Understanding the critical needs of Tulsans and District 7
My number one priority as your City Councilor is to listen and communicate. I am committed to boldly representing you at City Hall and keeping you well informed of the issues, policies, and projects you care about and that affect you, your family, friends, and colleagues. We currently have tremendous momentum at the City of Tulsa where collaboration and cooperation brings about positive changes and exponential growth. Let's continue to build a Tulsa where we want to live, work and play; a Tulsa that we can be proud of and a Tulsa where our kids and grandkids want to stay and create their own businesses, raise their families, and give back to the community.
Top Priorities for Councilor Lori Decter Wright:
Reducing crime and investing in public safety
Updating infrastructure including roads and bridges
Innovating and growing opportunities for business development
Improving the quality of life for all Tulsans
During my three years on the Tulsa City Council, I have focused my efforts on reducing crime, increasing the workforce in our police and fire departments, supporting evidence-based community policing strategies, and addressing the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. I've built relationships with our first-responders and held several Town Hall meetings focused on reducing homelessness, panhandling, and crimes of opportunity. I brought A Better Way to the District and am working to bring more needed social services to Southeast Tulsa.
In partnership with Crime Stoppers of Tulsa, we are empowering homeowner's associations, apartment complexes, and businesses to organize and reduce crime in their area by activating an Alert Neighbors Program. I am working to grow the E. 71st Street Retail Corridor Business Coalition in an effort to bring businesses in our district together to better coordinate their strategies for creating a more dynamic, safe, and welcoming commercial district. We want to continue to help businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic and improve the experience for patrons, attract new customers and businesses, eliminate panhandling and address the needs of folks experiencing homelessness in our part of the City.
Thanks to your historic and overwhelming support at the ballot box in November 2019, we are bringing more than $35 million home to District 7 through the Improve Our Tulsa Renewal Package. This funding is allowing us to widen our major arterial streets, ease traffic congestion, and improve safety. We made significant road improvements along S. Memorial Dr. and S. Mingo Rd. in the district as well as along E. 71st Street since 2019. We will continue to improve the roads and bridges across the district that have been neglected for years while maintaining those that are already in good shape. I will continue my work to help reduce speeding drivers in neighborhoods and ensure that routine and preventative maintenance road projects are well coordinated and communicated to reduce the frustrations caused by disruptions due to road work. As part of my commitment to increased transparency and better constituent communication, we launched the South Tulsa Road Project dashboard so people can regularly review the map and see where they might encounter orange cones and construction zones across South Tulsa.
In addition to building and maintaining roads, I continue to voice our needs in District 7 for improving the roads that fall under the Pavement Condition Index of 40, installing more sidewalks, adding bike paths, and increasing access to reliable public transportation. Students and retirees as well as approximately 20% of workforce in District 7 do not drive. They need access to safe modes of transportation whether it be public buses, walking or biking. Safety measures such as signage, striping, and signals continue to be at the forefront of my focus for District 7's infrastructure needs.
Strong schools are the cornerstone of a thriving community. The excellent educational opportunities available in District 7 attract people from across the region to live here. Our district is home to students attending Union, Jenks and Tulsa Public Schools with Union Public School District 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.
While public 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. Improving public transportation and creating walkable neighborhoods, ensuring families have access to affordable housing, and fostering public-private partnerships to benefit students, teachers, and the community, are just some of the many city-level programs and policies we are implementing to enhance the schools in our neighborhoods and across the city. Losing educators, 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. In response to the increased need for schools to be able to deliver education to our students online, the City Council has approved funding to assist with providing internet access to teachers and students. We are also exploring options for offering a variety of in-person and virtual educational experiences through our city's community centers, parks, and libraries. Providing after school and summer activities for youth as well as life-long learning opportunities for adults is an essential way the City can offer residents a well-rounded, meaningful education and life skills. Neighbors of all ages can be organized to help clean up neighborhoods, mow lawns, and become better engaged citizens.
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY & GROWTH
District 7 generates more than 22% of the Retail Sales Tax revenues for our City. We are home to many small businesses, manufacturing and processing facilities, services agencies, and larger financial and medical institutions. In collaborating with the Tulsa Regional Chamber, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, and the Mayor's Office of Resilience and Equity I continually center the needs of District 7 in our work. As your City Councilor. I have sponsored and supported revisions to City ordinances that reduce red tape and improve efficiency for businesses. I have assisted developers with negotiating the zoning process and facilitated discussions between them and neighborhood residents as well as existing businesses. Tulsa is a great place for entrepreneurs and District 7 is ideally situated for businesses to launch and grow. Through rezoning and redevelopment efforts, my work during these last three years to reimagine and reenergize the E. 71st Street Corridors continues especially with several new restaurants and stores coming into places and spaces that have been empty.
Modernizing antiquated permitting, licensing, zoning codes and ordinances create a more business-friendly environment 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 are struggling financially. District 7 is also carrying the load when it comes to Tulsa County's eviction crisis and is home to the largest number of pending evictions not just in the City but in the County. Much of my first term has been concentrated on this issue from all sides of it including assisting property owners/manager, tenants, and district residents experiencing or in danger of homelessness and their effects on businesses and neighborhoods.
When District 7 is prosperous it benefits our community and the entire City of Tulsa. As your City Councilor I am amplifying our need in District 7 to re-imagine, re-energize and re-invest in our business corridors and neighborhoods.
Let's continue to 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 great alternatives to the 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 the large manufacturing plant, from the local shopkeeper to some of the largest hospitals in the region, will be bolstered and experience new prosperity.
It is an honor to serve my neighbors in District 7. You can be confident that you have an active listener and strong voice at City Hall who boldly speaks for your needs. 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. Make no mistake, my work on your behalf is a full-time endeavor.
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. 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. My professional business experience as an entrepreneur and a business leader in the local 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 collaborate and 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 grow Tulsa into a world-class city where people want to live, work, and play today and for generations to come.