IMPROVE OUR TULSA

Vision 2, Lesson Learned?  That kind of systematic public evaluation of proposed capital needs and expenditures was missing in last year’s Vision 2 initiative and that is likely why it was handily defeated. The timing was wrong, public engagement was lacking and the spending did little to reinforce the goals of our long term comprehensive…

RACIAL RELATIONS STALEMATE

Champagne corks are NOT popping.  At first glance the City Council’s decision to rename Brady Street to M. Brady Street seemed like a somewhat sensible compromise that might help heal some wounds. Upon further reflection however; the sad truth is clear that little progress was made in improving race relations in Tulsa. In fact, many…

HOW TO WIN AT LOSING

Ground rules for today’s class, read carefully.  Good morning class and welcome to Civics 101; on this beautiful fall day in Tulsa, September 5, 1960. Your assignment this semester is to come up with a plan to stymie Tulsa’s population growth for the next 50 years or so and beyond. We have a good thing…

BREACH OF MAYORAL TRUST

If Planners plan, shouldn’t Leaders lead? It’s not like we really needed any more evidence to illustrate the leadership vacuum in the Mayor’s office; that has already been pretty well documented. However, recent events further illuminate the confusion that reigns on the 15th Floor of City Hall. The disclosure that yard waste intended for mulching…

LESSON IN CIVIL DISCOURSE

  Let the right honorable gentleman speak. Civil discourse is engagement in conversation with the intent to persuade or enhance understanding. Kenneth Gergen, American psychologist and professor at Swarthmore College and brother of David Gergen, the prominent political analyst describes it as “the language of dispassionate objectivity.” He goes on to suggest that it requires…

STEP UP TULSA

The Public Park will be a place where the community can gather to play, picnic, enjoy concerts, exercise and attend festivals. It is envisioned to entice the community to spend time outdoors, encourage a healthier lifestyle and improve the quality of life. The opening paragraph does not refer to Tulsa’s Gathering Place, currently under development…

LET’S THANK GEORGE KAISER

Finally, recreational development along the Arkansas River bank. The Gathering Place, a $200+ million project paid for primarily by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, should silence critics who have for decades lamented the lack of transformative development along the Arkansas River and River Parks. For fifty years Tulsans have talked the talk about river development…

GEORGE KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

Standing room only. Even George Kaiser seemed overwhelmed at the turnout and excitement generated by the unveiling of The Gathering Place’s Phase I design on June 18th at TCC’s Center for Creativity. The Project Coordinator, Jeff Stava, was left momentarily speechless before acknowledging “Wow, there are a lot more people here than we thought.” The…

AGENDA 21…WHAT’S THE FUSS?

Some people will believe anything.   Depending on the circumstances, debunking a conspiracy theory can be nearly as challenging as trying to confirm one, but in the case of the United Nation’s Agenda 21, not so much. First, a little background. According to Wikipedia, ‘Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the…

RENAMING THE BRADY DISTRICT

The idea of renaming the Brady Arts District has been floating around for years. It’s a reaction to the well documented association with the Ku Klux Klan of the district’s namesake, Tate Brady. So, responding to an increasing chorus of pleas from residents to take action, the City Council recently agreed to create a task…