The 2019 Town Hall was a Success!
It was truly an intellectually stimulating process. The 2019 Academy Town Hall in now complete and the discussions, information, and vision for Oklahoma's future produced by the process will surely impact the state and the citizens of this great state in a positive way for years to come.
When traveling around the state prior to this year's Town Hall, which focused on Oklahoma Energy: Optimizing Our Resources for the Future, one reoccurring comment was always brought up. "This is going to be a contentious one," is what many believed would be the result of the 2019 Town Hall, however, what happened was an affirmation that the Town Hall process works, and works well!
Approximately 100 folks from across Oklahoma participated in the Town Hall bringing with them knowledge from the public and private sectors. While many were very versed in their field of expertise, knowledge was gained by all on what the energy industries are facing and how to keep Oklahoma a leader in the future. The participants engaged in civil discourse that enhance understanding of how the energy industry is so important to livelihood of our state and how the inevitable change in technology, consumption, needs, and environment will affect our future.
Through the work and dedication of the Town Hall co-chairs, planning committee and team, the 2019 Town Hall was without question an impeccable representation of the mission and focus of The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals.
The Academy is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive forum where the art of listening, debating and collaborating are not only valued but also protected. The purpose of which is to provide citizens the opportunity to participate in a truly democratic process designed to shape the future of Oklahoma. As our founder Governor Henry Bellmon believed, to cultivate an informed, engaged citizenry, the people must first have an opportunity to study the issues and participate in the policy development process.
The Academy, through the Town Hall process, has maintained Bellmon’s vision in raising awareness, educating the citizenry on the issues, and shaping public policy in Oklahoma. And as the 2019 Town Hall demonstrated, the process works well!
In the upcoming months you as members will be receiving the findings and consensus recommendations of this Town Hall. The Academy will be holding a press conference to release these recommendations and the Background Resource Document as well as the Issues Brief containing the report will be delivered to the members of the Legislature, the Governor's office, and the heads of the agencies associated with this topic. As always, the Academy will continue to push the recommendations that come from the Town Hall until they are adopted or no longer relevant.
If you are an Academy member and have not taken the opportunity to participate in a Town Hall conference, please take advantage of this great process. Work has already begun on the 2020 Town Hall that will focus on mental health. We encourage you to take part in Town Hall process and become a more engaged and informed citizen of Oklahoma.
Lynn Thompson | Nov 4, 2019