The Tulsa World published an article about an Oklahoma branding effort: "Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell is selling blue sky and counting on all Oklahomans to buy a piece of it." ("Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell asks Oklahomans what they think of their state," July 6.)
Pinnell thinks we don't have a brand, but we have been branded for many years by being No. 1 in negative scores.
Then the Tulsa World had a series about Oklahoma leading the nation in childhood trauma ("Special Report: Oklahoma leads the nation in childhood trauma. How does this affect our state and what can we do?" July 8).
Oklahoma ranks No. 1 in three of the social ills linked to Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) scores, along with No 2 in one area, No. 5 in two areas and No. 9 in another.
This — and not supporting public education — is the brand of Oklahoma.
In a week, the newspaper had a story about the dishonesty of Epic Charter Schools, which receive tax money ("Oklahoma Watch: Former Epic teachers describe pressure to manipulate enrollment to boost bonuses," July 7).
The editorial page explained the detriment of Oklahoma not expanding Medicaid ("Dr. Gerard Clancy: New Mexico shows the way on battling opioid overdose deaths, and it starts with Medicaid expansion," and "Dr. Donald E. Loveless Jr.: I'm a Tulsa doctor, and I must speak out for Medicaid expansion," July 7).
Another editorial column criticized how Medicaid recipients will be denied health care based on returned mail ("Tulsa World editorial: No home, no mail, no health care," July 8).
I agree this is a heartless rule and will certainly make Oklahoma's brand of horrible rankings stronger.
All of these wrongs add up to an Oklahoma brand that will not lure anyone to the state.
Getting a solution to many of the social ills will help us have a legitimate brand of which Oklahoma can be proud.
The time and money spent on this branding project of Pinnell's would be better spent improving the real ills of Oklahoma.
Thank you for such good journalism.
Mayor G.T. Bynum speaks during the 1921 Mass Graves Public Oversight Meeting.
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