I'm Marina Mangiaracina, and I'm asking for your vote on February 13th. The office I'm running for is Oklahoma City Mayor. Here's a little bit more about me.
I've spent the vast majority of my life living in Oklahoma City, and have a passion for this great state. Growing up, I attended Sooner Elementary in Moore, Nicholls Hills Elementary in Nicholls Hills, and Classen School of Advanced Studies in central Oklahoma City. Going to school in different places helped me understand the vast gap in quality of education that exists between different parts of the city. In office, it will be my objective to fund these schools and close that gap.
While at Classen, I completed my IB Diploma, which is another form of Advanced Placement. I also placed 2nd at Oklahoma State History Day in the documentary film category. I went on to attend the University of Oklahoma from 2009-2013, focusing on International Studies. While at OU, I spent a foreign exchange year at the University of Graz in Graz, Austria. I returned to OU in 2015, completed a semester, and left before completing my Political Science degree.
From 2019-2017, I was manager of Welcome to Loud City, a blog that provides coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Welcome to Loud City is a SB Nation blog, and SB Nation is a subsidiary of Vox Media. I helped grow Welcome to Loud City from a one person operation into a team of 20+ writers that coordinated with each other daily. Welcome to Loud City had over 160,000 likes on Facebook, and posts regularly reached tens of thousands of people.
Over the course of my journalist career, I've had my work featured on Sports Illustrated Online, Yahoo! Sports Ball Don't Lie, Dime Magazine, BBallbreakdown, Sheridan Hoops, and several other basketball-related blogs. I've also been a featured guest on various terrestrial radio outlets both nationally and internationally. Lastly, I've also had the pleasure of being credentialed media for the NBA Finals, Team USA Basketball, and the FIBA Basketball World Championship.
Beginning in 2017, I have begun to pursue language studies of German and Korean. To that end, I will be participating in a language learning program at the Kim Hyong Jik University of Education in Pyongyang for three weeks in the Summer of 2017. Learning other languages has allowed me to learn about cultures other than my own, as well as gain great new ideas for city planning. It may seem hypocritical for a political candidate to spend time outside of their own district. But there has been a long tradition of Oklahoma City mayors going on long trips for foreign places. The Myriad Gardens were inspired by a mayoral trip to Denmark, and current Mayor Mick Cornett regularly travels to New York City.
Me in the News
Oklahoma City councilman says there's 'no divide' after sweeping victory in Ward 7
Pettis swept to victory, winning nearly 81 percent of the vote in his bid for a second term.
Dickerson had 13.2 percent. Marina Mangiaracina distinguished her candidacy by running on a platform of economic justice, highlighting income inequality, and drew 6.2 percent.
Two candidates and an incumbent run for the Ward 7 seat on the Oklahoma City Council
Income inequality is the top issue in her Ward 7 campaign, and much of her platform connects back to economics. It’s an issue that could gain some traction, as northeast Oklahoma City is one of the most impoverished areas within the state. If elected, Mangiaracina would push for reexamining current tax policies in order to find new sources of revenue. She believes sales tax — at 8.375 percent — is too high and hurts the poor the most.
“This is not an opinion, but a fact,” Mangiaracina said when discussing the burden of sales tax.
In Oklahoma City, a tax of 3.875 percent is applied to purchases. The state also collects sales tax at a rate of 4.5 percent.
“A rich person can avoid sales tax, whereas a poor person cannot,” Mangiaracina said. “We’ve got to find a way to reduce that but also find a way to recover that income for the city.”
Mangiaracina supports tax reform that would bring a local income tax like those in cities like Kansas City, St. Louis and New York. Unlike those cities, workers above a certain pay grade would be taxed, exempting blue-collar workers and low-wage earners.
She is skeptical of the city pursuing a general obligation bond issue for 2017, which current city leaders are working to bring before voters in September. When taxpayers give local governments authority to issue general obligation (GO) bonds, a government borrows the funds and pays back the bonds by collecting property taxes. Mangiaracina doesn’t like the idea of the city borrowing money.
