Stop Vision2: Your help is needed

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While it seems that nearly everyone who is paying attention right now is against Vision2, that won't be enough to win on November 6. Far more people who aren't paying attention right now will show up to vote for President on November 6 and may decide on the spot how to vote on Vision2. The "vote yes" side's hope is to use their million bucks to fill mailboxes and airwaves with misleading advertising, so that voters who aren't paying attention until election day will assume everyone supports it, that no one seriously objects to it, and that they should vote for it, too. (This strategy backfired the last time it was tried, in November 2000.)

That's why it's important to have a visible, organized opposition, and why it's important for you to stand up and be counted. A visible opposition stimulates skepticism and breaks up the bandwagon effect. It plants doubts in the minds of supporters and reassures people inclined to oppose Vision2 that their instincts are right. It keeps the undecided from simply following the herd.

Now that an formal opposition group, Citizens for a Better Vision, has been formed, there are some things you can do to help stop Vision2.

Show up at the campaign kickoff tomorrow, Monday, October 8, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. at Tulsa City Hall. This is an opportunity for "earned media," and it's important to have the diversity and strength of the opposition on display for the viewing public.

Display a yard sign. Your neighbors may only be seeing the puff pieces on local TV or in the paper. The Stop Vision2 sign in your yard communicates that someone they respect, someone they know and like who pays attention to politics, thinks this is a bad deal. Send your address to citizensforabettervision@gmail.com and a yard sign will be delivered to your home.

Display a virtual yard sign. Let your online friends know where you stand. "Like" Stop Vision2 on Facebook. Follow @SayNoToVision2 and @StopVision2 on Twitter, retweet them and encourage your followers to follow them. Download the above yard sign image and upload it to your Facebook profile -- maybe use it as your profile image or Twitter avatar.

Give money. Any time the many are being taxed for the direct benefit of the few, the vote yes campaign will always have far more money at its disposal. But the opposition can still prevail, even with a 50-to-1 financial disadvantage. Nevertheless, some money is needed to pay for yard signs and bumper stickers and to run radio spots. You can give to the campaign securely online through the widget to the right. If you'd rather mail in a contribution, make it out to Citizens for a Better Vision and mail it to:

Citizens for a Better Vision
3909 W Roanoke St
Broken Arrow, OK 74011

Host an opposition speaker. If your neighborhood association or civic group has a meeting between now at November 6, arrange with the group's leadership to have a speaker present the case against Vision2. If your group has already hosted or is scheduled to host a VIsion2 supporter, use that as leverage to insist on equal time.

Encourage your elected officials to take a public stand in opposition. For reasons stated above, they may be nervous about opposing anything for fear of retribution. But an elected official has credibility with the public that a private citizen lacks. When Councilor Blake Ewing and former Councilor Bill Christiansen say they oppose Vision2, voters take notice.

I hear that there are many Tulsa elected officials, business leaders, and non-profit directors who believe Vision2 will fail at the polls on November 6, who believe it should fail, but who do not want to do anything to help it fail.

They want it to fail because they realize that in Vision2, the county is shortchanging their cities' most critical needs, because they realize that Vision2 is not a strategic vision at all, just a mishmash of pork barrel projects and corporate welfare, all just so the Tulsa Metro Chamber can have a $52 million pot of money to play with and Tulsa County commissioners can have ongoing control of a 3/4-billion-dollar revenue stream. They think it will fail because their constituents oppose it and the only voices in support are those already on the payroll or hoping for a piece of the pie.

But these "leaders" remain silent. They Vision2 to lose, but they don't want their fingerprints on its defeat. Someday they will be looking for support for their pet project or cause, and they don't want to be turned down out of spite for their opposition to Vision2. So they'd rather not lead; instead, they hope the voters will do the hard work of stopping this plan.

Do your best to persuade them to speak out. Point out those officials who have already taken the political risk to voice their opposition. Let them know that your estimate of their political courage will depend upon their willingness to take a public stand.

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1 Comments

Bob said:

Michael, excellent analysis and commentary.

How do the likes of former city councilor Randy Sullivan garner an appointment to a city board, commission or authority, while you have never been selected to my knowledge for anything?

With your passion and knowledge about urban planning, I would think that you would be a natural for an important city board, commission or authority like the TMAPC, the TMUA, or TARE?

What's wrong with the political leadership in this town?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 7, 2012 11:25 PM.

Vision2: Tulsa County's bait-and-switch habit was the previous entry in this blog.

Busy week in Tulsa: Music, politics, movies, and more is the next entry in this blog.

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