Mayor Bynum Delivers 2022 State of the City Address
On Tuesday, Mayor Bynum delivered his State of the City address in Downtown Tulsa to more than 1,000 people as part of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Luncheon.
During his speech, Mayor Bynum highlighted the many economic development and quality of life successes from this past year and announced new initiatives planned to further make Tulsa a globally competitive, world-class city by creating a safe community and creating opportunity for all. A few of the highlights and announcements are as follows:
- Mental Health Urgent Recovery Center – The City will work to identify $1 million to fund and create Tulsa’s first “mental health urgent recovery center” dedicated entirely to serving children and families in crisis 24/7. This model, called YES Tulsa (Youth Evaluation Services), will be a one-stop triage center for families in immediate mental health crisis. The City will partner with Tulsa County and the State of Oklahoma to build it, and the State will join the federal government in paying for its ongoing operations.
- Homelessness Program Funding and Policy Work – For the past two years, the City has funded over $14 million on homeless initiatives representing a 2,500 percent increase in the City’s average annual funding for homelessness programs. This funding has focused on opening emergency shelters, rapid re-housing, outreach services, medical services, and financial assistance. Policy work will continue next year under a newly formed working group to enhance the community’s participation in helping individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Open Low Barrier Shelter – In the year ahead, the City will work on opening a low barrier shelter for those who cannot utilize existing shelter facilities. Currently, Tulsa is one of the largest cities in America that does not have a low barrier shelter, and a significant percentage of the people who are currently on the streets of Tulsa are there because they have nowhere else to go – the low barrier shelter will help in this regard.
- Faith Community Emergency Shelters – Due to extremes in Oklahoma weather, traditional homeless shelters can see their capacities pushed to the limit. With the help of the faith community, supplemental shelter capacity will be available moving forward, ensuring that everyone who needs shelter in extreme weather can access it.
- Tulsa Housing Challenge of $500 million –For the next two years, the City of Tulsa will be seeking a total of $500 million so additional housing investments can be developed across the city. This will include direct investment in housing, incentives for private sector investors and anything else that expedites the closure of housing gaps that exist in Tulsa today. If you want to join in this historic effort, please email email@example.com.
- Police Recruitment - To help address retirements and recruit the best police officers in the country, Mayor Bynum announced a $15,000 signing bonus for a graduate of the Tulsa Police Academy. Tulsa Police officers have also received major pay boosts over the last few years to help address staffing levels.
- Real Time Information Center – Tulsa Police are working to stand up a real time information center, which allows cameras and license plate readers to monitor areas and identify a crime occurring. Through the pilot program, the City has already yielded remarkable results and in only a few months, 50 arrests and more than $600,000 in stolen property has been recovered, including 60 vehicles
Mayor Bynum’s full speech is available at www.cityoftulsa.org/mayor.