Oklahoma City, OK- Recently, State Representative Ajay Pittman, HD99-OKC was selected to represent Oklahoma at the White House meeting titled “Communities in Action: Building a Better Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri,” which highlighted the importance of federal investments to Oklahoma and emphasized the significance of bipartisan collaboration in addressing community challenges.


The meeting, held in Washington D.C., brought together elected officials and community leaders from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri to discuss the positive impact of federal investments in their respective communities. Representative Ajay Pittman, the only representative from Oklahoma underscored the importance of acknowledging the investments in our state and the critical role they play in addressing local challenges. 


Reflecting on the significance of the event, Pittman stated, ” It was imperative for me to be there to represent our state’s interests. These investments are vital to Oklahoma, and we must acknowledge their impact, especially in minority communities. In northeast Oklahoma City specifically, we have seen investments in electric vehicle charging stations centrally located on N. Lincoln Blvd., and NE 36th Street, investments in childcare facilities to combat the childcare deserts in our community such as the Love, Grow, Live Child Development Center that recently opened in NW OKC, and the dollars sent to the Department of Transportation that has allowed us to update the I-235/Broadway Extension and I-35 corridor between NE10th & NE 23rd street that is coming soon.”


The meeting provided an opportunity for local leaders to discuss real-life examples and personal stories of local impact, showcasing how federal investments are being leveraged to create more private investment, rebuild infrastructure, and support Oklahoma families.


Among the infrastructure investments directly benefiting Oklahoma highlighted at the meeting were:


– A $1.6 million grant was awarded to the North Peoria Church of Christ to study the partial removal of I-244, addressing historical community division.

– Over $12 million in grants awarded to the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma to improve internet accessibility.

– $28 million allocated to continue critical maintenance work on locks and dams along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

– $6.7 million awarded to Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) and EMBARK to improve public transit services in Oklahoma City.


Rep. Pittman emphasized the bipartisan nature of the discussions, stating, “The exchange of ideas and support among diverse representatives from both sides of the aisle was invaluable. Better relationships create better opportunities to help our communities that need help the most.”


In addition to infrastructure investments, federal emergency relief funds have supported Oklahoma businesses during the pandemic, assisting with childcare programs, small businesses, and initiatives to reduce healthcare costs.

During the White House briefing, former Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Senior Adviser to the President,  highlighted the establishment of the White House Office of Gun Violence and the allocation of $137 billion to combat student debt.  Brenda Molery, 12th Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), discussed environmental justice initiatives and climate-related solutions, including a $8.9 billion investment across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Senior advisor Tom Perez shared information about the significant infrastructure investments in Oklahoma, including $3 billion in infrastructure improvements. He also highlighted the positive impact of the cap on prescription drugs, which will benefit 687,000 individuals in Oklahoma.

Greg Jackson, and Rob Wilcox, Co-Directors of the White House Office of Gun Prevention discussed the implementation of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes the investment of $15 billion in prevention and $1 billion each for the allocation of counselors in schools and for fostering connections between schools and parents. They also shared the new emergency response plan that they have for victims of gun violence.

James Sperline, the Coordinator of the American Rescue Plan, discussed the urgent implementation of the $1.9 trillion plan, with $350 billion allocated to state and local governments. He noted the positive impact this has had on job growth and the labor market, particularly within black and Hispanic communities.

 “What an honor to focus on long-term solutions for the challenges facing all Oklahomans,” said Pittman, as she reflected on the meeting. “We celebrated the unprecedented investments made through the American Rescue Plan Act, and discussed persisting needs in areas like child care and health care.”


The White House meeting also emphasized the importance of bipartisan cooperation in addressing community challenges and highlighted the positive impact of federal investments in the state of Oklahoma. Some of the Oklahoma community organizations in attendance included the ACLU, Hunger Free Oklahoma, Let’s Fix this and several others from throughout the state.


For more information, please contact Representative Ajay Pittman at 405-557-7393 or Ajay.Pittman@okhouse.gov  



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