By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has selected four African Americans to serve on Tulsa’s authorities, boards and commissions and hired two to work on his staff. His total list to appoint is 390 volunteers to represent 44 Tulsa authorities, boards and commissions.
“Today, I am submitting for consideration by my City Council colleagues, a slate of nominations that begin to move us toward our shared goals of excellence and equality in board participation,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said Wednesday. “This is a start toward broader participation on City boards, but we have identified a clear need for more focused recruitment in particular parts of our community. I appreciate the help of Mayor Bartlett’s administration and my colleagues on the City Council in identifying a number of the nominations we are submitting.”
Notable appointees are Yvonne Hovell’s reappointment to the Park & Recreation Board, Derek Gates appointment to the Infrastructure Development Advisory Board, Dr. Lana Turner-Addison appointment to the Sales Tax Overview Committee and Brandon Jackson’s reappointment to Infrastructure Development Advisory Board.
The Mayor and the City Council rely on authorities, boards and commissions for advice and recommendations that help City officials shape policy and develop programs.
In addition to providing nominations for boards, Bynum also reinstated the Economic Development Commission to help support the City’s economic development efforts. To date no African Americans have been appointed to the Economic Commission Board.
“As we work to make Tulsa more nationally competitive in economic development, I am thankful some of our best business minds are willing to serve on a revitalized Economic Development Commission. We will rely heavily on their guidance in developing and executing the City’s economic development strategy,” Bynum added. Economic development is the process by which a nation, city or state improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Nominations submitted by the Mayor are subject to City Council confirmation.
Earlier in the week Bynum appointed DeVon Douglass as the new Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for the City of Tulsa. The CRO is an innovative position in city government that ideally reports directly to the city’s chief executive, and acts as the city’s point person for resilience building, helping to coordinate all of the city’s resilience efforts. Douglass will lead Tulsa’s resilience efforts and continue the City’s partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation.
Jonathan Townsend was selected in Bynum’s initial staff appointment as Assistant to the Mayor for Community Development and Policy.