Category Archives: Oklahoma

Civic Hacking, Tulsa-Style

Episode 53 – Luke Crouch and Carlos Moreno are involved on their own unpaid time developing new tech tools to help all of the people of Tulsa connect to Tulsa city services and government. They are leaders in Code for Tulsa, an affiliate of Code for America, which promotes civic work by web and mobile code developers joining with civic activists.

Jesse and Amanda Harlin at Thunder Plains 4!

Episode 52 – These two interviews were conducted during day 2 of the Thunder Plains code developer conference that is in its fourth year. Jesse and Amanda Harlin have provided core leadership of the conference and its sponsoring organization Techlahoma Foundation from the beginning. I talk with Jesse and Amanda about how Thunder Plains has developed over four years and then talk with Aaron Endsley, a developer new to the work who became seriously interested when he attended his first Thunder Plains conference.

Cyndi Munson – Back into the neighborhoods of HD85

img_4607-square-smallEpisode 49 – We visit with Cyndi once again almost a year later than her appearance on Intersections the first time. Then, she was only the second guest we had and she had completed a successful campaign to win the seat for Oklahoma House District 85 after the unfortunate death of long-time legislator David Dank. Because that was mid-term, she has been campaigning for that seat once more, this time in the regular two-year cycle. We explore the main questions around what happens to the dynamic between legislator and consituency when the legislator has been on that many doorsteps that many times in a few years.

Ziva Branstetter – Editor, investigative reporter, muckraker

head-sq-smallEpisode 48 – In April, Ziva and reporting partner Cary Aspinwall were named finalists for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting for their coverage in the Tulsa World of Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett. The same day they heard that news, they joined with Dylan Goforth and Kevin Canfield to begin working on The Frontier, an online news startup in Tulsa. Ziva is the Editor in Chief and is a staff writer.

Dallas Koehn – Public school teacher – lightning rod

dallas-koehn-1-sq-smallEpisode 41 – Dallas has been willing to engage in the regular push and pull of social media squabbles over education politics in Oklahoma. His blog “Blue Cereal Education” has often made the thick-skinned teacher a lightning rod of criticism. But the intensity of criticism of bloggers like him increased when a group of teachers and a few parents have pushed particular candidates for public office, offending some who think that teachers should stay in the political background.

Yousef Kazemi – First-time filmmaker – “Yes, we’re open”

Y. Kazemi - squareEpisode 31

Bonus episode from the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City
“Yes, we are open” is the title of the short film that was on the Okie Shorts program at this year’s deadCENTER Film Festival. This is Yousef’s first film, so his reaction to the Q&A and the comments film-goers made afterward are touching.

Kristofer McNeeley – Executive producer and writer – “Great Plains”

K McNeeley - squareEpisode 30

Bonus episode from the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City
In the film Great Plains, an abused mother and son go on the run to escape her current husband’s abuse. There is a particular power in this drama which also includes humor. It’s because the idea for the movie has its seeds in Kristofer’s own childhood. Recorded during deadCENTER, I visit with him about the dynamic of making an entertaining movie that was so close to his own experience.

Julia Kirt – Advocate for the Arts

Julia Kirt - squareEpisode 24

Sometimes the decisions we make just don’t seem that important at the time, but then later we realize that they were. That was the case with Julia Kirt’s “temporary” stay in Oklahoma that placed her in a key position to develop support for the arts at a critical time of state budget failures.

Mickey Dollens – Teacher Turned Candidate

IMG_4454 - sqEpisode 21

Even before he found out that his job had been cut for next year, OkC Public Schools high school teacher Mickey Dollens had started knocking doors in House District 93 to run for that seat. Now, he is even more motivated to get into Oklahoma’s highly-dysfunctional legislature to make a difference.

Bob Blackburn – Oklahoma’s Historian

Blackburn - IMG_4440 - sqEpisode 20

Who keeps track of Oklahoma’s history? It’s Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of one of the three oldest state agencies in Oklahoma government. The Oklahoma Historical Society presides over a full range of programs and runs the Oklahoma History Center, a hub of activity and one of the architectural jewels of the Capitol grounds.

Richard McKown – Artist

Episode 10McKown, art

Richard McKown is known for his involvement in prominent housing, and now office development, projects around the Oklahoma City Metro area.

But less known are his talents as an artist. Continue reading Richard McKown – Artist

Veronica Laizure – Civil Rights Attorney

Veronica Laizure Photo by Sarah Hussain, courtesy of Red Dirt ReportEpisode 7

Veronica Laizure is a busy person these days.

With the recent inflammatory Republican presidential candidate remarks flying, Veronica finds herself battling Islamophobia and hate speech on a daily basis.

She is an attorney, and the Civil Rights Director for CAIR-OK, or, the Council on American Islamic Relations, Oklahoma Chapter. Continue reading Veronica Laizure – Civil Rights Attorney

Ryan Kiesel – Champion of Liberty, Lightning Rod

Ryan KieselEpisode 6

Ryan Kiesel ran for, and won a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2004 while he was still in law school. His life hasn’t slowed down since.

He completed law school, and went on to serve three terms in the Oklahoma Legislature.

He is now the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union – Oklahoma, an organization that is well-known in Oklahoma for championing causes that put the organization and Ryan, its public face, at odds with the prevailing conservative culture of Oklahoma. Continue reading Ryan Kiesel – Champion of Liberty, Lightning Rod

Joe Dorman – Public Servant to Oklahoma

Joe DormanEpisode 5

Joe Dorman is best known as the candidate for governor in 2014 challenging the incumbent, Governor Mary Fallin.

Although many counted out his run as foolhardy against a Republican sitting governor in the reddest of states, he ran neck and neck in polling in the summer leading up to the election and made a strong showing in the election results. Continue reading Joe Dorman – Public Servant to Oklahoma

Angela Clark Little – Education Activist

Angela Clark LittleEpisode 4

Angela Clark Little is an unlikely, but high-profile education activist in Oklahoma.

She has started numerous Facebook groups for that cause. One of them, Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education, has over 5,100 members now and is growing daily. Continue reading Angela Clark Little – Education Activist