Another visionary proposal, ignored


The politicians keep saying that this September 9th tax vote is the culmination of a grass-roots driven "visioning" process. But a comprehensive, strategic plan -- promised as an outcome of the visioning process -- was never completed. The only ideas given a hearing before the "leadership team" were those that required taxpayer funding -- specifically items that could be lumped into a sales tax vote. Reforms, private initiatives, and public-private partnerships were ignored if they weren't expensive.

A reader writes with an example of an idea that is inexpensive, was submitted by a credible organization, addresses a strategic need, would improve the quality of life for many Tulsans, and would even make the politicians look good -- and it was completely ignored.

[Habitat for Humanity] submitted to INCOG one of... those ideas for what Tulsa could do between now and 2025 to be a better place...

Basically, here's what I proposed on behalf of Habitat for Humanity:

- Eliminate poverty housing and provide a safe, decent, and affordable home
for every Tulsan.

- Requiring no new government funding.

- Requiring virtually no new government resources.

- Funded through existing entities (both privately and government funded)
such as Habitat, Tulsa CAP, HUD, etc.

- The main emphasis would be on taking an existing program hosted through
the Mayors office (HOT - Home Ownership Tulsa) and use it to coordinate the
efforts of these existing entities with their existing funding mechanisms to
wipe out the blight of homelessness, sub-standard housing, and slum lordism
from our city.

- The multi-faceted benefits of home ownership are well documented. Families with a safe and affordable home do better in their jobs, their children do better in school, and they are better citizens.

- Home ownership isn't the right answer for everyone (e.g. the elderly and
infirm), so the plan also included safe, decent, and affordable housing
alternatives for these segments.

We tried to hand the local politicians a gift on a silver platter. Slightly redirect a current effort (focused on "home ownership" - now focus it on providing a safe, decent, and affordable home for every Tulsan), don't need to raise any additional taxes, but be able to claim an incredible victory for our city that few others have been able to match.

I never even heard a response to my proposal. I read in the Whirled (before
I cancelled my subscription) that there were meetings where people were presenting their proposals to the Vision 2025 folks - I was never invited...

Oh well...

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 1, 2003 11:32 AM.

Convention industry "hunkering down, no turnaround in sight" was the previous entry in this blog.

Why vote no? is the next entry in this blog.

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