A global pandemic, social unrest, the killing of a police sergeant and serious wounding of another — in his fourth Tulsa Regional Chamber State of the City, Mayor G.T. Bynum told Tulsans they’ve been through a lot this year, perhaps even more than the first generations of Tulsans whose triumphs over adversity he often points to.
"And yet, here we are, still moving forward, still thinking through how best to build a globally competitive, world-class city. And when you have a city like that with people like that, even in one of the worst years any of us can imagine, the state of our city is and will be strong," Bynum said.
Bynum said the city has a lot to look forward to in the coming months and years, from water in the river to big investments by employers like American Airlines.
"We just broke ground this summer on the lake in the Arkansas River that Tulsans have been talking about for about 50 years now. We — you and I just spoke about the new bus rapid transit line that’s coming online. We are going through a process to build a museum at Gilcrease Museum that’s worthy of the greatest collection of American art in history in the country that isn’t in the hands of the federal government," Bynum said.
The pandemic, however, is not the only ongoing challenge. Protests in the summer reminded Tulsans racial injustice continues to be a real problem approaching the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Bynum called on all Tulsans to commit to solving that problem.
"We will not change 100 years of racial disparity through one year of commemoration in 2021," Bynum said.
Bynum’s address on Thursday was delivered virtually because of the pandemic.