North Tulsa Residents Rally Against River Tax

Saturday, September 8th 2007, 7:40 pm
By: News On 6

Some north Tulsans didn't let the rain drown their chance to be heard. On Saturday they rallied in front of what used to be the only grocery store on the north side of town. City Councilors Roscoe Turner and Jack Henderson teamed up with local churches to host the event. They say they’re tired of the north side of town being ignored. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports community leaders say it's important that north Tulsans head to the polls especially on October 9th, that's when Tulsa County votes on the river tax, and many north Tulsans vow to vote no.

Ads have hit the airwaves aimed at getting you to say yes to a 4/10ths of a cent river tax, but for some the television ads just makes them mad.

“I got furious. There is nothing here on the north side and it's just like they forgot all about us,” north Tulsa resident Kathy Calvin said.

Calvin says the proof is all around north Tulsa. Take for example the shopping center at Pine and Peoria. It used to house an Albertson’s grocery store, which has sat empty since it shutdown earlier this summer.

“They've taken away the only one that we had,” Calvin said.

So north Tulsa residents like Kathy are fighting back, rallying for change, hoping their vote will do the talking.

“We need to turn a dollar over in our community. We need to turn it over at least three or four times,” said Dr. Warren Blakney, Minister of the North Peoria Church of Christ. “We need economic prosperity, we need businesses to come. We need to employ our young people. We need that in North Tulsa.”

Dr. Warren Blakney says the river tax won't do any of that, so he and others are encouraging north Tulsans to vote no.

“When you look at 71st and anything anyone might want is there. When there is that much disparity between north and south it puts a bitter taste in your mouth,” Blakney said.

And they're speaking out, hoping their vote will say it all.

“We have a lot to offer Tulsa, but nobody is looking at us,” Calvin said. “Nobody is talking to us, nobody is even paying us any attention. It's like we don't exist and enough is enough.”

Saturday's rally also called for the new police chief to step down.

Tulsa County voters cast their ballots on the Arkansas River development plan on October 9th.

Watch the video: Tulsans Rally Against River Tax

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