February 22, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Northeast Oklahoma City is an area rich with Oklahoma history and culture. It is also an area that faces more serious economic and health issues than the rest of the city.

According to a comprehensive lifestyle report conducted by the Lynn Institute for Healthcare Research, northeast Oklahoma City is one of the most impoverished areas within our state. The area lacks access to health care, fitness resources such as trails and gyms, healthy food choices and other factors that contribute to poor health statistics. A collaboration among several groups and organizations seeks to address these and other quality-of-life issues.

February 15, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Construction on the rail line for the Oklahoma City streetcar recently broke ground, marking another major MAPS 3 milestone. Many of us are eager to have another transit option in and around downtown Oklahoma City, but streetcar service offers more than mobility, it fuels economic growth.

Portland, Oregon, has seen $3.5 billion of new development within two blocks of the streetcar route in the past two decades. And after nearly a year in operation, Kansas City attributes nearly $3 billion in new economic development along the streetcar corridor since plans were announced in 2012.

February 8, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Two important elections are coming up for Oklahoma City residents on Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 14, voters will select three school board members and four City Council members. The results will designate leaders who make decisions on our behalf for the next four years. Voter turnout on local elections is typically miserably low, which means those who do vote have incredible influence.

Three of the eight seats on the Oklahoma City Public Schools board are up for election, including chairperson and two representatives. Meeting the needs of our diverse students and retaining quality teachers in Oklahoma are some of the challenges facing our schools. These volunteer leaders are key to how our schools are operated and funded.

February 1, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

The Oklahoma City Council approved a $120 million tax increment financing plan for the Western Gateway TIF District near downtown, which includes the Wheeler District, recognized by the iconic Ferris wheel on the river. The project area is east of S. Blackwelder Avenue and west of S. Walker Avenue, between the Oklahoma River on the north and Twin Creek on the south.

January 25, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Oklahoma City is often touted as an affordable place to live. In 2015, Forbes Magazine ranked Oklahoma City the fourth most affordable city in the country, with 77 percent of all housing affordable at the median family income. That’s the key – for median family incomes. For those with lower incomes, quality affordable housing is getting increasingly difficult to find.