Tulsa Mayor Promotes Use Of American Rescue Funds During Visit With President Biden

Friday, May 13th 2022, 6:00 pm


Many Republicans blame President Biden's nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan for overheating the economy and causing inflation to spike.

President Biden, on the other hand, says it has created jobs and saved lives, especially by helping states and cities in improving public safety, and he encouraged more of the same Friday at the White House.

“Local leaders across the country, including the folks that are here today,“ said the president, “are demonstrating exactly what works.”

President Biden stood in the Rose Garden with mayors and police chiefs from across the country, including Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum.

“This is not a partisan issue, when it comes to public safety, everybody in Tulsa is supportive,” said Mayor Bynum in an interview Friday.

Mayor Bynum and the others in attendance were singled out by Biden for the ways they've used the American Rescue Plan's state and local funding for public safety. The mayor says the city did not need to use the funds to cover a gap in operational funding, so it was an easy decision to put the money toward public safety.

“Our largest allocation to date has been for new fire trucks for the Tulsa Fire Department,” said Bynum.

Eight new fire trucks, Bynum says, were requested by firefighters. And for Tulsa police, an effort to address a staffing shortage.

“We funded signing bonuses for police officers with the American rescue plan act,” Bynum explained. “We also are buying new body cameras for all our police officers, getting a shelter for a helicopter unit.”

Tulsa is getting a total of $88 million from ARPA, half received last summer, the other half arriving this summer.

“That’s one of the great things about the American Rescue Plan, from my standpoint, “ said the mayor, “is that it was directly allocated to cities and then we were able to use it on our highest and greatest priorities, and for us in Tulsa, that’s public safety.”