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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Your vote wanted

Vote Buttons

One of the most important things you can do to become a full-fledged citizen of your new hometown is vote. Nov. 6 is an important election day across the country and things are no different in the metro, where the ballot will be full of elections at every level of government.

You can find your polling place and request an absentee ballot at the Oklahoma State Election Board’s online voter tool.

The ballot will also include a special election to elect Oklahoma City’s next Ward 7 representative. Nikki Nice and Kirk Pankratz earned the most votes in the primary special election and will stand for a decisive runoff election on Nov. 6.

View what will appear on the ballot in Oklahoma, Canadian and Cleveland counties, and make sure you are prepared to cast an informed vote on Nov. 6.

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Get to know your city government

OKC City Hall

As election season heats up in OKC, it’s becoming especially important to remind everyone how vital local government is and how important it is to vote! But we don’t just urge you to vote, we encourage you to vote wisely. It’s important to know the issues and it’s perhaps equally as important to know who your local politicians are and where they stand on the issues that are most important to you—remember, they’re representing you and your city! So, in the interest of helping you get more acquainted with the inner workings of your amazing new city, here’s links to where you can learn more about OKC’s local politicians:

The Mayor
City Council
City Manager

community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Meet the mayor

Early next month Oklahoma City will have a new mayor for the first time in almost 15 years as David Holt will be sworn into office. On Feb. 13, Mayor-elect Holt was elected by an overwhelming margin to take over for outgoing Mayor Mick Cornett.

Holt is an Oklahoma City native who has been serving in the Oklahoma State Senate since 2010. Prior to that, Holt served as Cornett’s Chief of Staff for five years. Holt recently sat down for a Q&A for the Chamber’s POINT! newsletter to talk about his vision for our city.

Chamber: What inspired you to run for Oklahoma City mayor?

Mayor-elect Holt: On a civic level, I wanted to see our city’s momentum continue. I love Oklahoma City. This is my hometown and where our family has chosen to build our lives together. I felt as if I uniquely understood how to continue that momentum and make sure it reaches every part of our city. And on a more personal level, I’ve served at every level of government, but I felt the most fulfilled when I was at City Hall. This is where you can make a difference.

Oklahoma City has a lot of positive momentum after three decades of successful public investments that in turn spurred even more private investment, jobs and development. As mayor, how do you plan to continue that momentum?

First, we want to make sure we take care of the basics—police, fire, streets, infrastructure. The good news is the voters approved major investments in those areas last September, and I’ll work to ensure those promises are kept. Second, we need to have an inclusive conversation about continuing the quality-of-life investments that have given us this positive momentum. Specifically, we’ll need to start talking soon as a community about whether to pursue a MAPS 4 and what challenges it might address. Third, to continue our momentum, we have to focus on education. And finally, we have to better incorporate the diversity of our city into decision making. To me, these are the foundational elements that allow us to continue this momentum and to extend it to every part of the city.

Four years from now, what is your vision for what Oklahoma City will look like?

We’ll have core services we’re extremely proud of. We’ll have more quality-of-life investments coming that ensure our momentum for another decade. We’ll have a hopeful vision for public education that we’re pursuing together. We’ll have a decision-making process that the whole city feels a part of. And I think with those things in place, we’ll have continued job growth and a continued sense of pride and optimism.

You can read the full Q&A here.

government, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Rock the vote

Vote February 13

Voting has been the backbone of Oklahoma City’s modern renaissance. From MAPS to bond packages, citizens showing up at the ballot box have transformed our city. Beyond big infrastructure projects, our citizens have also elected leaders who have not let the metro rest on past successes. Oklahoma City has a history of electing leaders with a vision for the future.

Today, you can do your part to help to make sure that tradition continues by voting for Oklahoma City Mayor and Oklahoma City Public School’s District 5 seat. Polls are open until 7 p.m. this evening.

Use the Oklahoma State Election Board's online voter tool to confirm your registration, find your polling place and view sample ballots. Many residents with non-OKC addresses or ZIP codes actually live in Oklahoma City and can vote in the mayoral primary. See if you are eligible to vote in Oklahoma City elections

community, education, election, government, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Register to vote

Vote February 13

On Feb. 13 citizens of Oklahoma City will have the chance to vote for Oklahoma City mayor and three seats on the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education. If you are not registered to vote in Oklahoma City don’t fret because you still have time. The deadline to register is this Friday.

If you aren’t eligible to vote ask yourself three simple questions:

  • Am I 18 years old?
  • Am I a U.S. citizen?
  • Am I a resident of Oklahoma City?

If you answered yes to all three questions chances are you can register.

