Senator Ikley-Freeman graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2013 and then earned a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northeastern State University. Since 2015, she has worked as a school and community-based therapist, including several years working for Counseling and Recovery Services of Oklahoma. Prior to this, she worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services as a child welfare specialist. As a young adult, Allison spent many years working for Sonic Drive-In as a carhop and assistant manager.
From being a carhop to a mental health therapist, I’ve walked the same road as so many families in District 37. That road led me to stand up for the priorities that matter most to our community. Priorities like funding our classrooms to help our children thrive, making sure that health care is accessible to everyone, supporting businesses that pay a livable wage, and helping everyone find affordable, quality mental health care.
Far too many Oklahomans feel unable to go to the doctor when they don't feel well, and even more are not receiving regular preventive care or even seeing the same doctor twice. For mental health, the stigma is more than just preventing people from seeking services, its preventing our state from adequately funding those services too.
To truly become a ""Top 10 State,"" Oklahoma must increase the availability of quality public education. We must continue adding to total classroom funding with the goal of reducing class sizes and providing educators the resources they need to do their jobs.
Oklahoma imprisons more people than any other jurisdiction in the world. This isn't because Oklahomans are inherently worse than other people. It's because the system has failed our most vulnerable citizens. Smart criminal justice reform begins with improving education outcomes and access to healthcare.
In 2016, OKDHS announced it was temporarily suspending its Daycare Assistance Program due to a lack of funding. They reported that about 2,000 families apply for this service each month. That is 2,000 Oklahoma parents struggling with childcare while they work or attend school. This is unacceptable.
Tulsa and Oklahoma City are 'Built for Zero' cities, which means they are a part of an initiative to end chronic homelessness. However, the current expected wait for help from Tulsa Housing Authority is 6-12 months. With Oklahoma City Housing Authority, application processing take 2-4 weeks. If you call about emergency housing they will quickly tell you, there is none in Oklahoma.