The Osage News asked the Osage 2012 candidates why the Osage People should vote for them. This is the final question to all candidates before Election Day as a part of our Osage News Weekly Roundup series.
We allowed the candidates up to 300 words to answer. Their answers are published in the order they were received. Candidates are not required to participate in the series.
Olivia “Libbi” Gray
Ihave the best interest of the Osage people at heart. I want to see our Nation thrive and succeed while holding on to those traditions and that make us who we are.
I have been raised to serve my Osage people. I have been raised to believe that serving the Osage people is the highest honor that can be bestowed on any Osage. This is a responsibility that I take seriously and will work to earn from our people.
I know the Osage people, both on and off the reservation. Having been raised in Tulsa and then living on the reservation I understand the challenges Osages face both on and off the reservation. I will do my best to serve ALL of our people.
I possess a strong work ethic. I know it’s wrong to expect others to put forth more effort than I am willing to give. I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and give of myself to serve our people. I want to do it.
I communicate well. In both the spoken and written word I believe that communication is the key to success for our Nation and will work hard to improve that aspect of our government so that our people are informed.
I know how to learn from and listen to front line employees in writing needed legislation. I am not the kind of person that believes only my ideas are good ideas. I want to hear from the employees that serve our people every day to learn what is needed.
I have direct experience in tribal government working with several tribes throughout Indian Country.
I know Osage Nation departments and employees.
I understand federal grants and the planning process.
I holda Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Why should the Osage People vote for John Jech? I am running to make a difference in the way the Osage Government operates. I am a reasonable open-minded and fair person. I will stand up for what I believe is right and listen when I am unsure. I am a shareholder and I will work with all necessary parties to ensure the minerals trust is protected. I will work for increased accountability, transparency and communication within or government. We must find ways to reduce spending without reducing services to our members. We must work to diversify our revenue streams through better communication with the Executive Branch, Gaming Enterprise Board, Osage Nation LLC and any other individuals involved in our business development. I hope to work with 11 other individuals who have the knowledge, skills, leadership ability and ideas to move our Nation in the right direction. We all have many good ideas and things we would like to see changed, we must be able to work together to accomplish these goals. As I said at a recent shareholders meeting “I do not have all the answers” but I believe a team of 12 dedicated individuals working together can make a difference. I worked for the Nation for 16 years and during that time I gained a significant amount of experience in how our leaders, employees and programs operate and function. Our directors and employees are the backbone of this organization and we must draw on their knowledge and experience of their programs in order to provide the highest quality services while still operating within a balanced budget. We must work to get the most out of every dollar spent as well as establish and approve an effective investment strategy for the Nation. I Would appreciate your vote for JOHN JECH.
When you receive your ballot, take a minute to look at all 34 names. Choose people who have a LIFELONG history of making good decisions. Choose people with integrity and common sense. Choose people who have a natural ability to get along with others. Choose people who aren't looking for attention or personal gain. Choose people who understand the value of providing opportunities to our children and caring for our elders. If we elect 6 people with these qualities, we can be assured that our young Government will continue to move in a positive direction and be prosperous in the future for all Osages. I am that man. Vote "Hank".
Joseph Roger Lynn
Vote for me if you want things to change.
If you want someone to defend the status qou please vote for someone else.
Joseph (Jody) Roger Lynn Jr.
The Osage People should vote for me because I have qualities and experience that will make me a good Congresswoman. I am honest, hardworking, open minded and a good listener. I will research and explore the impact of legislation, financial and practical application, prior to introducing legislation.
I have 38 years of experience working with various types of government bodies. I have the ability to form strong working relationships with leaders and government representatives. I have learned to work with people who have different opinions and worldviews and bring a project to a successful conclusion.
I will make a concerted effort to stay in touch with the Osage people through email, town hall meetings between sessions, newsletters, and travel to locations in Oklahoma and the United States where Osages gather for meetings.
