North Tulsa Leaders Voice Hopes, Concerns For Vision2 Vote

Sunday, October 14th 2012, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

North Tulsa leaders are rallying support for Vision2.

More than 32 percent of Tulsa's Vision2 "quality of life projects" are slated to happen in north Tulsa.

State legislators and city councilors held an informational forum on Sunday.

They talked a lot about what will be on the ballot next month, including more than $50 million in improvements to north Tulsa.

Langston University is a historical black college with a campus in north Tulsa.

If Vision2 is passed, $4.3 million will go toward its nursing program.

State Representative Jabar Shumate said Vision2 is a must.

"If we want to see development for our young people, if we want to see enhancement for our only historical university and other colleges and universities in North Tulsa, then we have to pay for it," Shumate said.

Another huge project will happen at Lacy Park.

They city wants to make it a super park, which will connect it to Crawford Park and include a bigger gym and new pool.

Joyce Smith-Williams is a north Tulsa advocate and has been fighting for improvements at Lacy Park.

"If you look at north Tulsa, we don't have skating rinks, movies and other access to services. We don't have that over here," Smith-Williams said. "The park is a rally point for the community."

Other north Tulsa Vision2 projects include improvements to the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum, Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus Fire Safety Training Center, Gilcrease Expressway expansion, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, neighborhood improvements to Districts 1 and 3, Brownfield cleanups and a generator for Morton Comprehensive Health Services.

"I've been on the council for eight years," Tulsa City councilman Jack Henderson said. "All I hear people say is 'I'm not going to vote. I don't have nothing to vote for. We're never going to get nothing in north Tulsa.' They can't say that anymore."

But not everyone is sold on Vision2.

"We've been promised things in north Tulsa for years and years and years," Roscoe Turner, Vision2 opponent and former Tulsa councilman. "If we just vote for this, we'd just get these things done. Ultimately we never get them done."

At the forum, there was a lot of mixed reaction about Vision2.

It is one of the most controversial local ballot items.

If approved, it would extend the sales tax from Vision 2025.