A continued strong state economy: Although the Obama economy has been tough on many Americans, Oklahoma has been blessed with economic performance far exceeding national stats. Our unemployment rate has consistently ranked among the nation's lowest and our state business climate has been one of the healthiest. That's due in no small part to our status as an energy producer. Here's hoping President Obama's EPA doesn't kill the goose that's laying golden eggs by overregulating oil and gas, and that Oklahomans continue to reap the benefits.
A graduation to remember: For seniors at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, we wish much pomp and circumstance come May or August or whenever their graduation day finally arrives. The important thing is they stick with school until they get a diploma. The spring semester will be one of great challenge for most of the senior class while the former principal stands accused of tampering with grades and attendance. The scandal left many students short of credits and tests they'll need to graduate. Some will be attending school as long as 10 hours a day in spring to meet graduation requirements. We sincerely hope they all make it to the finish line.
Civic involvement: In February and March, voters in Oklahoma City and the city school district will have the opportunity to consider whether the schools and city would benefit from new leadership. Three school board seats — including the at-large chairman seat — are on the February ballot. Filing for four seats on the city council will be later this month, with the primary election set for March. School board and municipal elections don't typically draw a lot voter interest. The future of Oklahoma City and its schools are linked and residents should take a keen interest in the elections, take the time to learn about candidates and then show up to cast a vote.
A little peace and quiet: In 2013, we wish for a year of calm before the coming political storm. It's not much of a stretch to predict that 2014 will be a year of robocalls, political ads and almost endless rhetoric thanks to the many state offices that will appear on the general election ballot. Coming off a contentious presidential election, Americans in general are tired of partisan rancor. A breather from the arguing would be welcome. Perhaps it's unrealistic to hope election-related politics in Oklahoma will stay at bay for a bit longer, but who said wishes had to be based in reality?