I have a strong desire to serve the Osage people and to make a difference. I would like to see the Osage Nation rise to the top as an example of a successful three branch form of government and business entity. I believe that partnerships with communities and other entities in Osage County can produce win/win outcomes that will improve the quality of life for all.
I believe strategic planning is the tool to bring all branches of government to the table to set priorities for the budget cap of $40 million for the next 5 years. Strategic planning will improve communication and provide a clear direction for the Osage Nation.
I participated in the Osage language program for 6 ½ years. I believe the revival of the language is critical as part of the Osage culture. I dance annually at the In-lon-skha and attend many other cultural events throughout the year.
I will give my best effort, 110%, as an Osage Congresswoman!
It’s critical that the Osage People VOTE FOR MILLER due to my ability, desire and courage to end the deceit, confusion and corruption on the “hill.”
I know that the 1906 Act is still prevailing law for the Osage people. I know that current leaders suggesting that the Osage Nation can tax the Mineral Estate based on Kerr McGee v. Navaho Nation is wrong. The Navaho Nation is not included in the Osage Allotment Act of 1906 therefore the Mineral assets of the Navaho Nation can be taxed. I know that the Osage Tribe of Indians was not included in the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 because the United States Congress at the request of the Original Allottees “organized” the Osage Tribe of Indians in 1906, making the Osage Tribe unique from all other tribes across the country.
Not only do I know this but the higher courts know this therefore due to the illegal actions taken by our leaders, Washington Lobbyist, Attorneys and the BIA; our assets including the Mineral Estate, Casinos, Tribal Sovereignty and our opportunity to self govern is being placed in jeopardy.
I know that if we don’t quit sweeping the dirt under the carpet, ignoring and defying the law and failing to put the legal cards on the table and facing them head on, our actions are going to come back to bite us and bite us hard.
If we don’t elect people with this knowledge who are willing to face reality, the laws and the facts, and who are willing to work hard to convey the truth to the leaders and the people, with the goal of improving the lives of ALL Osages, the deceit, confusion, corruption and breakdown in communication will remain.
“Where is there dignity unless there is Honesty?”~ Cicero
The Osage people should vote for me because; I will always put their needs first. The criteria that I will use to make any decision on legislation, or appropriations will be; “how does this help the Osage people?” If the legislation or appropriation will benefit the Osage people, I will vote yes. If the legislation or appropriation does not benefit the Osage people, or worse would harm them, I would vote no. In Congress, I will be the eyes and ears of the Osage people and I will work hard every day to improve their lives and secure a better future for their children.
I believe the Osage People should vote for me because I have relevant experience in the development and application of tribal legislation and regulations, both as an administrator over federal programs and human resources in a for-profit business in addition to practicing as a tribal attorney. This experience includes criminal law, employments, deprived children, taxation, citizenship, freedom of information, several environmental areas, and court procedures. I have worked on legal issues for tribes involving state compacts, federal agreements, sovereignty issues, and even disputes between tribes.
My experience as an administrator has provided me with an understanding of budgets and planning as well as how laws affect daily operations of programs and businesses. Besides my experience, I’m a hard worker. I try to look for solutions to problems rather than just saying, “This is a problem.”
We have many great programs, and we need to ensure these continue and that we fill in the gaps to help our People be independent and self-sufficient. I cannot promise you that if elected that I can fix everything that People see as wrong with our Nation; I would be only one member of the Congressional body. And I’m not willing to make promises that I’m not sure I can keep. What I can promise you is that if elected, I would have regular community meetings and be accessible to you and listen to your concerns and try to bring forth solutions to address those concerns. When our Constitution first came into effect, we had many community meetings and developed a strategic plan. We need to pull that plan off the shelf, gather our communities again to determine where we are today, and update that plan with new strategies, goals and objectives so that we can continue to move forward and grow as a Nation.
It is my belief that the Osage people are ready for a change. We have to remember the incumbents have been in office for 6 years and that is longer than other Congress people. Have they accomplished enough or not enough? Osage People that I have talked to say they have had their time. We need change.
