Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Don McCorkell for Mayor

Just Progress, PAC (JP), a Democratic Political Action Committee organized by citizens for political integrity and a just society, endorses Don McCorkell, Jr. for Mayor of the city of Tulsa. JP endorses Don, because his record of government service and vision for Tulsa�s future perfectly matches our vision of a government that fosters Prosperity, Equal Opportunity, Healthy Communities, Civil Liberties, and Environmental Integrity.

A Background of Personal Integrity and Outstanding Public Service

Don McCorkell is a devoted family man who has been married for 37 years to Marilyn McCorkell. Don and Marilyn have raised two outstanding young men, Joe and Matt.

Don moved to Tulsa when he was in Junior High School. He has worked hard ever since to help make Tulsa a better place to live. Don's service includes Chairing the Greater Tulsa Council (1973-1975) and representing Tulsa in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives (1978-1996).

As a State Representative, Don promoted political integrity by authoring the laws that created Oklahoma's first Ethics Commission. As Chair of the House Economic Development Committee, Don promoted prosperity by sponsoring The Quality Jobs Act, The Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology, and the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board. To insure the health, safety and liberty of Oklahoma's seniors and children, Don led efforts to reform how the State regulates nursing homes and provides children's services. He was also instrumental in establishing the Child Abuse Fund. Don also promoted equal opportunity by authoring or co-authoring laws designed to provide quality education to all our children, including the historic Education Reform Act (HB 1017), the Oklahoma Education Deregulation Act and the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act.

While in the State Legislature, Don never engaged in private work that conflicted with his work as a public servant. As a consequence, he felt the need to leave the legislature in 1996 in order to secure the means of financing his children's college education. Although he had little wealth, Don used his vision, hard work and belief that anything is possible to become one of Oklahoma's most successful entrepreneurs as owner and CEO of Sequoyah Capital and Development, LLC.

An Exciting Vision for Tulsa's Future

Now Don seeks to use his visionary talents and problem solving abilities to help Tulsa achieve a brighter future. This year, while other Mayoral candidates participated in Tulsa's most ineffective government, or vacillated about taking a leadership role in Tulsa's affairs, Don launched a series of interactive citizen's seminars on how to help Tulsa achieve a higher quality of life. Through these seminars, Don and Tulsans from all walks of life addressed Tulsa's problems and opportunities in many areas including public safety, improving streets, education, economic development, the arts and environmental protection.

From Don's citizens' seminars has emerged an exciting Vision for Tulsa�s future. It includes:

# Restoring cooperation and civility to city government without superimposing on our Democratic form of government at-large councilors beholden to a power-elite. Don will do this by engaging the elected representatives of every part of Tulsa in the task of improving living conditions in every Tulsa neighborhood. (Note, Don was the only Democratic candidate for Mayor who took the early lead in opposing at-large councilors).

# Championing excellence in public education. Don will use all of the power of city government to insure that public schools serving the City of Tulsa will provide excellent educational opportunities to all Tulsa children. In doing so, he will address the most important reason middle class families have fled Tulsa to the suburbs: The perception that Tulsa's Public Schools provide quality education only to students enrolled in magnet schools. Mayor Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Daly
of Chicago have proven that the quality of public education can improve dramatically when the Mayor focuses all possible economic and moral attention to the quality of a city's public schools. Oklahoma City recently used the economic power of city government to rebuild its schools. Don will bring a relentless focus on quality education to the Mayor's office.

# Reforming regulatory processes to make them more fair, effective and efficient. Tulsa's processes for granting permits to new economic development projects are unfair, ineffective and inefficient. Don will solve this problem through state of the art permitting processes designed to give residents of affected neighborhoods and proponents of new projects the maximum opportunity to agree on project designs. This will insure that Tulsa�s regulatory processes provide developers maximum flexibility consistent with protecting the public's welfare and safety and give neighborhoods the most effective means of protecting their safety and integrity without imposing unnecessary costs on developers.

# Restoring Tulsa as a Regional Center for the Arts. Tulsa's reputation as a regional arts center was a vital engine of economic prosperity in the past. As mayor, Don will promote a revival of our arts communities so that Tulsa will have the most vital and exciting arts districts from here to Santa Fe.

# Reducing Crime. Recently, our chief of police acknowledged what Don already knew, that Tulsa is experiencing a surge in violent crimes. Don is the only candidate to fully acknowledge the magnitude of this problem, and he has developed a plan to give our law enforcement organizations the personnel, training and equipment needed to meet this challenge.

# Protecting Our Water. Don is the only candidate who understands that poultry waste may soon destroy much of Northeastern Oklahoma�s rivers and lakes, and expose all of us to the risk of incurring serious illnesses, if dramatic changes are not made soon in how the poultry industry operates. Accordingly, Don will support the Oklahoma Attorney General's lawsuit against the Poultry Industry and will insist on a state-of-the-art audit of Tulsa�s settlement with the Poultry Industry to insure that it truly protects our water and our health.

To make this vision a reality, please join Just Progress in supporting Don McCorkell for Mayor.

To learn more about Just Progress, visit our website at

Just Progress is a good group of local activists formed from the wreckage of the Dean for President campaign in '04. I used to be active with them but haven't been to an event in a long while. In any event, if they're for McCorkell, then I'm for McCorkell.