I’m worried and angry for us, Tulsa.
Every day, as cases of COVID-19 continue surging across our city, I can’t help but think about our neighbors and family members most vulnerable to the illness. Those who have needlessly been put at risk because of leadership failures in the last several weeks. I join in the call of so many Tulsans for our Mayor to immediately implement policy to slow the spread of the virus.
So I am worried. I am angry. But, I am also hopeful because our city is full of ordinary people who have stepped up to keep us all safe. From Dr. Bruce Dart and the entire health department, to the nurses and doctors in hospitals across our city, to the first responders putting others before themselves, to the teachers who have put their students at the center of everything even amid a global crisis, to the small business owners who continue implementing safe practices, to the frontline workers in grocery stores and gas stations who never stopped making sure Tulsa kept running, thank you.
I helped start a school in North Tulsa – Greenwood Leadership Academy. Since this crisis began, I have been working alongside some of the greatest people I know to ensure that our neighbors are fed and cared for in the face of uncertainty.
I’ve seen you all out there Tulsa. I’ve seen you packing food at The Dream Center and Vernon AME. I’ve seen you making masks for healthcare heroes. I’ve seen you donating your own stimulus to ensure those in greater need were cared for. I’ve seen our city at its best.
And so even though I am worried, even though I am angry, I am sincerely hopeful. I cling to the words of Ella Baker – “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.”
We have proven that now like never before.
We have shown what can happen when we come together to build a better city. I promise, as your mayor, I will never take for granted the powerful and beautiful spirit of this place we all call home. I promise you that I will not do more than implement reactive policies in response to a spike; I will proactively dismantle the inequities in housing, healthcare and economic development that have exacerbated this crisis in our city. I promise you I will not just admire problems, I will solve them. I promise I will hear you and come alongside you to build the type of city we all deserve.
Because we’re in this together; we will get through this together.
Wash your hands. Wear your mask.
Love each other enough to distance.
And let’s work to build something better.