My name is Maria Whitehorn, I am announcing my candidacy and asking for your vote to continue serving you on the Osage Nation Congress. The Osage Nation needs experienced and strong leaders, now more than ever. This has become more evident due to several recent events, such as the challenge to our gaming compact by the State of Oklahoma, the temporary suspension of our casino operations, and our fight for the health and safety of our people against the spread of COVID-19, and due to this, record low oil prices that affect our shareholders. These events impact all of us and as your legislator, they are my immediate concern. I am involved, informed, engaged and thankful for the experience I have gained by serving you since the Third Osage Congress. I am prepared to face this time.
I have spoken with many of you about the need to expand our revenue streams. I continue to keep the conversation alive with my colleagues and have sponsored legislation to move the Nation closer to that goal. I will continue to advance economic development and will always support control measures to be placed in Osage law to maintain a sustainable government. Additionally, I have authored legislation such as the Tobacco Tax Relief Fund that has earned revenue in the millions and has supported our Health Benefit Fund.
This current health and economic crisis has exposed many weaknesses on a local, state, national, and global level, but we are a strong people. We will move past this. I look forward to what is next for the Nation as we work through this hardship, and also, I look forward to be a part of the future growth of our Nation with your support.
I promise to work diligently to protect and preserve the Nation on all fronts, supporting our government operations, Osage education at all levels, the wellbeing of our elders, our healthcare system, culture and language initiatives, and direct benefits to the people. I serve each and every Osage, beyond politics, because I want all of our people to have a secure future financially and culturally.
Alongside my colleagues, the Executive Branch, and with your support we will preserve the Nation. Right now, we need a strong Nation, a Nation together. I have the knowledge and experience to lead, the courage to explore new paths, and I am respectfully asking for your vote to serve you and your family.