As We Go Forward, Let’s Look Back at 2019
2019 marked an incredible year for our city in the fields of economic and community development, public safety and Resilient Tulsa. Last year, we saw overwhelming investment and support across Tulsa with new companies adding jobs, expanding their facilities and breaking ground on visionary projects.
2019 was a year of firsts. Last year, we held Tulsa’s first naturalization ceremony at City Hall, received our first Equality Indicators Report, launched Tulsa’s first Bus Rapid Transit line and hired Tulsa’s first Housing Policy Director – to name a few.
2019 was a year for investment. Investment in Tulsa was widely realized in 2019. WPX Energy announced and broke ground on its new $110 million headquarters in downtown. Vast Bank completed its $40 million headquarters. American Airlines announced it would add 565 new jobs at its north Tulsa hangar. And we formally broke ground on USA BMX’s National Headquarters in the Greenwood District.
2019 was a year for safety. In 2019, we were able to hire 120 new officers and implement 75 community policing recommendations, including implicit bias training for all officers. Tulsa Municipal Lockup celebrated its first year in operation and the Tulsa Fire Department received a Class 1 rating by the Insurance Service Office (ISO). Tulsa Sobering Center, our jail diversion program, also celebrated its first year in operation.
2019 was a year for funding and infrastructure. Improve Our Tulsa passed by a historic margin of victory in 2019. It will provide much-needed funding for years to come to support street maintenance and infrastructure across Tulsa. Construction on the Gilcrease Expressway started, Tulsa Transit improved and updated its route network, and six major street projects were completed in 2019.
2019 was a year for reconciliation. In 2019, we initiated the 1921 Race Massacre investigation into possible mass graves. With the help of the Public Oversight Committee and the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, we were able to scan and complete the geophysical work at Oaklawn Cemetery and Newblock Park.
2019 was a year for resilience. Krystal Reyes, the City’s Chief Resilience Officer was hired in 2019 to further our Resilient Tulsa Strategy. With her help, we held workshops for renters, tenants and small businesses. We hosted our second annual 918 Day celebration, held an employment resource fair, and updated the City’s website to include translations in multiple languages while adding a resource list to help those with mental health needs and those involved in the justice system.
The actions, initiatives and growth in 2019 can’t be summed up in just a few words. That’s why I invite you to read my full 2019 Annual Report at www.cityoftulsa.org/mayor.