Brandi Studley

Candidate for Ward 1

1. What is your position on requiring masks to be worn due to Covid-19 concerns? 

“I think if masks would have been made mandatory at a national level, then we would not have seen the number of deaths we saw in this nation.  I think it is sad that we have leaders that seem to want to mix science and politics for their own political gain.  Wearing a mask has nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with health and safety.”

2. What are your views on policing in Norman, including the budget, FOP contract, and SRO program?

“I think that it is time we reimagine policing in our country.  Our city is no exception.  Even police feel their duties have grown beyond the scope of the job.  By creating other departments who deal specifically with mental health or drug use related calls, this will allow for not only safety for those residents, but will allow the police to do their actual job of fighting crime.  I feel that SRO is a school-to-prison pipeline and police have no business in our schools, police are here to fight crime, period.  In Norman we have documented proof that the SRO officers have more contact with Black and Brown children and this is not okay and does nothing to harbor healthy relationships.  In fact it is intimidating and distracting to some students.  The FOP is a dangerous union that doesn’t hold police accountable and in fact, relies on taxpayer money to pay families restitution for crimes by cops.  I think it is in poor taste for the city to negotiate these types of terms for officers and doesn’t allow for true accountability.”

3. What are your views on the militarization of police and acquisition and use of military-grade weapons by the police department? 

“Absolutely not, we are not the enemy, we are citizens.  In fact, when this grant proposal came about, Chief Foster mentioned that they heard after the election there was going to be violent BLM rioting, however,  this never happened and the only people who rioted were Trump supporters,  off duty officers, and Unite Norman supporters and as we all watched, the police didn’t break out their riot gear for that.”

4. What should the city of Norman do to address the numerous racial justice issues that have come up in recent years?

“I feel that the city should be more transparent in discipline actions as well as admitting there is an issue in the first place.  We have to face racism head on and call it out when we see it and deal with it swiftly and justly.”

5. How should Norman address the needs of the homeless population? 

“Stop throwing money at “looking at the problem” and start to fix it.  Other cities use pilot programs to try things before making it official.  Why can’t we try out some of the other programs with tent cities or small houses that cost $1000 each as a temporary housing situation until those people can get into a permanent brick and mortar house that they city currently requires and follows?  As much as I appreciate what Food & Shelter, Thunderbird House, Transitions and other agencies are doing, it is not enough in comparison to the number of unhoused people we have in the community.  We also have issues with the state contributing to our homeless situation and they are not held accountable by sending mentally ill homeless to Griffin from across our state because there is an opening and then instead of taking them back to the cities they came from, they are released to homelessness in our city.”

6. What are your views on infrastructure and environmental justice issues in the city, including stormwater, public transportation, accessibility, and land use?

“I feel that we as a city need to really focus on these items first before we continue to build and expand.  We have so many empty buildings and land areas that could be rebuilt or reused.  For public transportation,  we need added stops and more options for daily use for those with disabilities.”

7. What do you think about the numerous Inclusive Community Subcommittee of the Human Rights Commission recommendations surrounding the homeless, a sanctuary city, updating Norman’s history of oppressed communities, etc.? Which of the recommendations from the Inclusive Community Subcommittee would you support?

“I would support all efforts, except those that increase student contact with SROs by adding them to our elementary schools.  If cops want to make a good impression, then go into neighborhoods after school and get to know the kids and families in communities you serve.”

8. More Oklahomans are facing housing and food insecurity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. How would you address this issue as a city council member? 

“I feel that more of the covid relief funds should have actually gone to families in crisis instead of tourism and art in our city.  I will need to research what other relief options are out there.  This is a scary time for many and if we get additional funding, I will commit to voting it going back to the people.”

9. Do you support Unite Norman? Did you support any of their recall efforts? Why or why not?

“No, I do not support them and in fact, protested their efforts.  Our community voted for these leaders on council. Norman is a very diverse and progressive community.  Our city was the blue dot in the sea of red during national elections.  Untie Norman is a group of good old boys that want to keep Norman under its control and we have spoken and will not stand for their agenda.”

10. What are your thoughts on the economic development of Norman, such as TIF, Norman Forward, and Norman central city and Porter Avenue areas.

“I think we need to take a step back and look at the money or lack thereof, while we are in this pandemic.  We need to set priorities and budget appropriately for those items.  Stop spending money we don’t have.”

11. What should the city do to be more inclusive of all residents in city governance and decision making? 

“I feel the city should be allowed to vote for TIFs, for replacement council members, etc.  I feel we need to continue to have meetings in the evenings when they can be attended by more people.  I also like the ideas of holding town halls across different areas of the city allowing those without transportation or internet access the ability to voice their concerns.”

Link to Brandi Studley’s campaign website

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