Tulsa NAACP Concerned About Stimulus Money

Monday, April 13th 2009, 9:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK - Tulsa County and the City of Tulsa are on the list to receive money from President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package.  And, the Tulsa branch of the NAACP wants to ensure north Tulsa gets its fair share.

Representatives from the Tulsa NAACP voiced their frustrations on Monday for the development of south Tulsa, compared to the incomplete projects dotted around north Tulsa.

"North Tulsa for years has a history of being blocked out of money when it's been allotted to our community," said Twan Jones with the NAACP.

The group discussed projects in the north Tulsa community.  Projects they feel have only received sub-standard contract work from City of Tulsa issued contracts.

Projects specifically mentioned were partially completed construction on an overpass and the landscaping along a bike trail they feel doesn't compare to down south.

"We want to see equal jobs out North that have been done down south," said the NAACP's Twan Jones.  "If we can heighten the awareness and let the citizens in this community know that the money is here, maybe they will begin to attract it more."

The NAACP says it wants a city website that is transparent and will show where the stimulus money is headed. And, they want all of the community to be represented when the money is allocated.

"The people from this community really need to start holding their elected officials' feet to the fire and hold them accountable," said Twan Jones. 

Mayor Kathy Taylor issued a statement saying she meets monthly with the NAACP and President Pleas Thompson.

Taylor says the monthly meetings are to review and work on issues important to the African American community.   She says progress has been made with the BRIDGE program which helps minority contractors.

-- Statement from Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor:

"I have monthly meetings with the NAACP and have a great working relationship with the President Pleas Thompson.  We use these monthly meetings to review and work on issues  important to the African American community.  We have made much progress including our BRIDGE program which helps minority contractors, our FORWARD program which is putting over a million dollars of CDBG to start franchise businesses on the Tulsa north Banfield site, working together on the OSU hospital issue and the OU speciality clinic to be located in Tulsa north and many other issues.  President Thompson attended our most recent group meeting to discuss the Recovery and Reinvestment act.  There is always more work to be done across this City but I appreciate the cooperation and good working relationship with President Thompson and the Tulsa chapter of the NAACP."