I have a Bachelor’s degree and have used my formal education to better myself and my family. Does a college degree make a person smarter than the next person? Perhaps yes, perhaps no, but it represents the determination and grit to finish what you have started.
Along with a strong work ethic I also offer an ability to think outside the box. I am also a trained negotiator and that is a needed skill when working in Congress. I am involved in my culture at work and during our ceremonial dances. Each has a time and place in our world view for the Osage Nation.
Part of my job as the Athletic Director at Conner’s Correctional Center with an offender population over 1,200; is to manage the budget for my department. I am the Assistant Public Information Officer and this requires me to speak to the media. With my education degree I also set up, design, and facilitate training for the correctional center employees. The training involves CPR/AED, 504/civil rights accommodations, human resource regulations such as interviewing skills, sexual harassment, self- defense, mentoring, cultural diversity and experience with employee’s right’s board.
The State of Oklahoma runs a strict budgeting process. All departments are audited twice a year. We face a property audit as well as a separate budget audit. The department that I have supervised for the past 30 years has never failed an audit.
I respectfully ask for your vote. Thank you.
The Osage People should vote for me because I have a clear understanding of where we have been and where we are headed. I have demonstrated I can get things accomplished in our government, our communities, and I have shown my ability to work effectively with elected officials and fellow employees. I will always have a high level of respect for our employees, and that will be shown in the way I interact with them.
While serving as Director of the Osage Nation Roads Department, I have seen the power of self-determination. Not long ago, federal employees at the BIA offices in Muskogee were administering a significant portion of the Nation’s Roads Department, that job is now done by Osages. In the process we have seen an increase from $2M/yr to $5M/yr in federal funding to create safer roads, more local jobs, and we have enjoyed clean audits.
Despite having a great job with the Osage Nation, I believe I can do more working in Congress. I will work to improve our education program to focus more resources on K-12 so that kids are well prepared for college, or their choice of higher education. This means giving them meaningful opportunities in the arts and sciences that allow them to explore their strengths. I also want to apply my experience to help turn around our declining infrastructure, a problem which many Osages are having to share the tax burden.
I will work with a clear respect for the boundaries of Congress outlined in our Constitution. I am running to be a legislator; not an administrator and not a councilman of the Minerals Estate. As such, I will take the oath of upholding the Constitution and the limits and powers it affords to the Congress very seriously.
A representative of the Osage people who you can be proud of. a
concise decision maker, an informed person who bases decisions on
whats good for the people, not on personal prefrences. would like your
vote for the Osage people because a vote for me is a vote for
yourself. you should be represented
Opinion By: Roscoe Mays
It’s timefor our Osage leaders to agree, compromise “work it out” and do what is necessary to reap the benefits for all Osages. I strongly believe and stand on the basic foundation that all Osages should be able to tap our tribal revenues and not just assistance for those who qualify for “Federally regulated programs. It’s time to be mindful of those working households who are out doing their best for their family, children and elders. Luckily, we are not a poverty stricken tribe andit’s time to grant assistance to those with fixed incomes, the retirees and those who are trying to make the ends meet, regardless of where they reside. I am in favor of applying for all available grants from the Federal government, but many of those grants contain criteria that disqualify our families. It’s time to create and invest in our people, our future and address our immediate needs.
It’s not hard toremember the people, if you work for them. It’s not hard toremember their needs, you have to listen and keep them first. When legislators are looking for something to sponsor, in order to tag their names, they should always remember the people. It’s time to talk, visit and meet with the Osages. If they don’t feel comfortable meeting face-to-face, encourage correspondence, email, and call or write letters.
It’s timefor a change, a time to elect a candidate who genuinely cares for our government, one who brings experience that can be trusted and finally, one who will communicate with the Osage people. I encourage you to vote in this election. If you want a representative in our government to watch over and protect your interest, hear and voice your concerns,it’s time to remember and vote Linda LaZelle on June 4th.