Mayor David Holt was welcomed into the March membership luncheon with OKCMAR members’ rendition of Happy Birthday. One of the youngest mayors of a major city in the country, he had just turned 41.
He felt that the high margin of passage was also a reflection of how the citizens of Oklahoma City feel about the current state of their city. Since taking office, Mayor Holt stated that he has viewed the city’s top priorities as four main categories: core services, quality of life / MAPS, public education and the incorporation of the diversity of our city into our decision-making process.
He talked about each as he highlighted the effort by the city to meet these priorities.
Meeting the needs of the community can be challenging because at 620 square miles, Oklahoma City is one of the largest cities in the United States by land mass. That is why the passage of the 2017 Better Streets Safer City initiative was so important. He noted that it is putting almost $800 million just into street repairs and improvements. Right now, 80 individual projects have been completed. Another 80 projects are underway, while about 250 more projects are planned. For more details on that initiative, he requested that you visit okc.gov/bettersafer.
All together, these MAPS 4 projects addressing human needs are ensuring that MAPS improves the quality of life for all residents. MAPS addressed 16 critical challenges and opportunities.
“ I can’t exaggerate how jealous other mayors and other cities are when they see us address 16 different issues in one swoop. We’ve come to think it’s routine, but other cities brag when they can tackle two or three of those things in a decade. The ability to get things done through compromise was at much at stake as anything else on December 10th. No one person other than me probably liked all 16 projects, but each project was deeply desired by a significant part of our city.”
Mayor Holt is proposing to start a conversation with everyone who is concerned about education.
“I was somewhat unique as a candidate for Mayor in 2017 and 2018 that I highlighted this as one of my top four priorities. That was unique because mayors don’t run the schools. This conversation should be viewed as an opportunity by all people who care about public education in our city to once again have everyone at the table ready to do big things. ”
Diversity is a reality, and if it is not represented at the leadership table.
Holt stated that the kids of the city are 60 percent non-white. He has been pushing for diversifying Oklahoma City’s volunteer boards and commissions and making sure that by the time he leaves office, the many decision-making bodies in the city will reflect the diverse demographics, geography, generations and gender of our city.
All in all, everyone came away with a feeling that Mayor Holt has the City on the