Mayor Bynum Delivers 2023 State of the City Address
Earlier today, Mayor Bynum delivered his 2023 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 City’s progress and initiatives, as well as his vision for the year ahead.
A few highlights and announcements from Mayor Bynum’s address are as follows:
Housing & Homelessness
- Tulsa Exceeds $500 Million Housing Challenge Goal – Initially announced in Mayor Bynum’s 2022 State of the City address, the City has exceeded the mayor’s two-year $500 Million Housing Challenge goal in under one year, with the total sitting at $512.43 million as of this week. This total captures all types of housing projects (new construction, renovations, conversions) and a variety of single-family, multi-family, and everything in-between. Work to grow that number continues.
- Enhanced Services for Affordable Housing Developers – Moving forward, the City will start providing affordable housing project developers with a concierge service when it comes to zoning and permitting. A service historically reserved only for the very largest industrial projects will now extend to affordable housing project developers to build additional capacity for private sector partners to help Tulsa meet its housing needs.
- 20 Different Homelessness Initiatives Underway - In the last few years, the City has revolutionized its role in combatting homelessness. More than 20 initiatives are now underway to address homelessness. Housing and homelessness initiatives and updates can be found at cityoftulsa.org/housing.
Public Safety & Mental Health
- Formation of Domestic Violence Commission - Mayor Bynum announced today he will issue an executive order to form the Tulsa Commission on Domestic Violence in partnership with Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS). This Commission will bring together service providers, law enforcement, educators, and leaders from city, county, state, and tribal governments to decrease domestic violence homicides, strengthen cross-sector partnerships, and elevate community awareness around domestic violence so every Tulsan can play a part in preventing it.
- Real Time Information Center (RTIC) Paying Dividends - Opened earlier this summer, the City's Real Time Information Center has helped recover more than $1 million in stolen property, as well as 88 stolen vehicles. The opening of RTIC represents the biggest advancement in policing in Tulsa in decades.
- Tulsa Fire Department (TFD) Alternative Response Team - TFD is piloting a new Alternative Response Team in Downtown Tulsa, sending firefighters and mental health caseworkers to assist people experiencing a non-violent mental health crisis. This is in addition to the Community Response Team, which has been expanded every year under Mayor Bynum's leadership, whereby a team sends a police officer, firefighter, and mental health caseworker to assist those in mental crises who may be violent.
- New Mental Health Partnership - In the coming months, members of the Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa Housing Authority, and the Tulsa Day Center will form a partnership to help officers address mental health problems in the field. If officers encounter someone who is mentally unable to care for themselves, and both an officer and a mental health clinician agree on this, then the City will file an emergency order of detention to get that person into a treatment center to get them the help they need. The new program will add emergency temporary housing and provide temporary places for individuals to stay upon release while remaining in contact with a mental health case worker. The Tulsa Housing Authority will then work with the City to find individuals permanent housing.
- Make Tulsa 'Drone Capitol of the World' - Tulsa is establishing the Blue Ribbon Commission to make Tulsa the Drone Capital of the World. This commission will study ways in which the City of Tulsa can support this industry and make recommendations for how we will establish Tulsa as the world’s leader in Advanced Aerial Mobility. The establishment comes after Tulsa Innovation Labs, GKFF, and other regional partners helped unlock more than $215 million in investment to grow Tulsa’s tech economy, with a commitment to Advanced Aerial Mobility. Tulsa beat out hundreds of other cities across the country to receive a Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce that, combined with additional local dollars, will fund $70 million to establish a research center of excellence at OSU-Tulsa, manufacturing facilities at the Port of Inola, and a drone testing corridor in partnership with the Osage Nation. Earlier this month Tulsa was designated by the U.S Economic Development Administration as a Tech Hub following our application which centered around drone technology.
- Governance Framework with Tribal Nations - In the year ahead, the City will work with tribal governments to establish a framework for governance, starting with the City's goal of tribal recognition as part of their nations.
Building a More Welcoming City
- Tulsa Becomes First Certified Welcoming City in Oklahoma – A certification more than a year in the making, today it was announced that Tulsa is the first city in Oklahoma to become Certified Welcoming from Welcoming America. Certification efforts were led by the Mayor’s Office of Resilience & Equity and more than 60 community partners. The designation will help Tulsa build a competitive advantage and gain access to opportunities to share its welcoming practices on a regional, national and global stage.
City Brand & Identity
- New City Logo – For the first time in more than 15 years, the City is updating its logo. The new logo is more versatile and will be able to better adapt to the changing needs of the City organization while boldly and proudly representing the community we serve. Because Tulsans adopted the Tulsa Flag as the community flag in 2016, the City’s new logo and brand colors are more representative of the flag’s colors and its connection with the community. The new City logo can be seen on the City of Tulsa’s social media channels, as well as at www.cityoftulsa.org. The City is asking residents to familiarize themselves with the new logo, as its integration in City branding (vehicles, uniforms, etc.) will gradually change as the old logo and colors are phased out over time.
- New City Seal - To reflect Tulsa's Native American heritage, Mayor Bynum has proposed an official update to the City seal. With Tulsa's founding in 1836 by the Muscogee Creek Nation, the City of Tulsa has revised the arrowhead on the current City seal, which incorporates the date of 1836 into the design along with the date of incorporation by the State of Oklahoma. The Muscogee Creek Nation's Chief David Hill has reviewed and approved the new seal, which will soon go before the Tulsa City Council for adoption.