First Gentleman Wade Christensen Honored

Oklahoma’s First Gentleman, Wade Christensen, has been chosen to serve as an Honorary Chairperson for The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration “SAMHSA”. Mr. Christensen will be among those being honored at this year’s SAMHSA National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Mr. Christensen is being recognized for his commitment to supporting children’s mental health and trauma informed care principles and his dedication to improving the lives of America’s children.

You may watch the SAMHSA virtual town hall meeting by clicking this live stream event at http://fda.yorkcast.com/webcast/Play/8d88a30bfe3a4da19bf0f8aa2583e30d1d

Or clicking on the following link to connect to the webcast: http://fda.yorkcast.com/webcast/Play/cf802fb03be64020bbb35e0bde6e84b21d

 

You may also click on the following link to learn more about the SAMHSA and the services they provide: https://www.samhsa.gov/children/awareness-day/2018

Wade Christensen: State and nation need to return to old values in politics – published by Tulsa World

By Wade Christensen

I spent a good portion of my life on a farm and ranch working on a full-time basis. Today, my family and I are continuing what our ancestors started four generations ago with my younger brother still living on the farm and managing the day-to-day operations.

When I was growing up, we admired people for being honest, trustworthy, hardworking, optimistic and generous. These were character traits of individuals with whom we lived, worked and went to church. They didn’t receive any special recognition, and you did not read about their accomplishments in newspapers. They were just good, solid citizens who worked hard and lived quite lives.

In today’s world, we have become so calloused that we don’t give a second thought to news reports of a corporate leader cheating his stockholders or a politician being accused of corruption or lying. What has happened to our sense of morality? Do we not expect good from people anymore?

We hear people complaining about elected officials not doing their jobs. As a person who has always been self-reliant, there is no reason why we should continue to sit back and wait on the government or anyone else to solve the problems we face. We need to rally behind what we, as a nation, stand for, which is kindness, respect for others, courage, self-reliance, optimism and character. These alone, will take care of many of our problems.

We have a system of government that is by all historical accounts, the best in the world. Even though our form of democracy is admired throughout the world, many national and state politicians have become bound by party politics and/or are indebted to special interest groups. Because of these party or financial conflicts, these individuals have forgotten who elected them and our nation’s founding principals. Divisiveness is the norm.

Where have all the statesmen and stateswomen gone? I have seen too many good people attacked, and we, as a state, have many good elected officials.

While some are still in office, others have been forced out and many still have to fight against the big money special interest groups. We need more men and women who have the fortitude to stand up to campaign contributors when the stakes are high, whether it be at the state level or the national level. We need independent, creative thinkers who are not afraid to step outside the political box and assert their values and principles above party politics.

We don’t need elected officials who simply say what we want to hear, and then fail to follow through on promises. We need officials who don’t have ethics of convenience but instead set high examples for adults and the next generations to follow.

Families, children and marriages are also not immune from the many temptations of the new and modern world. Nowadays, families are too busy to sit down and eat together, and consequently, they miss out on the opportunity to communicate and share family values.

Technology has adversely affected many children and adults, with the constant barrage of violence in movies, video games and television. Technology has advanced to such an extent that children, parents and spouses no longer verbally communicate, but instead text or email each other. This has opened up an entirely new opportunity for spouses to be unfaithful, easy access to pornography and even scarier is the opportunity for children to become victims from internet predators. The more time family members spend social networking or texting, the less time they have to connect as a family.

I believe that we need more people with a strong work ethic to serve as our leaders. Individuals who are authentic, humble, know the value of a full day’s work and the importance of accomplishing goals, even if it involves compromise and negotiation. People who work with the soil, not just farmers, live by an honor. They stand for something, not just simple words that are easily spoken and often meaningless, but live by their actions.

It is these characteristics, honesty, courage, hard work and trust that are cherished and form the family values that make America the great country that we love. If we can regain and maintain these family values, the next generation of leaders will take our state and nation to a new level. If we lose our soul, what do we have to pass on to future generations?

Capitol Restoration: First look at the new ground floor – published by NewsOK

by Dale Denwalt

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin welcomed Capitol staff and visitors Wednesday to a newly reopened corridor on the ground floor of the 100-year-old building.

The area, formerly known as the Capitol basement, has been closed while workers gutted and replaced the entire structure.

“(Guests) will now be able to walk through a beautiful space that is deserving of our state government,” Fallin said. “It has brand new marble, columns, beautiful new ceiling, beautiful new paint, back to the original colors of the Capitol.”

The corridor is on the west side of the building and is used mostly by lawmakers, staff, lobbyists and media. The entrance includes an adjacent loading dock for deliveries. When renovations are complete, most visitors will enter on the ground floor from the south near where the public entrance is now.

Capitol Restoration Project Manager Trait Thompson said phase one of the interior restoration, along with the exterior, is on time and on budget.

“This was some of the most difficult space, so if we were going to find a big problem with the budget in terms of an unexpected condition, it probably would have manifested itself here,” Thompson said. “Not to say that won’t happen somewhere else, but we’re pretty relieved that we’ve got some of the big stuff out of the way.”

Work on the outside of the building is scheduled to finish in 2019, and interior construction will continue until 2022. The budget for restoration is set at $245 million, and the project has already cost $63 million.

 

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Wade Christensen: Farming values would serve state, nation well – published by The Oklahoman

By Wade Christensen

I spent a good portion of my life on a farm and ranch working full time. Even today, my family and I are continuing what our ancestors started four generations ago. Some may wonder what relevance a farm and agribusiness background has with a person who lives and works in the city running his own business while attempting to keep up with current events around the state and nation.

When I was young, we admired people for being honest, trustworthy, hardworking, optimistic and generous. These were character traits of individuals we lived with, worked with and went to church with. They weren’t given any special recognition or mentioned in the news. They were just decent citizens who worked hard and lived quietly. In today’s world, we have become so calloused and don’t think twice about news reports of a corporate leader cheating his stockholders or a politician being accused of corruption or lying. What has happened to our sense of morality? Do we not expect good from people anymore?

Rather than being complacent, we need to rally behind what we, as a nation, stand for: kindness, respect, courage, self-reliance. These coincide with farming values such as hard work, love, cultivation, growth, nourishment and group efforts. These alone will take care of many of our current problems. America’s system of government is undeniably the best in the world. While being admired, many U.S. and state politicians have become bound by party politics and/or are indebted to special-interest groups. Because of these party or financial conflicts, these individuals have forgotten who elected them and our founding principles.

Divisiveness should be the exception; the irony that being politically correct at all times leads to more disagreement cannot escape us. While we have many good elected officials, we need more men and women with the fortitude to stand up to campaign contributors and cross party lines, at all levels. We need independent and creative thinkers who aren’t afraid to assert their values and principles above party politics. Many say what we want to hear in campaign promises, but fail to act when the responsibility is bestowed upon them. We need officials who don’t have ethics of convenience but instead are virtuous and set high examples for adults and the generations to follow.

Families, children and marriages also aren’t immune from the many temptations of the modern world. Families are too busy to eat together and consequently, they miss out on the opportunity to communicate and share family values. Technology has advanced to such an extent that children, parents and spouses no longer verbally communicate, but instead text or email each other leading to unauthentic relationships with children and weakened bonds between spouses.

We should encourage those with strong values and work ethics to enter office — individuals who are authentic, humble, know the value of a full day’s work and the importance of accomplishing goals, even if that involves compromise and negotiation, not just winning. Each of us wants to believe in something.

Farming principles are very related in politics and city life. If we can regain and maintain these simple family values, the next generation of leaders will take our state and nation to an entirely new level.