POSTED ON OCTOBER 31, 2012:
We're All in This TogetherVision2 Benefits Everyone
As we approach Election Day, I am continually reminded of the impacts that Vision2 will have on our community. If we just look at what Vision2025 has done for Tulsa and the region, we can't deny that the impact has been for the better. It put us on a positive path toward more vibrant communities. I purposefully say communities because it has created momentum in the heart of our city and throughout Tulsa County. Our downtown is thriving; we have a beautiful arena that has kick started growth in downtown Tulsa. It has been truly exciting to watch. As I dine downtown or go to a concert, I see that infrastructure is more than just buildings; our greatest infrastructure rests in the drive and motivation of our citizens. This drive is the catalyst for real growth and momentum in our communities. Vision2 will continue that momentum going.
I am a business professional who lives and has built a career in this region. I'm excited to do so because of this momentum and I believe Vision2 combines what we need to keep moving forward -- jobs and quality of life. If there aren't employers who are growing their companies, there will not be jobs to support our growth. In addition, professionals need a continued path for development or we'll lose talent from the area. Proposition 1 will retain a historically large industry -- one that would be very difficult and expensive to replace. The TIA Complex has a $6 billion impact on the Tulsa regional economy and more than 11,000 Tulsa County families are dependent on these aerospace and manufacturing jobs. These are high-paying jobs that support people and families that shop here and eat here -- people we see every day.
Think for a minute about your drive into work or about your neighborhood. While it's easy to think that this isn't a big deal to you, the facts support the idea that we will see a difference in our own communities if we lose these jobs. These jobs represent nearly 30,000 people, over 7,000 mortgages and $2.3 billion in goods and services produced in our region. The trickle-down effect is substantial. The retail and restaurant industry would experience a drop in business as well. Many of our businesses and jobs depend on the employees in the aerospace industry, whether we realize it or not. This is not about companies, this is about people.
Water in the river looks good
As we look to the future of our region, we must remember that the attraction and retention of young professionals is vital to the growth and sustainability of our communities. Our goal should be that young people want to come here for a job or school and never want to leave. They should want to raise a family here, grow here as professionals and become committed to the Tulsa that we all know and love. For that to happen, there has to be jobs to offer. Vision2 also offers a job creation fund to recruit new business and retain existing businesses. Nearly every major city in America has funds to serve this purpose and Tulsa cannot continue to compete without the same opportunity. It's important to note that no cash will ever be given directly to companies, but will go to the infrastructure we own, regardless of whose name is on the door. We will continue to invest in ourselves and in our region.
We all need to understand that what professionals have to do from 5 to 9 is just as important as what they're doing from 9 to 5. In other words, our quality of life has become just as important as the jobs that we create. A recent survey conducted by Tulsa's Young Professionals has shown that community development and improvement projects are one of the top motivators for young people in selecting a location to live. Vision2 provides the continued development of our community with a number of projects that have been planned for years and will continue the positive momentum in Tulsa. Projects like the improvements to the Tulsa Zoo, creation of the Lacy Park Regional Recreation Center, Tulsa Children's Museum and renovation to the Central Library will all have the ability to make our region stronger and more vibrant.
I am most excited about the prospect of finally getting water into the Arkansas River. I know that many not just in Tulsa, but throughout the region are excited about the prospect of not only having activities on the river, but also having development along the river as well. The river should be the centerpiece of our community to be enjoyed by all. The partnership between multiple entities -- including Tulsa, Jenks and the Creek Nation -- shows that our region becomes more unified when we work together.
In working together, we can also see Tulsa County make improvements that impact us all including a new Juvenile Justice Bureau, which will improve public safety and make the juvenile justice system more efficient. The County will also make the much-needed improvements to the levee that protects west Tulsa and our roads and bridges.
With all of the impact that Vision2 will have throughout our region, I hope you will join me in saying yes to continued improvement, continued growth, and continued success for our entire county. Join me in voting YES to Vision2 -- Tulsa County Propositions 1 and 2 on Nov. 6. After all, we're competing as a region because we're all in this together.
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