Connie Johnson
Office Sought: Senate District 48, Unexpired Term

1. Military Service: While I have not personally served in the US Armed Forces, my profound respect for those who have is deeply influenced by my family’s history of military service. My father and seven uncles proudly served our country. I have a great-nephew who served in the Oklahoma National Guard. This connection to the military is a constant source of inspiration for my advocacy for previously earned veterans’ benefits. I am a dues paying member of the ODP Veterans Committee .

2. Connections to Military and Veterans: My dedication to supporting veterans extends from personal family connections to professional advocacy. As a high school recipient of a scholarship from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), I was recognized early for my commitment to civic duty and patriotism. Professionally, I’ve pursued initiatives to support veterans, including collaborating on a rural Oklahoma Veterans Community Engagement Project in Langston, aimed at a one-stop shop for federal services and benefits. This work is part of my broader commitment to combating veteran suicide, a cause that led to my recognition as the Oklahoma Democratic Party Veterans Committee 2014 Legislator of the Year. Further, my efforts to establish Veterans Courts in Oklahoma and support  veteran programming highlight my continuous engagement in enhancing the lives of veterans and their families.

3. Important Issues Facing Veterans:Veterans and military families share many of the same concerns as other Oklahoma families, such as the need for affordable housing and quality education. However, they also face unique challenges, including the need for comprehensive behavioral health services to address PTSD and a troublingly high suicide rate among veterans. Oklahoma’s position as having the highest rate of veteran suicides is unacceptable, and addressing this crisis requires immediate and focused action to ensure veterans receive the support and care they deserve.

4. Support for Veterans if Elected: During my previous term, I advocated for the creation of Veterans Courts and will continue to push for their expansion across Oklahoma, recognizing their success in providing justice that accounts for veterans’ unique circumstances. Despite these efforts, much remains to be done, particularly in addressing the mental health crisis among veterans. Oklahoma’s alarming rate of veteran suicides underscores the urgent need for innovative treatments. I am committed to making the psilocybin research bill a priority, recognizing its potential to provide significant relief for veterans suffering from PTSD. This bill has garnered support in the House but has faced challenges in the Senate. By working to educate my colleagues and push for its passage, I aim to ensure that veterans have access to every possible resource for their healing and well-being. This effort, alongside continued advocacy for Veterans Courts and support for comprehensive veteran services, reflects my ongoing commitment to fighting for our veterans’ rights and health.

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