Understanding the critical needs of Tulsans and District 7
Reduce crime and invest in public safety
Create walkable neighborhoods
Develop sustainable public transportation
Innovate and grow opportunities for business development
Improve the quality of life for all Tulsans
District 7 is the home to well-established neighborhoods and many apartment communities ranging from luxury to senior living, owner-occupied and rental units. We need to create a mix of affordable housing in District 7 so that those who wish to work and play here can live here. People choose to live in District 7 to raise their families, retire comfortably, and to live where they work. We need better, wider roads, walkable sidewalks, safe bike lines, and reliable public buses.
Modernized streets, especially along S. Mingo Rd., S. Memorial Dr. and all the major numbered cross streets, are essential for providing neighbors and businesses here with safe, easy access. Several of these crossroads are the most dangerous in the city, not just for drivers but for also for cyclists and pedestrians. High density housing continues to develop along S. Mingo Rd. without improvements to the traffic flow or an increase in overall walkability or safety for pedestrians. There will be crucial decisions made by The City as development in our area continues, especially at Meadowbrook Country Club and the land that is across from Hillcrest Hospital South. It is a top priority to keep residents and businesses in District 7 well-informed and well-represented. We need to know ahead of time when construction will take place and when the orange cones will be interrupting our day. I am also addressing the growing issue of homelessness here, especially along the Mingo Valley Trail and 71st Street Retail Corridor. In collaboration with the City, area nonprofits, churches and businesses we are developing compassionate solutions to serve our most vulnerable neighbors.
We experience a higher rate of crime in the Mingo Valley than in other parts of Tulsa. Reviewing the Crime Reports from the Mingo Valley Division in comparison to the Riverside and Gilcrease Hills Divisions of the Tulsa Police Department indicates that there is still much work to be done to reduce crime across our district. Improving public safety requires a multi-pronged approach. We can improve safety for officers and the public with properly funding our first-responders. We must ensure that our 911 services are properly staffed with dispatchers and that our fire, emergency medical and police departments have the resources they need to provide world-class service to every Tulsan. Tulsa must continue to develop best-practices for community policing and be more proactive about keeping folks from becoming justice-involved in the first place.
District 7 is home to students attending Union, Jenks and Tulsa Public School Districts with Union Public Schools at the very center of District 7. Tulsa Community College Southeast Campus is anchored in the district as are a myriad of private, parochial, and vo-tech educational institutions. Strong schools are the cornerstone of a thriving community and the excellent educational opportunities available in District attract people from across the region to live here. While school funding is contingent on the elected leaders in our state legislature, the City can do its part to ensure that our students and their families have the best opportunities available to them. From better public transportation to walk-able neighborhoods, affordable housing options for public servants to public-private partnerships fostered to the benefit of students, teachers, and the community, there are many city-level programs and policies that can enhance the schools in our neighborhoods across the city. Losing students and their families to neighboring suburbs or states destabilizes our community and our economy.
The City Council and the Mayor are exploring all the ways in which Tulsa can retain the best educators. We are looking at ways we can offer a variety of educational experiences through our city's community centers, city parks, and libraries. Providing after school and summer activities for youth as well as life-long learning opportunities for adults is an essential way that the city can offer residents a well-rounded, meaningful education and life skills. Neighbors of all ages can also be organized to help clean up neighborhoods, mow lawns, and become better engaged citizens. Let's continue to build a Tulsa where our kids and grand kids want to stay and start their own businesses, raise their own families, and give back to the community.
The City of Tulsa, like every municipality in Oklahoma, relies heavily on sales tax revenue to fund its services and programs. District 7 is home to a large percentage of sales-tax generating businesses in our city. And yet when you drive around the district you can see that many retail spaces are empty, manufacturing spaces are run down, and places that once thrived with shoppers and diners are just trying to survive. We need to do a better job of bringing businesses into these forgotten spaces. In coordination with the City Planning Office and the Mayor's Economic Development Department we are developing fun and creative ways to keep Tulsans to shopping local so that our city revenues remain strong as our local economy grows. Modernizing antiquated permitting, licensing, and ordinances is just one way we can create a business-friendly city that attracts companies and entrepreneurs to Tulsa. More than 70% of Union Public School children qualify for free or reduced-price meals which is an indicator that families living here need better, well-paying jobs. When District 7 is prosperous it benefits our community and the entire City of Tulsa. As your City Councilor I am amplifying the needs we have in District 7 to re-imagine, re-energize and re-invest in the business corridors here.
Let's work together to make District 7 an attractive destination that draws in people from across Green Country to visit, dine, and shop. Our light industrial and office spaces are perfect for bringing more high-wage jobs to the city while also offering employees less stress and expense of downtown traffic and parking. With a concerted effort by the City, District 7's businesses of all sizes, from the sole-proprietorship to a large manufacturing plant, from the local shopkeeper to some of the largest hospitals in the region, can be bolstered and experience new prosperity.
District 7 needs a strong voice on the City Council who will boldly speak to the needs of the people living here. I am that voice for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make no mistake, my work on your behalf is a full-time endeavor. My number one concern is serving our neighbors in District 7 and doing what is in the best interests of the residents of District 7. I have a 100% attendance record for City Council meetings, and am prepared and qualified to represent you on each and every City Council discussion, decision, and vote. A Tulsan by choice, I offer a fresh perspective, am focused on the present, and am building a better, more vibrant Tulsa for newcomers to our city as well as for those who have been here for generations.
I lead with the heart of a servant and the mind of an entrepreneur as I represent the ideas, concerns, needs, and hopes of those living and working in Tulsa City Council District 7. My work in the nonprofit sector has prepared me to serve our community well. I am pragmatic and have a strong record of achieving success while conserving resources. Bringing about positive change takes effective leaders who are willing to work together to make practical, common-sense and responsible decisions that might not always be easy but that are right and reasonable. I hold steadfast to my principled ethics and commitment to transparency while working diligently to find common ground solutions that will stabilize and grow Tulsa into a world-class city where people want to live, work, and play today and for generations to come.