Culture & the Family

Former lawmaker joins OCPA staff

March 25, 2024


OKLAHOMA CITY (March 25, 2024) — Tom Newell, a former state legislator, has joined the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs as Vice President for the Center for Culture and the Family.

“The family is the most local form of government and the core of a stable society, yet the family is under fierce attack today,” said OCPA President Jonathan Small. “As a free-market think tank, OCPA believes we must resist the government’s tendency to crowd out the role of family and community. To that end, we have launched our Center for Culture and the Family to promote public policies that support families, and Tom Newell will play a key role in advancing that agenda.”

Newell previously served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016. Prior to his legislative service, he was a pastor.

Since leaving the Legislature, Newell has served as government affairs director for the Foundation for Government Accountability and as vice president of government affairs for Yes. Every. Kid.

“Tom Newell has worked on the front lines of culture as a pastor and been in the trenches of policymaking as a lawmaker and advocate,” Small said. “That gives him a unique skill set that makes him ideal for leading OCPA’s Center for Culture and the Family.”

“The forces that oppose freedom and free markets are often the same forces that attack the family,” Newell said. “OCPA has long fought to keep government within its proper boundaries and I’m excited to join this fight. We can’t have a strong Oklahoma without strong families.”

As part of its focus on family, OCPA has opposed policies that discourage marriage or encourage multigenerational dependency, supported a law that prevents children from being subjected to sex-change surgeries and cross-sex hormones, worked to guarantee parents’ rights to view their children’s public-school curricula and other materials, and called for students to be educated on the importance of the “success sequence” (get at least a high-school degree, get a full-time job, and get married before having children).