Blind hatred?


A reader writes, taking exception to the way I've characterized the two recently-formed young professionals groups in Tulsa:

You often right [sic] w/ blind hatred about the Chamber, etc. Recently you commented on the "real" young professionals group and the Chamber's yp group. being somewhat familiar w/ these groups, I think you're being extremely misleading. If you look at you'll see that yptulsa actually LISTS on their calendar the Chamber's yp event this thursday. I'm not seeing all the animosity and group-competition you claim exists.

Obviously you won't comment on this or anything of the sort. You cut it real black and white on your site. I enjoy your postings though for the most part. But as someone who likes to see the good in both sides of an issue, I rarely agree with you. you got blinders on.

If you'll reread what I wrote more carefully, you'll notice I didn't say there was any animosity between the people involved in ypTULSA and those involved in the Tulsa Metro Chamber's copycat group, TYpros. ypTULSA did indeed list TYpros' inaugural event on their calendar, and the ypTULSA leadership is committed to working with TYpros and any other organization that shares their aims. (I note that TYpros has not reciprocated with a link to ypTULSA.)

It's not "blind hatred" to notice that once again, the Tulsa Metro Chamber bureaucracy is more interested in power and control than in cooperation for the greater good of the city. I stand by the story I reported last October, long before the existence of TYpros was announced. TYpros is the fulfillment of the Chamber's threat to set up a rival organization, after ypTULSA refused its overture to bring them under the Chamber umbrella. People who have been active in the community far longer than I have can affirm that the Chamber's MO is to kill what it cannot control.

It may be the case that the young professionals who have joined TYpros don't see themselves as rivals to ypTULSA, but that was the intention of those who created the group. Perhaps in time, TYpros will develop a mission that differentiates it from what ypTULSA is trying to accomplish. But for now, TYpros appears to be a cynical attempt by the Chamber to direct energetic young professionals away from an independent group that might take things in a direction the Chamber doesn't like.

Which is not to say that I'm going to like every direction that ypTULSA takes, but I respect the group for lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness. They're already involved in reviving the Greenwood Jazz Festival, trying to reopen Nelson's Buffeteria somewhere downtown, and trying to make something of the East Village concept. You can read Urban Tulsa's coverage of ypTULSA's kickoff here. I'm glad to see that their concept for the east downtown area focuses on bringing in homegrown businesses in an incremental approach, rather than one massive development for the whole area, controlled by a single developer. The incremental, locally-driven approach has worked well in places like Savannah, Georgia, and it's proven itself along Cherry Street and Brookside here in Tulsa.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 13, 2005 10:48 PM.

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