By Joe Tillman
I am both humbled and honored to announce my candidacy for Osage Nation Congress. Serving in this role warrants full-time attention; I will give it the attention it deserves.
My parents are Chief Charles O. Tillman, Jr. and the late Cordelia Mahan Tillman. My wife is Cindy Tillman, and my daughter is Cordelia Lynn Tillman.
I am from the Grayhorse district and serve on the Grayhorse Committee.
Regarding education, I want to see all Osages reach their highest potential. Whatever their chosen career path, educating Osages must be a priority. Personally, I hold a Master of Arts degree in Communication, with an emphasis in Organizational Communications from Oklahoma State University.
For 12 years, I worked with CPA firms in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, helping small business clients with revenues of 50 million dollars or less manage their internal controls: bookkeeping, balance sheets, tax planning, retirement planning, and payroll.
I support our people and policies that strengthen the culture, education, and economy of our people.
I support senior housing for our Osage elders and the expansion of programs that help our disabled constituents.
While serving as Division Leader for Education and Culture with the Osage Nation, I saw the need for better childcare and the benefit of providing services to elders; therefore, I participated in planning a family center in Fairfax to serve both children and elders. This family center is now a reality.
My grandmother, Josephine Goode Tillman, a full-blood Osage, had a profound influence on my life, deeply rooting me in our Osage traditions. To honor my grandmother, I support legislation to improve and protect the lives of Osage women. When we improve the lives of Osage women, we strengthen Osage families.
I support language preservation. In Washington, D.C., the late Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii, emphasized to tribal leaders: “Don’t lose your language and don’t lose your culture.” I’ll never forget that.
As Division Leader, I worked with Program Directors, federal funding agencies, the Treasury Department, Osage Congress and Executive Branch to ensure programs achieved their goals within budget.
Gaming has provided the largest percentage of Osage revenues since 2006. I support the continued growth of our North Tulsa casino, but also believe we need to broaden our business base. Other tribes invest in a variety of businesses: car dealerships, radio/TV stations, lodging and banks. We should consider these types of opportunities and tap into the expertise of Osages in these fields.
I support the happiness of the employee at the Osage Nation. Happy employees are productive workers.
I support tribal land acquisition. The Osage Nation recently purchased 43,000 acres. All constituents should have a voice in what we do with that land.
I believe in collaborating with state and local government to promote economic growth, teacher recruitment, emergency management and law enforcement.
In an effort to give back to the Osage youth in my community, I have coached youth football for the past ten years.
If you agree with my platform, I ask for your vote on June 6.
[Editor's Note: The Osage News does not edit candidate announcements.]