Melissa Provenzano

Disclaimer: All information about this candiate was directly obtained from their website and/or social media account. The feature of this candidate in our election guide does not equal an endorsement. CAIR Oklahoma is a registered 501c3 organization and non-partisan.

Candidate Details

OK House District: HD 79

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Website:

http://www.proven4oklahoma.com/

Email:

melissa@proven4oklahoma.com

Phone:

918.289.9630

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/proven4oklahoma/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/proven4oklahoma

Biography

Melissa is a lifelong Tulsa area native, married mom to two and stepmom to two. As a graduate of Northeastern State University with a BS in Organismic Biology and University of Oklahoma with a MEd in Educational Leadership, Melissa honed her commitment to improving the lives of her fellow citizens by becoming an educator. First, as a Biology teacher at Will Rogers High School, then as an administrator at Booker T Washington High School, Hale Junior High, and Bixby High School. As a legislator, Melissa continues to bring this same commitment and voice, advocating for the families of Tulsa at the state capitol.

Current appointments: Democratic Education Policy Chair State Director, Women In Government (National) Emerging Legislative Leaders – Darden School of Business Committees: House Common Education Committee House Appropriations and Budget on Common Education Joint Committee on Administrative Rules County and Municipal Government Service Oklahoma Tag Agency Task Force Melissa was also recently awarded as the Oklahoma Educator’s Association Legislator of the Year. The OEA is a bipartisan organization dedicated to teacher and student advocacy in our public education system. Restoring the Teacher Pipeline Our teacher shortage crisis continues to deepen, and will get worse as teachers who have held off retiring begin to leave over the next 1-2 years. 17% of the teachers in our state are eligible to retire now, today. We must restore the teacher pipeline through our universities, who are experiencing a drop in enrollment. Studies across the nation clearly demonstrate that the best teachers for our children are those university trained professionals.

Access to Health Care The charge to ending surprise medical billing has begun, but there is still much work to do. Supporting Small Business Small businesses make America. Easy to understand tax laws, as well as support for funding entrepreneurs and start-up companies, are critical. Recovery from the pandemic has begun and is in full force, but we must continue to encourage and support Green Country start-ups big and small!

Education Funding Accountability for abuse of taxpayer dollars used for education was a focus for 2021 and 2022. I am proud to say I have been a part of holding private companies responsible for education dollars they have hidden and misused. We have put guardrails in so those companies will not take advantage of money that belongs to the taxpayer. We will need to remain vigilant in our pursuit to have those funds returned, and to ensure Adequate funding for supplies, textbooks, and technology is a critical need for all Oklahoma classrooms.

Last session the State Legislature made an excellent start in turning education funding around in our state. We must protect this budget in the coming year, and ensure that we spend those funds in the most efficient and effective way, and special interest must be shown the door.

Criminal Justice Reform Many defendants who have served their time in jail spend the next several years paying off fines and fees incurred while incarcerated. They often have to make tough choices between providing for their families or paying off these fees, which often lands them back in the system. We can do better. We should: Disclose to defendants the total amount of fines, costs and fees before they accept a plea deal. Determine the defendant’s ability to pay, and offer community service in lieu of fees if they are not able. Bail reform that is fair and feasible for defendants.

Social Equity Discrimination in any form is not acceptable. All voices matter and have merit. Opinions, lifestyles, and backgrounds may differ, but working together to find common ground unites us as one.

Quality of Living and Workplace Oklahomans have the right to earn a fair living wage that allows them to invest in a secure retirement while still putting food on their table each day and night.

School Choice School Choice is the right of every parent. With our tax dollars, we must demand transparency in spending as well as equal access for all in every public school setting, be it charter, virtual charter or brick and mortar. Parent choice is alive and well in our public schools, serving over 700,000 students and their families across the state. Every child deserves the same fair access in the setting that suits them best. (Read More)