Patzkowski brings ‘liaison-type’ experience to Dist. 12
BARTLESVILLE – Dora Patzkowski is the Cherokee Nation’s incoming Dist. 12 Tribal Councilor. She is taking the place of former Tribal Councilor Dick Lay.
Patzkowski spent several years in the insurance industry and initially ran for Tribal Council in 2015. She said she brings her experience in insurance into her new role.
“I have worked in the insurance industry for a long time, so it was very much a liaison-type position between the company and the clients, which is really what a councilor is as well,” Patzkowski said.
She said she decided to run for Tribal Council because of her relationship with several groups in her community, and she feels there is a need for better communication between CN citizens and the tribe.
“The reason for wanting to run is because I am currently involved in our Native community here, and I have a good working relationships with a lot of groups, and I just felt there was a need for some better communication. I just enjoy helping people,” she said. “I just want people to know I am out and about all the time. I’m just willing to get out and connect with people so they know what’s going on. I think that’s a big part of it, communication.”
Patzkowski said she is looking forward to being involved in the recent $30 million proposal from Principal Chief-elect Chuck Hoskin Jr. to reduce the backlog of housing requests through the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation.
“This most recent piece of legislation that the chief-elect has proposed with the Housing Authority is quite exciting to me because in my campaign travels I spoke a fair amount of people that were on this waiting list and so I feel that once I’m in it’s something I’m going to work very hard towards. I have a few questions of course that I will be asking and I know that it’s just been rough draft at this point, but I’m very excited to be involved in that for sure,” she said.
She said she is also ready to learn more about how the tribe’s budget works.
“There’s certainly a lot of questions that I have for the council about how the budget works. I need to have a better understanding of that so I can communicate things better to our people. I don’t know that that’s always been made clear. I know people don’t always understand it,” Patzkowski said.
She is also the secretary for the Washington County Cherokee Association and has fielded “many, many” calls since she was elected in the runoff on July 27. She added that the WCCA is working to open a community building in Ochelata for the Cherokee community in the area.
“Well I know I’m not going to change the world, but I certainly hope to make things better. I don’t think the people up here are quite as aware of what is available, and I would like to help them understand that the services that are offered are between two parties that both have a responsibility. As long as both parties are fulfilling that responsibility, I think that we could just work very well together,” she said.