By C.J. Webber-Neal
With the thought of black entrepreneurship and conciliation in mind, U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R) took time to visit with The Oklahoma Eagle and speak with publisher Jim Goodwin about his vision for the future. Present during the meeting were members of The Oklahoma Eagle staff, as well as House District 73 Rep. Regina Goodwin (D). Goodwin spoke with the Sen. Lankford about his vision for this historic district of Tulsa, speaking of the rich history of the past as well as the hope of the vibrant future the Greenwood District will play in Tulsa’s history. In May of this year, Sen. Lankford spoke on the floor of the United States Senate about the significance of the upcoming 100 year commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and the historical significance of remembering this tragic day in American history. In this same speech, he also spoke of not just remembering what once was in the historic Greenwood District but the importance of change through conciliation as both Oklahomans and Americans so we can focus on making the future better by examining our own attitudes toward one another.
Sen. Lankford said, “It’s not about us just saying with merely words that we honor the achievements of the men and women of this great district, but it takes action from each of us to show that the evil of those in the past will not dictate who we are both in the present, and in the future.” He went on to say, “I believe conciliation and economic empowerment are key steps we can take now to make Tulsa better, not just for the city’s economy but for unification that will make Tulsa better and brighter.” When asked about his vision for Tulsa north economically, Sen. Lankford said, “I believe that in my position (as U.S. Senator) I have a bully pulpit where I can encourage businesses who want to move or expand in Tulsa not to exclude this vital part of the city.” Sen. Lankford shared his vision of residents of the north part of Tulsa having access to vital employment opportunities and economic services such as those that exists in other parts of the city. “I believe people who live in north part of this city should have access to both stores and employment that is just as equal to the access that residents who live in the south, east, or west parts of city have. I know that economic disparities happen when lack of basic accommodations such as this exists, so if I can help to encourage economic growth like this to happen then this is what I want to do as a citizen and as a elected representative of all people in Oklahoma.”