Tulsa Accumulates Accolades

Tulsa, Okla. – Mayor Bartlett held what he called a "good-news news conference" in City Hall today. He announced four honors that the city has recently received.

The Performing Arts Center has received a Great Plains Journalism Award for best public relations magazine, its monthly "Intermission."

"I'm happy to say that the Performing Arts Center and its Intermission' magazine is receiving not its first award for excellence," said PAC director John Scott. "This award from the Great Plains competition I think just kind of seals the deal in terms of how well the magazine works for the facility and how well the magazine works for the community."

The second award the mayor announced was an A+ score in city government transparency and accountability from the Sunshine Review. Last year Tulsa scored just a C.

Mayor Bartlett gives most of the credit to major improvements to the city's website. He called it "the window of our city government's ability to provide that transparency to our citizens."

Details of the results can be viewed at www.sunshinereview.org.

The third award the city received is a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for Tulsa's comprehensive annual financial report.

Mayor Bartlett said the city has received the award for 28 years, and that it is especially impressive this year, in the midst of a budget crisis.

"It's accurate, and it's verifiable, and it's truth," Bartlett said.

The last honor the mayor announced is that Tulsa has been chosen to participate in the 2010 Social Innovation Fund.

"Tulsa is now one of eight cities throughout this country," Bartlett said, "to act as a facilitator for grants of a federal anti-poverty initiative of approximately $110 million."

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City was one of 11 organizations originally picked to participate, and the Fund in turn picked Tulsa as one of its eight partners.

Tulsa non-profits will submit proposals and compete for funding to assist "working poor, disconnected youth, and families with young children," the mayor said.

"We anticipate several million dollars will be at our disposal in order to focus on those three items," Bartlett said. "We will be able to essentially replicate what the New York City Mayor's Fund has come to evaluate as systems that work." He believes the program will be "a good way for non-profits to spend money in a positive way."

The mayor said Tulsa was chosen because of its reputation for generosity and the city's close relationship with New York City's Mayor Bloomberg.