads, bridges and water. The larger the cities become, the more state dollars that are needed to help these cities meet their new infrastructure needs.

While at the same time we focus on helping urban Oklahoma in meeting their needs, we should also remember and focus on the needs of the entire state and our people, especially in rural Oklahoma.

Rural Oklahoma isn’t wanting a free hand out, but we do have needs of our own. 

Rural Oklahoma is the place where our crops become the food on our dinner tables; where beef, poultry and pork is produced; oil and gas is developed; our natural resources are mined; our mountains bring in visitors and hunters; while at the same time we work to protect our water for recreation and fishing for everyone.

To provide all of this for the people of Oklahoma, and our nation, rural Oklahoma also has needs of health facilities that are close to home, higher education and technical training available for our kids, highways that are safe for us to get back and forth to work, and protecting our water sheds without fear of someone trying to come in and take this resource away.

To make Oklahoma a better place for all of its citizens, rural and urban, we have to include both into our thinking as leaders and citizens each and every day.

We are both tied together tightly with our many needs, and there must be a true balance for all of us to be successful and complete as a state.

As the legislative session continues this year and next, I will continue pushing this narrative at each and every opportunity I get to show the value of our rural Oklahoma to the entire state.

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