Oklahoma City, Oklahoma , United States
|| December 09, 1954
|Last Modifed||Rob Ritchie|
Sep 18, 2018 09:19am
|Info||Mary Fallin has been making history in Oklahoma since 1994 when she was elected the state's first woman and first Republican Lieutenant Governor. She was re-elected in 1998 by a margin of nearly three-to-one and, in 2002, voters returned her to office for a third term. Fallin has transformed the office of Lieutenant Governor from ribbon-cutter to one of substance. During the past eleven years, she has pursued an aggressive agenda focusing on economic development, education, health care and government reform. |
Since 1995, she has worked to promote economic growth and increase economic opportunities for Oklahomans. In the cabinet-level position of Small Business Advocate during the Keating administration, Fallin championed the cause of small business in Oklahoma and took on issues such as the rising cost of health insurance and alleviating excessive government regulation. Fallin continues to be a champion of issues of concern to this vital segment of Oklahoma's economy. She is a tireless advocate of rural economic development, traveling the state to encourage Oklahoma communities to pursue jobs and growth.
In 1997 Fallin took aim at Oklahoma's skyrocketing workers compensation cost, one of the state's biggest detriments to economic development. The "Fallin Commission on Workers' Compensation Reform" recommended sweeping legal changes to the workers' compensation system that were adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature.
Fallin has taken a special interest in advancing the issues of women business owners and lends her support and time to events and projects associated with the National Association of Women Business Owners and other organizations that strive to improve the status of women in the workplace.
Fighting for the future of Oklahoma's Children
The protection and future of Oklahoma's children is at the heart of many of the programs initiated by Lieutenant Governor Fallin during the past decade.
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, Fallin formed a task force to rebuild the childcare center lost in the disaster. The effort culminated in the summer of 1998 when the YMCA Heartland Child Care Center opened its doors. Fallin's concern over gun violence and gun safety prompted her to initiate Project Homesafe, a program which, to date, has distributed more than 80,000 free cable gun locks to Oklahomans.
In an effort to help Oklahoma parents better protect their children, Fallin launched a child safety initiative in September 2002. The initiative included distributing a total of 8,000 free child identification kits at the Oklahoma State Fair and Tulsa State Fair and provided all Oklahoma Wal-Mart stores and public libraries with posters promoting tips on how to prevent child abductions.
Fallin's commitment to education was behind creation of the "Reach for the Stars" banquet to benefit the Community Literacy Center. The Center raises funds for literacy efforts across the state.
In June of 2002, Lieutenant Governor Fallin joined the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and other women leaders in government to kickoff a national Club Drug Awareness Campaign aimed at fighting club drug use and educating parents and teenagers about the growing use and danger of club drugs such as Ecstasy.
As Lieutenant Governor, Mary Fallin served as the President of the Senate - a position she used in 2000 to bring the issue of Right to Work to a vote of the people for the first time in 25 years, and again in 2005 to push for a crucial vote on Workers' Compensation Reform.
Mary Fallin for Congress Lieutenant Governor Fallin also serves on 10 boards and commissions that impact the quality of life and business in Oklahoma, including the Tourism and Recreation Commission, State Board of Equalization, Oklahoma Land Commission, State Insurance Fund and the Film Office Advisory Commission.
Fallin has been a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Oklahoma City and the YWCA. She has also served on the Trail of Tears Advisory Board, Honorary Chair of the Organ Donor Network, Honorary Co-Chair of the Indian Territory Arts and Humanities Council, and as co-chair of the Festival of Hope, an event organized to promote mental health and wellness.
Mary Fallin is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She was raised in Tecumseh where public service was a family tradition. Her father, the late Joseph "Newton" Copeland, served as Mayor. Her mother the late Mary Jo Copeland served as the town's first woman mayor.
At 35, Mary Fallin was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where she served from 1990 to 1994 when she launched her first successful campaign for Lieutenant Governor. During that time, she authored legislation that became law in areas ranging from small business health insurance to victims' rights. She was recognized by the American Legislative Exchange Council as Legislator of the Year and by the National Federation of Independent Business as a Small Business Advocate.
Despite her many accomplishments in the public arena, the Lieutenant Governor's proudest role is that of mother to her daughter Christina and son Price. They are active members at Crossings Community Church.