JOHNNY J KIDWELL PLATFORM SOLUTIONS
There are many issues in the Cherokee Nation community that need dire attention.
Johnny J Kidwell is indebted not only to the At-Large community's problems, but to the solutions that will bring relief.
Check out the proposed solutions below.
Recent times have proven that caring for our elders must remain one of our highest priorities. More resources must be directed toward caring for those we hold most dear. Our elders deserve to be treated with dignity, appreciation and respect. As your councilor, I will work diligently to explore new funding streams and allocate appropriate resources toward establishing state-of-the-art senior living communities and elder-care facilities that can be accessible to citizens living at large. Our elders deserve our undivided attention, our love, and the respect of living in the comfort they deserve.
I applaud the great strides our leaders have made in the quality and accessibility of healthcare for our people. However, as your councilor, I will not rest until At Large citizens enjoy the same benefits, opportunities and access to our tribe’s medical facilities as those living inside the jurisdiction. There are many hurdles to get over and it will not be a fast fix. Our health, both physical and mental, are key components of a thriving Nation.
RESPONSIVENESS + COMMUNICATION
I promise to stay laser focused on my At Large Cherokee family and be immediately responsive to your needs. I’ll be proactive in outreach to assist you and be the resource that you, your family members, and all citizens need regardless of where they reside. My cell phone number is (918) 964-6545 – the same number I will have while serving. I live one hour from Tahlequah – if you call, I will respond. If you require information or assistance, I will be 100% engaged. I will always be available for you.
I will explore ways to divert additional resources toward expanding education and vocational training opportunities for At Large students and ensure there is equity in both the application process and the disbursement of funds. Students who receive grants and scholarships should be encouraged to return to the Cherokee Nation upon graduation to participate in internships and/or on-the-job-training (OJT). This will help us grow our next generation of leaders from within while equipping them with the cultural and leadership traits most desired.
TRANSPARENCY + ACCOUNTABILITY
As your councilor, I will tirelessly and vigorously fight for transparency and accountability in all functions and levels of our government. I will bring strong, resolute, even-handed leadership to the Tribal Council and fearlessly fight for your best interest. I will remain objective and unbiased – ensuring every vote I cast or legislation I propose is defined by the ideals and desires of At Large citizens. As a proven leader, I will always stand up for what’s best for my Cherokee family, every minute, every day and every vote.
Living at large, we are very aware of the fact that state and federal legislation and rulings affect well beyond the Cherokee Nation 14 counties. Dialogue, interaction and representation are imperative to maintaining and expanding tribal rights and protections. Gaming compacts, the McGirt ruling, Ida’s Law (for Missing & Murdered Indigenous People) as well as many others have an impact on tens of thousands of Cherokees living at large in Northeastern Oklahoma. Our voices must be represented equally alongside those living inside the Nation.
As your councilor, I will always fight for additional resources for programs that are proven to enhance cultural awareness for our people. Existing programs like the Cherokee Language Master/Apprentice Program, the Language Immersion School, the Language Teacher Training Scholarship Program, and others must remain financially protected and prioritized. Growing up in Spavinaw, Mayes County, cultural events were common and held at our school. I cherish the positive impact this had on my life and I’ll fight for increased funding for cultural outreach specifically directed at our school-aged kids. Our Cherokee children are the cultural sustainment we require, and our kids must have more opportunities than I did to learn their Cherokee language and appreciate their culture.
At-Large citizens know that very few benefits and resources are accessible to them. Tribal citizens living on opposite sides of the same street along the boundary line are not eligible for the same benefits. Citizens who live greater distances outside of the nation face even greater challenges.
My plan to extend benefits, services and resources to At-Large citizens focuses on the revenue our Tribe creates – this money is beyond the federal government’s restrictions. In 2019, CNB earned over $1.1 billion in revenue. It has more than 7,500 employees working in all 50 states and 26 countries worldwide. We must continue to grow CNB and all of its subsidiaries; maximizing growth to increase Tribal income and opportunities. With increased CNB profits we can expand programs and resources to At-Large citizens.
CHEROKEE CAR TAGS
Cherokee Nation car tags help our citizens financially and promote a sense of pride in and connection to our Nation.
I fully support our car tag compact with the State of Oklahoma, but, as your Councilor, I will work to:
a. Renegotiate our compact with Oklahoma to tag agencies across the state offer our Cherokee Nation tags for At-Large citizens living further away from the reservation.
b. Expand our compact to other states so that all At-Large citizens can reap the same benefits as those citizens living in Oklahoma.
Hunting + Fishing Rights For At-Large Citizens
Hunting and fishing rights are critical to all Cherokee citizens, not just those who live in Oklahoma. As your At-Large Councilor, I will fight to:
Remove the one-sixteenth (1/16) blood quantum requirement so that ALL Cherokee Citizens residing in Kansas can receive their free license to hunt, fish and trap.
Implement an "At-Large Holiday License" that will allow citizens the opportunity to return to Oklahoma for a 2 week period and receive a free hunting/fishing license and free access to some popular hiking trails.
Increase the Oklahoma quantity of free deer tags to three (3) and free turkey tags to five (5). This will also apply to the At-Large Holiday License.
Establish compacts that will allow At-Large citizens free access to hunting and fishing licenses in all 50 states.