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  • Cathy O'Connor

collaborating for okc's economic development

Two weeks ago, I, along with a group of Oklahoma City representatives, made a whirlwind trip to Anchorage, Alaska.

The group included representatives from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, Downtown OKC and two local private developers. While December is the not the prime month to visit the 49th state, Alaskan city officials had invited us to speak to their leadership about Oklahoma City’s economic development experiences and successes.

The Alaskan group, along with numerous other city delegates who have visited Oklahoma City, are impressed with the great strides our city has made in economic development and revitalization. Oklahoma City has hosted numerous city visits from Wichita, Kansas, and Austin, Texas, to as far away as Bangladesh and Canada.

The groups are keenly interested in seeing the wide-ranging enhancement projects undertaken by MAPS, MAPS for Kids and MAPS 3, all successfully funded by a sales tax vote by citizens. What they really want to know is how to replicate this model in their hometowns.

One of the secrets to our city’s success is the dynamic relationship between the city of Oklahoma City, the Alliance for Economic Development and the business community. Each entity has a strength that advances the entire city. The city of Oklahoma City can identify needs and call for an election, but can’t campaign on behalf of a project. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has financed and conducted sales tax campaigns over the past 17 years to inform the public about the needs and impact. The Alliance bridges public-private partnerships to make the development projects happen.

Read the full article in The Journal Record.

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