<i>Tulsa: A City Hall Without The Walls</i>
By KATHY TAYLOR
There was a time not so long ago that people had limited access and little input to their city government. There seemed to be virtual walls separating information and the people who needed it. Those times have changed!
Creating a dialogue between Tulsans and their government is key to creating the kind of city we all want to pass on to our children. That means 2-way communication. Citizens should have a voice in their government that is clearly heard on issues they care about and they should always have open access to information about their city.
Open government and accountability are priorities for my administration and the tools available in this digital age are making it easier than ever to engage in a true dialogue with citizens.
Now this is probably a good time to pause and admit that I am a tech junkie. About anyone who has met me knows about my attachment to my Blackberry. Some even say it has become permanently attached to me! But this is an age of constant communication and from that small device I can answer emails, post a message on Twitter or even update my status on Facebook.
We are harnessing the power of social media and the internet to communicate information, news and services in real-time to citizens and to news outlets. This gives us the ability to let people know in an instant about a broad range of events and services.
At the heart of it all is our city Web site found at cityoftulsa.org. Here you will find information about the city budget, parks, neighborhoods, street repairs, boards and commissions and much more. You can report a pothole that needs to be repaired, or even give me input about issues in your neighborhood.
We are also utilizing social media tools like Twitter to bring citizens information and news in “real-time.” You can follow the city’s Twitter updates at Twitter.
Tulsa ENews is another way to keep up to date on city news. This weekly online newsletter gives subscribers information delivered directly to their email accounts about a variety of city news. ENews contains information about events at the BOK Center, the zoo, Performing Arts Center or links to new information posted on our city Web site. You can subscribe by going to Enews.
You can also follow the meetings of the City Council and of our many boards and commissions from your living room. TGov is the City of Tulsa’s public access television station and can be found on cable channel 24.
The Mayor’s Action Center is another great resource for citizens to give input to me and to get information on just about anything in city government. Just call 596-2100 and the MAC staff can help you with questions from A-Z.
As always, I encourage you to attend public meetings and get involved in your city. I value your input and your ideas. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail at 175 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103 or by calling the Mayor’s Action Center at 596-2100.
Citizen engagement and input are critical if we are to create the city we all want to pass on to future generations. So, get informed and get engaged! I look forward to hearing from you soon!