Also it is important to remember that even though your mailing address might be in Yukon, Edmond or another community, you may still actually live in Oklahoma City and are eligible to register. If you pay your trash bill to the City of Oklahoma City odds are you can vote.

To get your voter registration form visit the election board website. To read up on all the candidates be sure to read our election guide here.

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



OKCivics 101

OKC Government

While we are on the subject of voting we feel like an informed voter is a good voter. If you are new to Oklahoma City why not start with a brief civics lesson on the basics of our local government?

Check out more about how Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County and the state governments are structured on the site’s Government Page. The Chamber’s www.greateroklahomacity.com has a list of local municipalities surrounding the Oklahoma City area.

You can also go directly to these institutions’ home pages:

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Infrastructure investment

OKC Skyline

While the MAPS program is used for big, bold quality-of-life projects, those things don’t matter as much if your city fails to keep up with infrastructure needs.

Just like the MAPS programs, the citizens of Oklahoma City have a great record when it comes to voting for these improvements through bond and sales tax proposals. Also, this is a good time to remind our dedicated readers that our city government is mainly funded through sales tax. The more you spend your dollars in Oklahoma City, the more services our city can provide.

This past September the voters approved the largest bond and sales tax program in Oklahoma City’s history. The vote will allow Oklahoma City to invest $1.2 billion in improving Oklahoma City streets, libraries and parks, as well as hiring more firefighters and police officers. The investment will not only allow Oklahoma City to keep up with our city’s rapidly growing population, but also help pave the way for future growth.

community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Safer Streets, Better OKC

Vote September 12

On Sept. 12, citizens of Oklahoma City will go to the polls to decide on a bond program and two sales tax proposals.  There is going to be a lot on the ballot, so we will just give you the highlights (you can read the full ballot here):

  • REPAIR AND RESURFACE STREETS: Invest $847 million in rebuilding and improving Oklahoma City's streets--the top concern of residents. Repairs include replacing bridges, resurfacing streets, building sidewalks, improving drainage, adding bike lanes and more.
  • IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY: Hire more police officers and firefighters to keep Oklahoma City residents safe.
  • IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE: Improve our Oklahoma City by investing in parks and civic / recreational facilities, police and fire stations, libraries, our public transit system, community and economic development programs, and more.

Oklahoma City has created a great tool that allows you to see what bond projects would happen in your area if approved.

What will this do to taxes in OKC? Property tax rates will NOT go up to fund the general obligation bond projects, and if both sales tax proposals are approved by voters, Oklahoma City’s total sales tax will be at the rate of 8.625 percent, still lower than the state average of 8.86 percent.

So what do you need to do between now and Sept. 12? First and foremost register to vote. You have until August 18 to register for this election. Also, make sure you read up on the proposal so you can be informed on the vote you cast. You can learn more here.

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Make your voice heard

voting booths

While you are enjoying fireworks with a cold drink and hot dog on July 4th it is also important to remember what makes our country great. Besides serving in some capacity, the next most patriotic thing you can do is vote. No matter your political views making your voice heard on the local, state and national level is extremely important. Heck, there are actually primaries going on in our state today, so if you are reading this before 7 p.m., on June 28th, there is still time to get to the polls.

You may have also heard there are some elections going on in the fall too. From picking a president, to senators, state legislators and state questions the ballot will be packed in the Sooner State. If you are new to Oklahoma or simply need a refresher we recently wrote a handy how-to-guide about voting in Oklahoma City. Give it a gander why don’t you?

community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Moving made easy: voting

voting booths

You probably haven’t heard but there is a small election taking place later this year. If you are new to our city (and maybe even if you aren’t) you might be wondering how to register to vote. Don’t worry, here is just about everything you need to know.

  • First, you have to register. You can do this by downloading a form online and mailing it in or by going to your county’s election board office, a tag agency, a post office, a public library or another designated public location.
  • Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a voter ID card. You’ll need to show your voter ID card or current driver’s license when you go to your precinct to vote. If you’ve already registered and are in the Oklahoma State Election Board system, find your precinct using your name and birth date here. Or get additional help here.
  • And then you vote. Statewide, polls are open at individual precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election days. Find your precinct. But you can vote early -- Request an absentee ballot in writing or through your individual county’s election board, or go in person to your county election board and participate in early voting, usually from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Thursday and Friday before the election. Check the election calendar for specifics. In Oklahoma County, the address is 4201 N Lincoln Blvd.

The Oklahoma State Election Board’s website is a good resource.

