Tulsa City Council Special Meetings

Community Demands

We, the undersigned, are concerned Tulsa community members who have carefully watched the city’s leadership as they develop police reform measures. Efforts of the Mayor and City Council to date have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring law enforcement serves and protects all Tulsans regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and other characteristics. Most recently, we were glad that the City Council responded to community demands and voted to host four special meetings to examine the root causes of troubling Equality Indicators relating to justice. As the Council designs these meetings, we have developed the expectations below for how they should be conducted. Our priorities are ensuring full community participation, transparency, and a robust examination of the policies, practices, and culture resulting in racial disparities in policing practices, including arrests and use of force. We particularly want to learn from, and avoid, the mistakes made in the design of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing — which several City Councilors have publicly agreed fell short of their expectations — namely: the participation of only hand-selected individuals representing a narrow experience, inaccessible meetings, and an unmanageable number of outcomes that remain difficult to measure.

Accordingly, we share the following demands relating to the planning of Equality Indicators special meetings:

  1. City officials should hold the special meetings at a larger, more accessible venue than Council Chambers to ensure all who wish to participate have the opportunity to do so. Further, public comments should be widely solicited, and any resident who wishes to provide comments or questions should be allowed no less than five minutes each. Public comment meetings should take place on the Saturday morning prior to each special meeting. At least five City Councilors must participate and all public meeting protocols should be followed, including live streaming, recording, and acceptance into the official record for City Council hearings.
  2. Residents should have the opportunity to recommend experts to testify at the special meetings so City Councilors hear from those most informed about, or affected by, the disparities being examined. City officials must provide reasons for rejecting any experts recommended by the residents.
  3. The Greater Tulsa Area African American Affairs Commission will select the community representatives presenting at each special meeting.
  4. In addition to the four special meetings on the Equality Indicators relating to justice, the Council should host a fifth special meeting to review the progress of the Community Policing Commission’s 77 recommendations to understand their impact and how they contribute to decreasing racially discriminatory policing. City Council should consider recommending a third-party audit and revisions to the recommendations to make them more specific, measurable, sustainable and effective.
  5. Mayor Bynum and Chief of Police Chuck Jordan must attend all special meetings in full.
  6. Personal attacks by elected officials and representatives of the police department against Tulsa residents or their representatives who express displeasure with police services will not be tolerated. The recipients of police services have the right to lodge complaints under federal, state and local laws. Elected officials and police representatives will not retaliate by making public statements or otherwise taking actions to silence displeased residents and/or their representatives.
  7. The outcome of the special meetings must include recommendations on what changes city officials will make to policies and practices with the goal of effectively addressing/eliminating racial disparities in policing, such as those shared in the May 2018 public letter from 50 Tulsans to city leadership. Each recommendation must include a detailed timeline, a plan on how the changes will be implemented, and a transparent and robust accountability process.

Signed,

Aaron Bolzle
Aba Hammond
ACLU of Oklahoma
Aisha S. McWeay
Alex Aguilar
Alexander Tamahn
Alvin Okonkwo
Andre Wilson
Annie Paige
Arielle Davis
Ashley White
Avery Marshall
Aware Tulsa
B. LeeAnn Crosby
Benita Barnes
Beth Downing
Bishop Melvin Cooper
Black Wall Street Times
Brancen Gregory
Branden Carr
Caleb Breedlove
Carlos Moreno
Carmela Hill
Carolyn Ekenstam
Catherine Freudenrich
Cecelia Seals
Charles Harper
Charles Wilkes
Christian Barnes
Chyna Barnes
Colleen Fox
D’Marria Monday
Damali Wilson
Darryl Bright
David Harland
Deborah Chambers
Devin Fletcher
DISRUPT Tulsa
Don Alberty
Dr. Ray Owens
Dr. Ricco Wright
Dr. Robert Turner
Dr. Stewart Habig
Dream Alliance Oklahoma (DAOK)
Drew Diamond
Ebony Easily
Egunwale Fagbenro
Eliza Drew
Elizabeth Downing
Elizabeth Steinocher
Elton Sykes
Emeka Nnaka
Emilee Taylor
Emily Pauli
Giselle Willis
Greg Robinson II
Hailey Ferguson
Hannah Jarman
Hollis McAllister
J Al-Harake
James (Jamie) Morton
James Johnson
James Parker
Jason Gilley
Jennie Wachowski-Estes
Jennifer Ferre
Jenny Briggs
Jenny Taylor
Jesse Ulrich
Jordan Westcott
Joy Miller-Davis
Julie Summers
Justin Deon Griggs
Kandy Whitley White
Kara Y. Farrow, MDIV
Katelyn Kramer
Kaushiki Chowdhury
Kaylin Holmes
Kevin Whitley
Kiana Smith
Kimberly Butler
Kojo Asamoa-Caesar
Kristi Williams
Kuma Roberts
LaKena Whitley
LaTekia Tyson
LaTonya Norman
Laura Bellis
Laura Dempsey, PhD
Laura Ross White
Lauren Oldham
Leslie Dotson
Leslie Penrose
Linda Allegro
Lindsey Vandeventer, LMSW
Lorna Doyle
Maddye Chastain
Maggie Burnside
Mana Tahaie
Marcia Bruno-Todd
Matthew Janey
Megan DiGregorio
Michael W. Philippsen
Moises Echeverria
Monya Brown
Nat Wachowski-Estes
Nate Morris
Nehemiah Frank
New Sanctuary Network Tulsa
New View
Nick Singer
Noelle Janak
Olivia Davis
Onikah Asamoa-Caesar
Pastor Barbara Littlejohn
Pastor Barbara Shannon
Pastor Jamaal Dyer
Pastor Karen Mascho
Pastor Layla Caldwell
Pastor MC Potter
Pastor Rodney Goss
Pastor Scott Gordon
Pastor Terry Shannon
Penny Grant
Randy Seals
Raynell Joseph
Rebecca Lais
Rebekah Campbell-McIlwain
Rev. Chris Moore
Rev. Dr. Eric J. Gill
Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar
Rev. Gerald Davis
Rev. Kelli Driscoll Crews
Rev. Robert P. Martin
Rev. Susanna Weslie Southard
Rev. Todd Freeman
Rhea Vaughn-Dobbins
Richard Baxter
Riyanna Nicole Williams
Riyanna Williams
Robert P. Martin
Robin Taylor
Ronald Jones II
Rosa Hernandez
Sandi Cox
Sarah DiGregorio
Sarah Morice Brubaker
Seton Lazalier
Shay White
Shea Seals
Stephanie Heck
Stephen Noel-Place
Tahira Taqi
Tera Carr
The Bail Project
The United League for Social Action (TULSA)
Tiffany French
Tiffany Phillips
Timantha Norman
Todd Freeman
Tom Seals
Tori Tyson
Torrel Miles
Tracie Chandler
Tyrance Billingsley II
UMFC of Tulsa
Valonda Pannell
Vashonda Pannell
Vic Wiener
Violet Fenn
William White
Yadenee Hailu