Busy time and family time

by Jessica Garvin

Our family’s busy summer started last month at Camp LuJo KISMIF, where my husband and I serve as Dorm Mom and Dad each summer for 150 campers and staff. This year was special as all three kiddos were finally old enough to join us. It’s always nice to unplug and reconnect with the friends I grew up with at camp, and to see our kids building those same relationships.
I attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C. with Rep. Nicole Miller, the Department of Commerce, and other Oklahoma economic development professionals. This organization helps promote Oklahoma to foreign companies looking to relocate to the U.S. Industry diversification is key to helping improve our state’s economy. It was an honor to receive a scholarship to attend this conference and represent our great state.

I visited with companies about why Oklahoma is the best place to do business and raise a family. I’m excited to be involved in the next steps for some of those companies, as they schedule site visits in Oklahoma and narrow down their list of potential business locations. 

After the conference, our family started our summer vacation. Ever since I was little, I remember watching the National Mall’s fireworks show on TV and hoping someday I’d get to see it in person. This year, my wish came true. Independence Day started full of family at my brother-in-law’s house, just outside of D.C., a trip to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, and ended on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, watching the fireworks with my family. I stood there, tears streaming down my face, surrounded by people of all races, religions, and nationalities, speaking different languages, and being so proud to be an American. There is nothing more humbling than hearing people’s stories about their journey to this country and being on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for their very first Independence Day celebration as an American citizen.

Last week, we attended the Southern Legislative Conference at the new Oklahoma City Convention Center. Our Legislature hosted members from 14 other states and worked together to share policy concerns and solutions for issues facing this region of the country.

At church Sunday, we heard from fellow Oklahoman Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, who is the founder of Folds of Honor, a non-profit that provides college scholarships for the children of fallen and injured service members. His story of how God used him to bless others is inspiring. Since 2007, this incredible organization has provided nearly 24,500 scholarships. Learn more at Folds of Honor.org.

I also was blessed by the story of Oklahoma’s own, Kelli Masters, who was the first professional female sports agent to sign a first round NFL pick in 2010. It was surprising how similar my story of running for office mirrored the challenges she faced in her male-dominated profession. She has truly paved the way for women across our country. My only hope is I can also inspire women to reach every goal they set in life, no matter what barriers they face.

Among our meetings, we learned how other state legislators are tackling various issues common in Oklahoma. Hopefully, we can implement some of those policies here. I was selected to represent Oklahoma, along with some of my legislative colleagues, on the Health and Public Safety Committee, where we discussed issues such as the mental health of first responders, substance abuse, and long-term care. My husband was the co-coordinator of the SLC Youth Program and enjoyed working with
If you have any questions or concerns on legislative matters, please email me at Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov or call (405) 521-5522.