Note that even if you have a mailing address from one of our suburbs, you still might be eligible to vote in Oklahoma City – if you pay utilities to the City of OKC. Also, here are the numbers to surrounding-area local election boards (with their county seats in parentheses) if you still have questions:

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How to vote

voting booths

With the 2016 presidential campaign heating up, it’s time to start thinking about voting in the presidential election – or in any of the other upcoming elections between now and then, including a special election on Sept. 8. On that date, those who live in State House District 85 will vote for state representative between Chip Carter and Cyndi Munson.

Here’s a quick primer on voting in Oklahoma:

  • First, you have to register. You can do this by downloading a form online and mailing it in or by going to your county’s election board office, a tag agency, a post office, a public library or another designated public location. After Nov. 1, voters will be able to submit the form online, thanks to a new state law. For the Nov. 10 general election, registration deadline is Oct. 16. Find out additional registration deadlines on this election calendar.
  • Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a voter ID card that you’ll need to show when you go to your precinct to vote. If you’ve already registered and are in the Oklahoma State Election Board system, find your precinct using your name and birth date here. Or get additional help here.
  • And then you vote. Statewide, polls are open at individual precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election days. Find your precinct. But you can vote early -- Request an absentee ballot in writing or through your individual county’s election board, or go in person to your county election board and participate in early voting, usually from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Thursday and Friday before the election. Check the election calendar for specifics. In Oklahoma County, the address is 4201 N Lincoln Blvd.

The Oklahoma State Election Board’s website is a good resource.

Note that even if you have a mailing address from one of our suburbs, you still might be eligible to vote in Oklahoma City – if you pay utilities to the City of OKC. Also, here are the numbers to surrounding-area local election boards (with their county seats in parentheses) if you still have questions:

election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



How to find and contact your elected officials

Business Advocacy Center

If you don’t know who your elected officials are, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber offers a handy tool to find them online at its Business Advocacy Center.

Just type in your ZIP code or address in the box on the right-hand side of the page, hit enter, and you’ll see all of them connected to your geographic location, from President Obama on down to state senators and representatives. The corresponding list offers direct links to the office holders’ web pages.

On this page, you can also sign up to join our email list that will update you about the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, especially during Oklahoma’s legislative session, offering updates and more.

And if you want to find out about who has filed for office, who is running and more, go online to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Here’s a comprehensive list, in PDF form.

election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Learn how Oklahoma’s governments work

As a reader of this blog, you probably know this, but A Better Life OKC is another good resource for all things Oklahoma City, including about how our city and state governments work.

Check out more about how Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County and the state governments are structured on the site’s Government Page. The Chamber’s www.greateroklahomacity.com has a list of local municipalities surrounding the Oklahoma City area.

You can also go directly to these institutions’ home pages:

government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

App Attack

We know, we know. Your current phone is filled with apps you download and then never use. The slogan “There is an app for that” is now literal. However, we want to introduce you to a couple new apps that we think you’ll love (and hopefully use).

The first is OKC GOV. While a city government app usually doesn’t sound overly thrilling, this one is. By downloading this app you can create positive change in our community. The app is actually pretty simple. You can upload pictures and descriptions to report code violations such as graffiti, potholes, weeds and illegal parking. You don’t even have to know where you are (although we do recommend general whereabouts awareness) as the global positioning in your phone will report the location of the code violation.

The app also connects you to general city information such as pet adoption, bus schedules, ward maps and more.

The only thing more plentiful than apps on your phone is food trucks. We aren’t complaining mind you; there are some great meals to be had out of trucks in OKC. The problem is the food truck scene in the metro has grown so quickly in such a short time in can be daunting to keep track of your favorite food truck and what is near. That is where the app truckitokc comes into play.

Like most apps the idea and interface are simple. Just open the app and it will tell you what food trucks are near you and how long they will be there. You can also pull up a menu and even tweet the truck through the app.

food, government, nightlife, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It Floats Our Boat if You Vote

In one week, Oklahoma City citizens will go to the polls to elect a mayor to lead our city for the next four years. We’ve told you about all the great things that Oklahoma City has accomplished in recent years. It takes a mayor with a vision to keep us on the path to even further greatness.

Here’s a little voting FAQ to help you understand the ins-and-outs before you head to the polls next week.

Voting FAQ

  1. Where do I vote?

    Polling locations vary, but are in the vicinity of where you are registered. Click here to find your polling place.

  2. Can I vote early?

    Yes. Early voting is available at your county election board on Thursday, Feb. 27, and Friday, Feb. 28, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find out more here

  3. Can I vote if I do not live in Oklahoma City?

    Maybe. Even if you have a mailing address in Yukon, Edmond or other communities, you may actually live in Oklahoma City and could be eligible to vote in the election! If you pay your trash bill to the City of Oklahoma City, signs point toward YES!

