My main reasons for announcing as a candidate for Osage Congress are:
1.) Many Osages, wherever they live, feel l that their views are not asked for or regarded if offered. Some Osage Elected Officials even show active disrespect for citizens’ opinions. In 2007, our business, Paradox Consulting, surveyed almost 2000 Osages to determine their priorities for a Strategic Planning project. 72% wanted to be welcomed to participate in their Government. However, many do not feel welcome to participate in their own government! I believe Osage people should be invited to participate in deciding major new legislative initiatives, especially those where large sums of money are at stake.
2.) Our Osage homeland is at risk. Osage health, well-being and quality of life here on the Reservation are in jeopardy.
Our 2010 survey of almost 7000 Osages showed that Osages living on the reservation are significantly less healthy than Osages living elsewhere. Osages living here are nearly 3 times more likely to have diabetes, 2 times more likely to have diagnosed heart disease, 1.5 times more likely to have been treated for depression, and their children are 2 times more likely to have been diagnosed with asthma. 35% of Osages living on the Reservation suffer from obesity compared to 25% living elsewhere. Many here live in communities where fresh healthy foods are not available. Osages living on the Reservation are 2 times more likely to be living in poverty than Osages elsewhere. Some of our elected officials believe that the return on investment in dollars and cents for a grocery store that helps people is not sufficient. They apparently believe that healthy children and elders are not a good enough return on investment. Unfortunately, the return on investment for the Osage LLC investments in out of state enterprises now have racked up losses in the millions of dollars! Clearly, we would be better off investing in our own Osage people.
I believe our current condition is unacceptable. This is all Osages’ homeland, and I believe that its’ preservation and revitalization is in the best interest of us all. In fact revitalizing the Reservation communities and countryside was a top Strategic Plan priority of Osage people everywhere. Sadly it seems many elected officials would prefer out of state investments that lose millions of dollars, rather than spending money to improve the health and quality of living of our people here on the Reservation.
I believe that all Osage people, no matter who they are, where they live or to whom they are related are entitled to be represented. I believe we can all work together to make our homeland a place in which we are proud to live, proud to visit or return to. I also believe that by listening to Osages everywhere, we can find ways to provide benefits to Osages living everywhere.
To make our homeland a better place I’ll need your help. Thank you for your vote!
Dr. Joe Conner
[The Osage News does not edit candidate announcements.]
Original Publish Date: 2014-06-02 00:00:00