Just finished a House District 100 Forum. In case you missed it, here is the speech I shared.
Good morning. Thank you for coming. Thank you to our precinct officers and the OK Republican Party for hosting this event. A big thank you as well to Dr. Vineyard and Higher Plains Church for allowing us to meet here today.
My name is Marilyn Stark and I’ve never been a politician. I’ve spent my life helping others in nursing, ministry and non-profits. Two years ago, I heard Franklin Graham on the Capitol lawn say that if we do not get involved we will lose everything. That resonated with me. I started paying more attention, checking into school board and city council type opportunities. None were available.
This spring the apparent lack of communication and the inability to get things through both houses and signed by the Governor caught my attention. I became fully aware that business as usual was not working. My friends started asking why I didn’t run. I really didn’t want to run but I could not escape the call to throw my hat the ring. So on that Friday in April at about 11 a.m. I signed the paper; paid some money and became a first-time candidate. As you know, I’m running for State Representative House District 100 and I would love your support.
I believe our conservative principles really will produce solutions for our state, we will have to be creative in our approach. Seeking win-win solutions that are best for our state.
First, we have to pay our teachers a competitive wage. We are losing many of our best teachers to other states. That is not fair to our children and it is not good for our future. Also, we have to fund our schools. It is time to make education our priority and stop just paying lip service to it. Teachers impact our kids more than any other group of people. Many kids ‘make it’ because a teacher believed in them. I am surrounded by teachers in my family and among my closest friends. We have to fix this.
We have to get control of our state budget. We spend $20 billion each year and no one is accountable. Most of it is on autopilot. As a non-profit director we had to have wide open books. Grantors and donors wanted to know everything about the money; we had to have audits; we had to be accountable; we had to show outcomes and communicate all of the above. We have to have the same in government: transparency, audits, and accountability and communication.
Fiascos like the Health Department losing $30 million, the Veterans Department failing our vets, and the drivers’ licenses computer system crashing 3 times in a week have to stop. It is time for government to work, work efficiently and administrators to be held accountable.
I am pro-life and I will fight for the lives of the unborn. Every child has value. Every life matters.
After 16 years working as a Registered Nurse primarily in Intensive Care, the Lord, dropped me into a ministry called Love Link Ministries. I started as a volunteer and ended as the Executive Director. In 2017 we were in a great position and I felt it was time to let someone else take charge. Currently, I am the interim director of a different inner-city ministry and I am part of a team developing aging assistance for seniors.
In these ministry positions I have seen firsthand the destruction of addiction, the struggle of mental health issues, and people getting out of prison without much hope of survival. I saw seniors making choices between medicine; health care and food for themselves and many times their grandchildren. I saw the impact of dropping out of school. Many of these issues are tied together. They impact each other. These are the areas that we are the worst in and we have to do better.
I worked with the working poor; people trying to get ahead and not quite being able to make it work. Love Link operated a food pantry, thrift store and sober living houses for men to leave their lives of drugs and alcohol behind. I learned a lot about what’s available and what’s not for those in need. I want to empower our non-profits to do what they do so well – not handcuff them.
I managed budgets. I supervised a remodel; Brownfield clean-up and rezoning among other things. I worked with state and local agencies as well as other non-profits. I experienced firsthand government over-reach. I also experienced firsthand the tenacity and compassion of Oklahomans.
I understand that there are no simple answers but I believe I bring a fresh perspective to the table. I am truly conservative in my values but I believe there are many ways to get where we need to go. I am willing to work to see what can be done. A willingness to talk across the aisle, across the chamber, and neighborhood to neighborhood is imperative. Everything must be on the table. We have to work together. Together we can be better.
Oklahoma is filled with great people. We do so very well during a disaster. “The Oklahoma Standard”. I believe we can and must have that same standard in government. I am at least willing to try. Thank you again for taking time out of your schedule to come today. Thank you for being part of this process. I would greatly appreciate your vote and your financial support. I welcome the opportunity to work hard and represent you well as your next State Representative.
Contributions can be sent to Stark for House Rep 2018 PO Box 335 Bethany, OK 73008 or made directly online through this website. Donate now. Let's go win this thing!