POSTED ON APRIL 18, 2012:
Mayor moves quickly in the week after Good Friday Shootings. Following the April 6 random shootings in north Tulsa, Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. and the City Council have moved quickly to address concerns.
A day after the two suspects, Jake England and Alvin Watts, attended their first court hearing, Mayor Bartlett announced a pilot program for north Tulsa young people. The program is designed to engage north Tulsa youth in positive summertime activities.
The mayor was joined by his wife, Victoria Bartlett, and Tulsa area church leaders in placing the call for faith-based leaders to attend a May 1 rally at the Greenwood Cultural Center.
"We need to focus on kids in north Tulsa and give them something to do this summer," Bartlett said. "I'm asking church leaders and volunteers throughout Tulsa to form sports teams and commit to being a coach or chaperone. Together, we can positively affect the future of those kids who are the future of our entire city. The city will be there as well to fill in the blanks where we are needed."
Victoria said the program is called "Bridges of Faith to One Tulsa." She noted that Tulsa was in the national news for the north side shooting and said, "Tulsa can be in the national news again -- in a good way -- if we join together to help our children."
District 1 Councilor Jack Henderson said, "This past weekend has been trying. I want to thank the mayor and Mrs. Bartlett for the vision they bring to this city. I'm thankful for all of the pastors who have been working with the mayor for the past two years to make this city a better place. Our citizens proved last weekend that we can stand together as one. I feel good today as a councilor for our city, to change Tulsa and make it one."
At the end of last week, the mayor and council also gathered to announce appointments to the city's new Public Safety Task Force.
The Public Safety Task Force was a product of the Mayor's Office and City Council joint goals and objectives set for 2012. The task force is made up of six members, three appointed by Mayor Bartlett and three appointed by the City Council.
The appointments for the Public Safety Task Force include: Carol Bush, Executive Director of the Tulsa Crime Commission, Reuben Davis, Tulsa attorney, Paul Gallahar, Former Tulsa Fire Marshal and President of the Oklahoma State Retired Firefighters Association, Hastings Siegfried, chairman-elect of the State Chamber of Commerce and COO of Nordam, Regina Moon, Tulsa Red Cross and Kevin Matthews, retired Administrative Chief for the Tulsa Fire Department.
"This task force will be one way we can help make improvements in public safety and look at programs for at-risk children that can help address gang problems," Bartlett said. "We have to overcome and continue to meet challenges head on. Tulsa is a city of resilience and we must strive every day to make Tulsa a better place and a safer community."
"This task force is being established because the Mayor and City Council agree that Tulsa should be the safest city in America," said Tulsa City Council Chairman G.T. Bynum.
The Public Safety Task Force will be charged with giving actionable steps to Mayor Bartlett and the City Council on how Tulsa can become one of safest cities in the country. The task force will be asked to deliver their finding to the Mayor and Council by Dec. 1.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A48785