Jacob was born in Oklahoma City in 1977, and has lived in Norman for the better part of 30 years. After graduating from Norman High School, and the University of Oklahoma as a History major with a minor in Classical Cultures, Jacob became a teacher in 2012 and taught Geography & History in Oklahoma City Public Schools until his election in 2017. Jacob and his partner Robin are the proud parents of a 12-year-old daughter, Isabella, and of an 11-year-old son, Jonah, both of whom attend Norman Public Schools. He has been a loud activist for public education for years, with his main concerns being the lack of funding given to schools, low pay for teachers, and the harmful high-stakes tests that are unnecessarily forced upon students, especially in lower income schools. In 2018 he helped pass a teacher pay raise, and more recently has authored measures to ensure play-based learning is prioritized in the early childhood grade levels.
Jacob also advocates for common sense ideas to keep our excellent teachers here in Oklahoma, such as restoring a $5 thousand dollar stipend for our National Board Certified Teachers. Jacob is also passionate about providing for those who have already worked for our state, and has helped advocate for and ultimately pass a Cost of Living Adjustment for our retired teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other state retirees. Jacob will continue to be a force at the Capitol for teachers, our children, and our retirees, with overall goals of protecting and strengthening our public schools, helping to reduce adverse childhood experiences for children suffering from trauma, and providing for our core state services upon which so many rely.
What is the role of government in protecting public health and welfare?
What are your views on individuals being able to safely and securely access sensitive medical procedures in privacy and without interference from the state?
Personal freedom is very important, this goes for any decisions made between a medical professional and a patient.
What measures will you take to ensure that every Oklahoman has the chance to participate meaningfully in the democratic process?
I’ll continue to fight against anything that makes it harder for somebody to vote, such as some of the bills that have passed recently, in the name of “election security”. The executive director of the Oklahoma State Election Board has already stated, with data to prove it, that Oklahoma has extremely secure elections, perhaps the most secure in the United States.
How can we make voting more accessible to Oklahomans?
Many Oklahomans experience discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and other factors; how would you address these problems as an elected leader?
I’m loudly accepting and welcoming to ALL, no matter race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and any other factors. My hope is that by being so open as an elected leader, I can be an example for others to follow.
What measures will you take to ensure that First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech, protest, and press are protected from infringement?
I will continue to fight against any piece of legislation which may infringe on the 1st Amendment.
How can our current criminal legal system be reformed to better protect the rights of all persons involved?
The current criminal legal system here in Oklahoma and beyond is not a fair system. If a defendant has the money to hire a defense attorney, one has more of a chance to get out of the system unscathed, while defendants of lesser means (remember, these people are not guilty, only accused) are left languishing behind bars under a mountain of fees and bureaucratic red tape.
What steps would you take to adjust or reform our criminal legal system?
Cash bail reform & fee reform: A defendant shouldn’t have to stay behind bars just because they can’t afford to bail out or because they can’t pay a fee. Massive raises and more investments for our over-worked and underpaid public defender offices. These folks are doing the best they can…for a pittance compared to defense attorneys.