The Greatest City in the World
Posted on October 1, 2011
Tulsa, OK – This Midwestern city of nearly half a million people. It’s been called the Oil Capital of the World, The Birthplace of Rt. 66, and even America’s Most Livable City. It’s a city built by entrepreneurs who had the courage to leave the lives they knew for the unknown of Oklahoma. They came to pursue oil in the fields of Glenpool and Sand Springs and to build retail shops and hotels to serve their workers. Tulsa was born of bold and entrepreneurial risk takers who rejected the status quo, demanded a better life, and dared to build what they would call the Greatest City in the World.
Somewhere, this “livable city” has lost some of that. Somehow, our bold innovation slowed and we started doing things the same old way. The decedents of those visionary settlers grew up wealthy, and learned to buy things rather than build them. We settled in. We became content to just be livable and some of us stopped the aggressive pursuit of our potential. We made mistakes with our development. We stumbled with our growth. We bulldozed our history, parked our trains, paved over our cable car tracks, and mistook sprawl for progress. While some of our industries and our prominence have come and gone, our pride has remained constant. Tulsans have always held their heads high, sharing an appreciation for our great city and its notable history. I love it that we’re proud of our city’s past and the treasures we have as a result, but It’s time to build a future to match – one that we’re proud to have been a part of shaping, one for which our children will thank us.
So here we are, in Green Country, just a turnpike away from our state’s largest city, one that has recently seen tremendous renewal, not just in its structures, but in its spirit. And we have to respond. Are we going to rest on our “livable city” laurels and continue to do things the same old way, or will we ask a new generation of bold visionaries to lead us again? Will we dare to acknowledge our great potential and run vigorously towards it? You see, to me that’s what makes a city great. It’s not its size, its location, or its monuments. It’s how well that city achieves its potential. What does that Tulsa look like? Does it have a river full of water and surrounded by people? Does it have a Rt. 66 lined with neon lights, commerce, and excited tourists? Does it have inspired artists who feel empowered to create and appreciated for their work? Are its industries growing to meet a changing world? Is its downtown alive with energy and teeming with visitors and residents alike? I can envision this future.
Close your eyes. See it with me.
Tulsa still has the luxury of enjoying the resources, architecture and culture our founders created. Let’s find their spirit. Let’s find their dream. Let’s embrace the grandiose vision for Tulsa that they once unabashedly shared – that Tulsa can be the greatest city in the world and that we’re going to be the ones to make it that way. It’s time to let the night fall on this day of indifference and look forward to the dawn of a new day. A day of anticipation, excitement, and hope for what Tulsa can be.
Our local government has often failed to meet their potential, largely because they fail to behave with the integrity and honesty we expect. We’ve not been able to trust that they are acting in the best interests of the city or that our elected leaders and bureaucrats mean the things they say. I’d like to change that. I intend to change that. I’m starting here in a simple way. From now until the election, I will discuss my intentions and opinions on the issues of District 4 here on the blog. Campaign advisors will suggest that during a campaign, it’s best to say as little as possible so that we can’t be nailed down on anything. They don’t like blogs and they don’t like putting things on the record that our opponents can use against us. That’s precisely why I didn’t hire an “advisor.” I don’t want to run that type of campaign and I don’t want to want to be that type of councilor. You deserve to know who we are. You deserve to know if I am a populist or an elitist, and you definitely deserve to be able to hold us to what we say.
In my private endeavors, I’ve worked to make a difference. I’ve worked to bring life to a once dormant neighborhood, to give old bulidings a new purpose, and to build a place where Tulsa’s young and creative people want to live. I want our city government to achieve its potential as well. We can do better than what we’ve had. We deserve better.
Our first step towards helping Tulsa to achieve its great potential is to put bold, visionary leaders into positions of influence. On November 8th, you’ll have a chance to do just that.
Join me in my pursuit of this grand vision. Vote for me.