Newly Elected Karen Gaddis Expresses Her Plans As State Representative
TULSA, Oklahoma - Democrat Karen Gaddis' victory to become State Representative of District 75 shocked many in Tulsa and even drew attention across the country.
Less than 24-hours later, she says she feels the pressure but believes she has the know-how and solutions to make a difference.
Karen Gaddis is a long-time educator and while she's excited to help lead the state, she says she feels a little daunted.
"I never pictured myself in politics, I was a professional educator," said Gaddis.
Karen Gaddis retired from education after 40-years of working in Tulsa, ready for retired life.
She's angry with the state for not funding public safety, healthcare, and education.
"People don't want ripples in the pond, they want drastic changes, and they want them now," Gaddis says.
She was a math teacher, a counselor and in the teacher's union. She was a three-time teacher of the year finalist, got a commendation from a president and was even awarded for being a family that leads.
"I am going to be an agent of change. And I will be a new voice, and they will hear my voice."
She wants to raise teacher's pay.
"One-thousand-dollar raise is not acceptable, it's practically a slap in the face."
Address the budget before the final week.
"We need to look at the budget earlier in the session."
Gaddis also wants to raise income tax on high wage earners to 5.25 percent.
Gaddis can be sworn in any time after Tuesday. She says she wants to be the most transparent elected leader in the state, but to do that, she needs to participate.
Current TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said of Gaddis, "Ms. Gaddis was one of my favorite teachers, so I'm excited that she'll be able to continue serving Tulsa students and families from the Capitol! We look forward to working with her and all of our state leaders to develop a long-term plan to restore funding to our public education system and further invest in the future of our state."