By Louis Gray
Eagle Senior Writer
Paul Eicher is challenging an incumbent candidate with a familiar last name to represent District 3 Tulsa City Council in an election set for August 25th. Eicher, 32, who has spent the last 10 years working in higher education (RSU) is running against Crista Patrick. Patrick’s father and brother have both previously held the seat. Eicher said that doesn’t necessarily make a good city council candidate and that education and experience are what sets him apart.
Patrick is well known for attacking the graffiti that is found throughout her district. She may see the messaging as aesthetically unpleasant to look at. Eicher said she is missing the point. For one thing, white washing graffiti only creates a clean canvas for future messaging. More importantly, Eicher said Patrick would do well to read the messages and find out what might amount to a cry for help or attention. Eicher finds her approach to a complicated situation and treating it like a problem and not an opportunity is a mistake in his estimation.
Eicher said he is running too because he says the city is at the crossroads of change and they need someone with his foresight and professionalism to fight for progressive change in the district. The district is among the most diverse in Tulsa with significant, African American, Native American, Hispanic American and White Americans living side by side. Patrick has said she wants to offer “hope” to the district and while a noble sentiment, Eicher says a district he believes is neglected deserves more and it will take a proven leader to get it done.
Eicher says the district needs someone to stand up to the mayor and fight for the needed resources and not accept what is offered. Eicher said that results in a street system that is crumbling and do not look like streets in other parts of the city. He said the streets have been ignored so long the paint is worn off making travel dangerous. He adds the overgrowth of trees and grass in abandoned areas are hazardous and needs city attention.
He also wants to address extremely high water bills that he says have risen 87 percent in the last few years creating hardship for a district short on jobs and decent wages. He warns of the coming crisis with sky rocketing evictions brought on by Covid-19.
Eicher told The Oklahoma Eagle this is a critical election and “we have to decide what kind of leadership” district 3 voters need.