To my fellow Osages, my name is R.J. Walker and I am seeking re-election to the Osage Nation Congress. I was humbled when elected to serve as a congressman in 2012 after working as the Nation’s Roads Department Director since 2002. My wife and I live and raise our children in Pawhuska and I would appreciate your vote.
I was hired by the 31st Tribal Council and witnessed up close how a diverse group of men and women were able to come together to make this new government a reality; I still admire what they were able to accomplish. I know there were many great leaders before and we have elected many great leaders since and it is an honor to sit in the seats of my predecessors. I will always cherish my time as an employee and still carry that mindset when listening to new ideas or initiatives being proposed or explained to the Congress. Finding common ground and putting aside differences to achieve something is not that hard, and I promise if elected I will continue to work effectively and respectfully with my fellow members of Congress and the Chief’s office.
New and improving programs cost Osage dollars, and we will be challenged to keep expanding at the current rates of program growth. Nevertheless, our immersion program has resulted in a large number of small Osage children speaking our language. We have child advocates that monitor every local Osage student’s grades, and I hope that we can offer this service to all Osages someday. Last year’s budget cuts saw reductions in many areas, but allowed extra cash to go to new initiatives that help you and your family. I expect this trend to continue. While I didn’t agree with everything in the budget, I can tell you with certainty that compromise is the most productive option and avoids costly litigation.
We have had an unprecedented run of success and accomplished many great things because of our gaming revenue, and diversifying our revenue from non-gaming has proven to be difficult. But we can do better. We have many talented and experienced individuals serving on our boards, and they have been working hard planning new initiatives and opportunities to bring in additional revenue. There are a few that I am excited about, one in particular that would make state of the art broadband available for our local communities. I also look forward to supporting the newly formed Bluestem Ranch LLC.
Legislation that I have regularly sponsored and supported include infrastructure improvement, collaboration with our local governments, land buy-back, emergency services, self-governance, language and culture, employee rights and protection, child care, and taxing opportunities on Osage lands (including non-Osage businesses).
Serving you has been an honor and a privilege.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to hear more about where I stand on the issues.+
[Editor's Note: The Osage News does not edit candidate announcements.]