42 minutes | May 7th 2018

Senator Ikley-Freeman - From Homeless to Oklahoma's Youngest Legislator

Senator Alison Ikley-Freeman is Oklahoma’s youngest state senator. She won a special election in 2018 as a Democrat in a conservative district that President Trump won by 40 points in 2016, and was represented by a Republican for over 20 years. NBC chose this headline when Senator Alison Ikley-Freeman won: “Lesbian Democrat pulls off election victory in conservative Oklahoma”. While perhaps going for some shock value, the headline represents just how much of an underdog Senator Ikley-Freeman was in a red district. From experiencing homelessness with a daughter before entering politics, to only putting her name on the ballot as a placeholder, listen to Senator Ikley-Freeman’s episode for an inspiring story about overcoming great odds.   2:10 - How has the mood been since the Oklahoma’s teacher’s strike ended? 3:20 - What’s the been the most personal story that has hit you the most? 5:10 - Can you talk about being homeless? 7:15 - What was your initial interest in politics? 8:40 - Were there no precinct chairs because the Republican Party has more power? 9:10 - How did the special election pop up? 14:50 - What is the salary of a state senator in Oklahoma? 20:10 - Where was the Blue Wave money during your election? 20:40 - What was the darkest time of the campaign for you? 23:10 - Did having an alternative lifestyle in a conservative district come up at all? 24:05 - What was the biggest lesson you learned? 25:00 - Talk to me about election night. 28:00 - Is there a spirit of bipartisanship in Oklahoma? 29:40 - Is there a lesson for the country in how Oklahoma does politics? 30:40 - What has been the biggest surprise for you since you’ve been in office? 31:50 - Has Oklahoma made any progress in dealing with the opioid epidemic? 33:05 - What steps would you take to deal with the opioid epidemic? 34:40 - We discuss ramifications of saying “I don’t know” to a question. 36:00 - What would you say to someone about why someone with an unconventional background should run for office? 37:10 - What do you think we can do as a country to unify again? 40:00 - Am I hearing you say focus on local issues as opposed to national issues?
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