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Residents Hope New Name Brings Fresh Start To South Tulsa Neighborhood

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A South Tulsa neighborhood with a reputation for high crime and violence is getting a new name; with it, community members hope for a fresh start.

City leaders hope the project helps kids realize the power they have to change their communities.

Ella Marshall has been living in South Tulsa for almost a decade.

Marshall works with the Savanna Landing Apartments resident committee, a group aimed at helping people succeed regardless of their background.

“We got tired of seeing all the violence,” said Marshall. “We got tired of our kids seeing it. And then we also feel like we can help, we can make a change, bring a change around here."

The group recently partnered with the City of Tulsa for a revitalization project. A $500,000 grant from U.S. Justice Department is helping pay for the project.

The city is using the money for community policing and empowerment projects, like renaming the 61st and Peoria neighborhood.

"When you have a positive sounding name, you have a positive perception of the community,” explained City of Tulsa grant coordinator Nate Dorfman. “This is changing how we think of 61st and Peoria."

Community members have the final say.

They're voting between:

  • Mountain View 
  • Hope Avenue
  • Riverwood Square 
  • Hope Valley
  • Riverwood Village
  • Sunrise or a write-in option

City leaders have given students at Marshall Elementary an opportunity to weigh in and cast a ballot of their own.

“For them, it's life-changing,” said Tulsa police officer Popsey Floyd. “Now, when they go somewhere people will look at them by their address and they won't just write them off as a 61st and Peoria resident."

Officer Floyd added, "It's the only thing that is sustainable if you work with our youth. The kids are the ones that actually physically make change."

The city will reveal the new name in the next month.

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