If elected, Mangiaracina will work to improve relations between police forces and minority communities, supporting the police department in efforts to recruit and hire individuals from northeast Oklahoma City to serve as officers. (Oklahoma Gazette, January 26th, 2017)
2016 Election: Uncommon contenders for state Legislature include millennials, educators, transgender woman
"As a candidate, Mangiaracina listened to the audio from the committee meeting when Oklahoma lawmakers debated a similar transgender bathroom measure in May.
“It was just ridiculous,” Mangiaracina recalled. “They all seemed to be scared of something they didn’t have [an] understanding of.”
“Now that I am here, I see it as a lifetime commitment,” she said. “I want to continue to work towards change even after this election.”" (Oklahoma Gazette, October 26th, 2016)
Marina Mangiaracina sets sights on public service
"Running as an Independent, she doesn’t seek support from Democratic or Republican establishments.
“I want to draw attention to how unfair the voting system is,” she said. “It seems candidates have to play to big money on one side or the other.”
That’s another area her online success will help. Since its inception in 2008, she has grown the WTLC audience by leaps and bounds. The site has more than 150,000 likes on Facebook, and she hopes to harness her understanding of social media to spread her message to voters this fall.
If elected, she said she will push for an optional preferential voting system, which would give voters a more nuanced voice about who they want to represent them outside of the predominantly two-party structure in Oklahoma." (Oklahoma Gazette, June 22nd, 2016)
I am a proud trans-woman, and a proud lesbian. Trans-woman means that I was born biologically male, but with a female brain. I began my transition to being a woman at the age of 24. I wasn't able to accept my condition prior to that, because I was too scared of facing reality. I was afraid of what society might think. But I eventually learned that life is too short to reject who you truly are.
One of my main missions in campaigning for office is making Oklahoma a better place for LGBT people to live. As it stands, LGBT people have no protections when it comes to applying for jobs, applying for housing, or using public services. There is no legal precedent for gender change on identification, making it very difficult for those who want to do so. Trans people can be rejected for insurance claims. All of this must change.
If elected, I will write bills that directly address all of these issues. Additionally, I will reject anti-LGBT "Bathroom Bills" and work on a solution that benefits everyone. Furthermore, I will work to present the facts about trans people, and get rid of the stereotypes that other people might have.
My Family's History of Public Service
I'm not attempting to stand on the accomplishments of my ancestors. But what my family has taught me has shaped me into the person that I am today. I'd like to share a bit of that with you, so you can understand where I'm coming from.
Paul Benbrook- My grandpa, and a World War II veteran. He was the nicest man that I've ever known. In his old age, he would visit people at the retirement home that had no one to visit them. He also kept a beautiful garden in his backyard. I'll always remember the kindness that he showed me and others.
Nicholas Mangiaracina, Sr.- My other grandpa, also a World War II veteran. He served in the national guard until 1985, retiring as a Colonel. Upon retirement, he was given an honorary promotion to Brigadier General by the governor of Illinois. In his old age, he volunteered at the local police station. Today, there is a tree in Addison, Illinois that honors my grandfather's memory. The way he lived his life taught me the meaning of being responsible and dignified.
Nicholas Mangiaracina, Jr.- My uncle, and a veteran of the Vietnam War. My Uncle Nick was a loving father, and raised a wonderful family in Wisconsin. But his quality of life was affected by the traumas of war, as well as exposure to Agent Orange. From him, I learned that war should always be a last resort.
Jeffrey Benbrook- My father, a former US Navy yeoman. My father taught me lots of things, but what sticks out most was his love of fellow human beings, and acceptance of others.
Doris Benbrook- My mother, a cancer researcher at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has undoubtedly had the biggest influence on my life. What sticks out the most to me is the importance of scientific thought, as well as continuing education.
If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to my personal address: TaoNakamora@gmail.com.