The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
Tulsa, Oklahoma August 5, 2020 – The Mayor of Tulsa contacted the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce regarding the removal of the Black Lives Matter lettering that is painted on Greenwood Avenue. The City of Tulsa suggested that the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce should seek a permit for the street writing or vacate the street and take responsibility for maintaining Greenwood Avenue.
However, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce does not own Greenwood Avenue, does not own the businesses on Greenwood Avenue, did not paint the letters on the street, and does not have the resources to maintain this city street. The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce never asked the City of Tulsa to remove the lettering. In fact, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce demands that the City of Tulsa refrain from removing or altering the writing as it is an appropriate message to have at the location of the 1921 Race Massacre.
While the lettering is historically important to many in the community, the responsibility of maintaining the street and the lettering should not fall upon the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, a private entity. The City of Tulsa is obligated to maintain its streets, pursuant to the City of Tulsa Code of Ordinances, Title 11, Chapter 1, Section 101, Public Works Department.
The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce has repeatedly asked the City of Tulsa to repair the streets and sidewalks in this historic area. The sidewalks are in poor repair and endanger the safety of visitors to the Greenwood District. Rather than asking the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce to assume the responsibility of maintaining Greenwood Avenue or the Black Lives Matter writing, the City of Tulsa needs to step up and maintain the public streets and sidewalks in this important and historic area of Tulsa.