Millennial Stepping Up for Norman

OROK Board Member Sam Fredrickson sat down for a conversation with Alex Scott, candidate for Norman City Council Ward 8.

What explains a young woman’s audacity to run for City Council in Oklahoma’s third largest city? Alex Scott’s answer is straight-forward. You begin from a desire to serve, and then walk-the-talk. You step up to fulfill the responsibilities you take on along the way. It looks like audacity to those observing from the sidelines, but along the way it just becomes who you are.

“I didn’t like what I was seeing in the state.” Scott explains, “I didn’t like what I was seeing at the national level, and I couldn’t do anything at the national level so I started canvasing for candidates locally for people I wanted elected.”

This spark has lead Scott from knocking doors, to being elected Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party in Congressional District 4, to now running as one of three candidates for Norman City Council Ward 8. Ward 8 covers much of northwest Norman. The election is February 13.

“As Vice-Chair… part of my job is to make sure that we have good candidates running for every single seat possible, that no seat goes uncontested. That’s another reason that I stepped up in the City Council race… there was no Democrat [running]… I felt that it is in my Ward and I want to step up anyway. So why not this be the time?”

For Scott, it seems the time is always now, but just a few short years ago as a student at OU, she didn’t envision this path. After earning her degree in Classical Studies in 2015, politics was not the direction she set out for herself. Alex’s aspirations were focused sharing her passion for ancient Roman culture and language, teaching Latin at the high school level. But after a year in the classroom and feeling the financial impact of an encounter with the American health care system after a car wreck, Alex realized that in this moment her calling lay elsewhere.

Like many millennials, 2016 kicked-off her political activism. In fall election season, she got involved with the effort to pass SQ 779 — the 1% sales tax to fund education — and then moved on to volunteer for local Democrats running in special elections. She counts recently elected State Representative Jacob Rosecrants as one of those friends and political allies she’s part of building a better Oklahoma with.

“Jacob is moving in down the street. I’m going to make him walk my dogs with me. He’s going to knock some doors for me… He’s got to run again this election cycle. I’ve got a big sign in my garage that’s going to go back up on my fence as soon as it’s time.”

So within less than two years Scott has put herself right in the thick of local politics in Central Oklahoma.

As a candidate for Norman City Council, Scott’s focus is on bringing a greater degree of communication and transparency to city business. The intention is to build greater integrity into the process and build a sense of community. She has made a pledge to hold a public forum once every two months to get feedback from those in the community and share what has been going on around the city and at City Hall. Scott also repeatedly comes back to the issue of Norman’s roads and bridges. She counts her husband Kalynn Scott, a Civil Engineer with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, as a valuable resource to her for educating herself on the issue and bringing attention to specific key upcoming projects such as plans to improve the I-35 Robinson Crossing intersections, the widening of 36th Avenue, and the replacement of the Indian Hills Interchange.

Finally, as a progressive she emphasizes the need to make sure that city politics serves the entire community, not just the interests of special interests and developers. Recent tax financed major real estate development has predominantly served to bring major national retailers to North Norman, and now it is being proposed that the same tax-base finance the building of a new basketball arena. Scott’s suggestion is that if tax-based real estate development is to be used, it should be done in a way that promotes economic growth is promoted in more than one area of Norman and more than just big business.

As Scott and her supporters hit the phones and knock doors over the next ten days, there is an understanding that the time is now but it also just the beginning. The spirit that has awoken in 2016, still reverberates forward into 2018.

Alex Scott has received a recommendation from Our Revolution Oklahoma. OROK encourages its members to support and assist its recommended candidates through donations and volunteer time. 

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