  4. I’m still not sure if I can vote in this election. Is there someone I can call?

    Yes. Call your local county election board:

    • Canadian County 405-422-2422
    • Cleveland County 405-366-0210
    • Oklahoma County 405-713-1515
    • Pottawatomie County 405-273-8376

  5. Can I still register to vote?

    Not for this election. The last day to register for the 2014 Oklahoma City Mayoral Election was Friday, Feb. 7.

Last, but certainly not least, vote on March 4!

community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



125 Years and Counting

We’ve mentioned before that this year is OKC’s 125th birthday. This city has come a long way since the Land Run of 1889, but it didn’t get there on its own. The city has had 35 mayors to help guide it along the way.

Here are five facts we’re pretty certain you didn’t know about some of Oklahoma City’s previous mayors.

  1. The city’s first mayor, William L. Couch, served the city from April 27, 1889 (that’s just five days after the Land Run) until Nov. 11, 1889. Not long after resigning from office, Couch was in a dispute over a claim to his homestead which culminated in a duel. Couch died from gunshot wounds on April 21, 1890 – just one day before the first anniversary of the Land Run.
  2. While Oklahoma City was built in a day, its infrastructure was most certainly not. During Mayor Lee Van Winkle’s (1899-1901; 1903-1905) second term, the city’s engineering, auditing and accounting departments were created and he secured $2 million to pave city streets.
  3. Mayor Edward Overholser (1915-1918) was mayor during a serious water-supply crisis which led to the creation of Oklahoma City’s first municipal reservoir – Lake Overholser.
  4. Mayor James H. Norick (1959-1963; 1967-1971) was the first Oklahoma City mayor to actually be born in Oklahoma City. He was also a big supporter of sporting events in Oklahoma City and promoted the city’s first Central Hockey League franchise.
  5. Mayor Patience Latting (1971-1983) was not only the first woman to be elected mayor of Oklahoma City, but she was also the first woman to be elected mayor of an American city with a population exceeding 350,000.

Read more about Oklahoma City’s mayors here.  

government, history, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Stamp for a Sticker

You’re new to OKC and we’re so glad you’re here. Now that you’re calling this grand place home, it’s time that you get involved in who runs the world (well, OKC). We think that the first election in your new hometown is a big deal. So why not do it right by voting in the Oklahoma City mayoral election on Tuesday, March 4.

“March?!” you say. “That’s like a month away!” Touché. However, registering to vote takes a little bit of time and less energy. You gotta have that bad boy known as a voter registration form in the mail 24 days before the election if you want to be able to go to the polls and cast your vote. So download a form. Fill it out. Pop a stamp on it and send it back. Easy peasy.

Are you asking, “Can I register to vote?”
Easy. Are you:

  • at least 18 years old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Oklahoma City

Then you can probably register to vote in the mayoral election on March 4! See the Oklahoma State Election Board's "Voter Registration in Oklahoma Page" for complete Oklahoma eligibility info.

Want to vote in the Oklahoma City mayoral election, but not sure if you can?
Even if you have a mailing address in Yukon, Edmond or other communities, you may actually live in Oklahoma City and could be eligible to vote in the election!

If the following applies to you, signs point toward YES!

  • You pay your trash bill to the City of Oklahoma City.

Still not sure? Call your local county election board:

  • Canadian County 405-422-2422
  • Cleveland County 405-366-0210
  • Oklahoma County 405-713-1515
  • Pottawatomie County 405-273-8376
community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Calling all future politicians

Have you always aspired to one day find yourself sitting in the Oval Office? Maybe your democratic dreams are of helping your city or state through your service. Either way, we have a must-attend event for all those who dream of taking a political path – Practical Politics coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the OKC Zoo. Every other year, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber tracks down some of our region’s political experts and gathers them in a room to help folks like you learn the ropes of running a successful campaign.

This year’s keynote speaker is former Oklahoma governor George Nigh who served our great state from 1979 through 1987. Other topics and their speakers include:

  • How to Effectively Raise Campaign Funds - Rep. Scott Inman, Democratic House Minority Leader
  • Running a Successful Campaign: Wining Local, Statewide & Congressional Elections - Pat McFerron, CMA Strategies
  • How to Comply with State Election and Ethics Laws - Lee Slater, Executive Director, Oklahoma Ethics Commission
  • How to Be a Good Candidate and Elected Official - Nick Massey, Edmond City Councilman, and Laura Massenat, Oklahoma City Public Schools Board Member

The cost to attend this event is $35 for members of the Chamber and $45 for non-members. If you’re a college student with valid student ID, the event is free! What a steal!

government, election
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)