2018 March POINT!

Learn More about Oklahoma City’s Next Mayor

O n Tuesday, Feb. 13, Oklahoma City voters overwhelming elected David Holt as the next mayor of Oklahoma City. Mayor-elect Holt, a native of Oklahoma City, brings with him years of experience in state, local and federal government. Holt was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 2010, where he represented parts of Oklahoma City. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Mayor Mick Cornett for five years. Holt is also the author of “Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA.” Members of the POINT! editorial team recently interviewed Mayor-elect Holt on his goals as mayor of Oklahoma City. Read the Q&A below to learn more about his priorities and how he plans to implement them, beginning when he is sworn into office on April 10. 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. What have you learned from your time as an elected official in the Oklahoma State Senate, and how will that impact the way you will lead Oklahoma City? A lot of times, it’s been what not to do. The current Legislature doesn’t understand the importance of investing in our future, it spends too much time on trivial issues, and it doesn’t know how to compromise. In Oklahoma City, we have been willing to do what it takes to build a city where people want to live and work. We have focused on things that matter. And we have worked together to compromise, which is the only way a diverse city of 650,000 people can move forward. On a more personal level, I would say my eight years in the Senate have been valuable in learning how to navigate

the many challenges presented in any political process. Experience is, as they say, everything. I authored more than70 pieces of legislation that became law. Every one of those bills—and the ones I failed to advance, too— provided experiences I’ll draw upon moving forward. 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. What role does economic development play in Oklahoma City’s success, and how do you plan to strengthen OKC’s economic development potential? Humans can’t live without food and water and cities can’t live without jobs. It’s that fundamental. When I talk about momentum or the foundational elements to our city’s success, I’m really talking about all the things that create an ecosystem for economic growth. That’s the ultimate goal. So, I think all the things I mentioned previously play into our economic development potential. I would add there are also some more direct ways we influence that equation. There are entities like the Chamber of Commerce or the Alliance for Economic Development that take these assets we have cultivated and sell them to job creators around the



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