POSTED ON MARCH 10, 2010:
Love Letters/ Hate Mail
He Got It
(In response to "Orbit This" in the March 4-10 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I just read the article about PLANiTULSA, funny enough at the memorial bus station, and Jamie Jamieson understands my plight.
He gets it. I felt he was there with me with every non-sidewalk street that I had to walk on: muddy, uneven, or on the side of the road trying to share with the cars as they zoom by honking, yelling things I just can't hear or trying to scare me with loud noises.
I felt like he was there with me at the intersection of 31st and Sheridan where the lights are so short I feel the only way I could cross safely is if I could run as fast as a dog or cat.
He gets it for every unplowed snow and ice covered sidewalk that I had to walk on to get home at night because I am not on the night bus route and the city, businesses or residents will shovel and plow everything but the sidewalk.
It takes two buses to take me two miles to work, but I have to walk home at night because the night bus doesn't go where I live.
When I lived on 71st and Sheridan, I used to take three buses to go five miles, and the funny part is I was just trying to go to 21st and Sheridan, I thought it should be just a straight shoot down the road but surprise, buses don't work that way. He understands me when I think I would like to go out on Saturday night but no night buses go where I want to go and stay as long as I want to stay. He understands the needs in Tulsa. He gets it!!!
On to the Next One
(In response to "Hey, Tea Partiers: You're Leftists" in the Feb. 25-March 3 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I read, with some amusement, Ted Rall's column "Hey Tea Partiers." Some, indeed, are leftists; others are rightists. The thread that runs through most of it, though, is that they don't want a faceless bureaucrat or detached politician making choices for them. Rall alludes to the answer in the first paragraph but can't seem to bring himself to actually say it outright. The natural home for most, though not all, of the Tea Partiers is the Libertarian Party, the third largest party in the United States. I predict that, just as the Republican Party supplanted the Whigs in the 1850s because they had lost their bearings, so the Libertarian party, standing for personal freedom and personal responsibility, economic freedom and economic responsibility, will now replace the Republicans.
Power of the Tenth
(In response to "My Country 'Tis of We" in the Feb. 18-24 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I take issue with Arnold Hamilton's disregard for "Tenthers." No, I am not a conspiracy-minded zealot but rather a citizen who happens to think the Constitution was a very important document that many liberals (and conservatives) often ignore. Unfortunately, this attitude has led to a growing and burdensome federal government.
States rights have diminished considerably since Reconstruction, and more so since the passage of the 17th Amendment. Case and point: the State of Alaska is for drilling in ANWR. However, the Federal Government has said "No" through both Executive and Legislative branches. Since when do the elected officials in Washington, D.C. know what Alaska needs? Since when do they know Oklahoma's needs?
That is the problem with the Federal Government: They are disconnected not only from the states, but the people that live in those states. Many of the Founders, especially Jefferson, Madison and Henry, were more concerned with state's rights because they felt the states were better at managing their own affairs.
However, the real kick in the teeth was his total disregards not only the people who want the Tenth Amendment followed, but the Tenth Amendment itself. So I guess he is picking and choosing which part of the Constitution he likes. How convenient. The Tenth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution that has been repeatedly ignored and disregarded by the Federal Government which has specific powers.
So to be fair, I will label Hamilton as a "Preambler." It seems that liberals love to "promote the general welfare" as a means to create taxes for the social services like welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, AFDC, Social Security, etc.
I think liberals love the Preamble because it is very vague and unspecific-whereas the remainder of the Constitution is exactly the opposite.
Stick with It
Madams and Sirs,
Tens of thousands of hours over two years were spent by over 6,000 citizen volunteers to develop the PlaniTulsa plan. It would be a travesty of the democratic process to allow naysayers who either didn't participate, or who were in the minority (remember, majority rules), to hijack and change this excellent plan.
If the TMAPC is truly representative of the people, you will adopt this plan as developed by energized citizens of Tulsa. How many more hearings do we need? People who care about Tulsa's future have worked hard to develop this long term plan. Let's approve it tonight and start working to take Tulsa into the 21st century. SAY NO TO STATUS QUO.
When I was working in the Chicago corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500 company and one of the top brands in the world, I remember our CEO explaining why we needed to stop doing the old same things over and over and start moving to the future. He used this question ... when a light bulb is out in a room, why do you keep flicking the light switch? The bulb is out. It is not going to light up ... yet you still flick that switch. The solution is to CHANGE the bulb!
PlaniTulsa is Tulsa's new light bulb. We've been flicking that switch for years. Yes, we've added a few more small lights, but we have not had a strategic, visionary, long term plan for the future in decades. And Tulsa is paying for it ... with a loss in revenues and the cut back in city services, little or no population growth, and many low rankings among cities. I personally know too many young adults to baby boomers who have left Tulsa in frustration. I know many others planning to leave if things don't change. Can we afford this "brain drain?" Yes, we are a low cost city, but we are not a dynamic city that is truly growing or attracting new, innovative businesses and creative industries on a large scale. Major commitment to smart growth, new urbanism, mixed use neighborhoods, public transportation and sustainability are all currently missing here. PlaniTulsa is a good first step for all of this because these elements are in the plan.
Before I go on, I should explain, I am an Okie who left home for 24 years to pursue my career. I've lived in a small town of 5,000 and world cities of up to 12 million, including three of the six largest cities in the U.S.
Having lived and worked in four countries and four states, I think I have a unique perspective on truly livable cities for all people. You see, I could have lived anywhere, but CHOSE TULSA.
But sadly, I returned to find that Tulsa is behind as it is compared to other cities. We used to be the leader over Oklahoma City, but OKC has been running circles around us ... and what OKC is doing is not really THAT remarkable as cities go.
In Tulsa, we just perpetuate what we've always been doing, and we are falling farther and farther behind. Tulsa not only needs to catch up with other cities by adopting and immediately implementing the PlaniTulsa plan, but we need to "leapfrog" our vision and strategic planning for Tulsa to make it truly a city for the 21st century. If we don't, we will continue to lose people, lose city revenues, and then lose property values.
Please, please, please, don't let the naysayer and anti-change minorities who selfishly protect their personal interests hijack this democratic, visionary process. It is time to do what is right for Tulsa's future. SAY NO TO STATUS QUO. Approve this exceptional PlaniTulsa plan and let's move into the 21st century!
Thank you so much for your volunteering to serve on this board, and for approving the PlaniTulsa plan ... as the caring, energized citizens developed it.
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