State Question 744 “will devastate” Oklahoma’s economy
The state of Oklahoma’s economic future is in the hands of voters on polling day November 2, 2010. The first state question on the ballot, State Question 744, will cost the state billions of dollars and will devastate Tulsa’s and the state’s economic prosperity and development for decades.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, and the State Chamber of Oklahoma are working with the One Oklahoma Coalition to defeat SQ 744.
“Defeating State Question 744 is one of the top priorities of the Tulsa Metro Chamber during this election session,” said Neal. “This proposition may very well be the most devastating change to the State Constitution in the history of Oklahoma.”
State Question 744 is a constitutional amendment which places Oklahoma’s state budget in the hands of surrounding states by requiring common education to be funded at the regional average. This constitutional amendment allows the actions of other states to set the budget in Oklahoma.
According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, funding per-pupil spending to the regional average would cost more than one-billion dollars in the first three years, and one-billion dollars or more each year thereafter. There are only three ways to fund such a significant increase: dramatically raise taxes, cut spending in all other areas of government, or a combination of both. The amendment would not allow for a tough economy, nor does it replace funding for transportation, public safety, health care, and higher education.
Out-of-state, special-interest groups are funneling money to ensure Oklahomans are misled on SQ 744. The proposal is being promoted by the state’s largest teacher union, the Oklahoma Educators Association (OEA). Their efforts are heavily funded by sources outside of Oklahoma. It is expected that the OEA and NEA (National Educators Association) are spending more than $4 million on large media buys in an effort to persuade the public this measure is “for the children”.
“The Chamber is a long-time supporter of education improvement, however this measure does not specify how the money is to be spent, requires no reforms, and doesn’t guarantee the money will ever reach the classroom,” said Neal.
Learn more about SQ 744. Visit www.nosq744.com for more reasons to oppose this drastic change to the Oklahoma constitution. Pick up Vote NO SQ 744 campaign yard signs, stickers and t-shirts at the Tulsa Metro Chamber office.
Donate to defeat SQ 744
The One Oklahoma Coalition is in a race against time. Its most critical need is obtaining on-air advertisements to show voters the flaws of SQ 744 and its catastrophic consequences. Your contribution will help in the fight to protect the economic future and financial health of our state.
The campaign can accept unlimited corporate donations. Please make your checks payable to: One Oklahoma Coalition. Please send your contribution to:
Tulsa Metro Chamber
Vote NO SQ 744
c/o Gwendolyn Caldwell
2 West Second Street, Ste. 150
Tulsa, OK 74103
We must act now to inform the public of the enormous funding shortfall that passage of SQ 744 will pose to Tulsa’s economy.
Chamber hosts Voter Drive
The Tulsa Metro Chamber will co-host a Voter Drive with Samson next Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 29 and 30, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the plaza level of the Williams Tower II building at 2nd Street and Boulder Ave.
Deadline to register to vote is Oct. 8
Downtown workers are encouraged to stop by in order to register to vote in the November elections.
Deadline to register to vote is Friday, Oct. 8. If unable to attend the Voter Drive, individuals can register in person at the Tulsa County Election Board at 555 N. Denver Ave. or follow the link to download the voter registration form and instructions for submission.
Mayor outlines focus for year ahead in Chamber’s State of the City
Amidst a crowd of nearly 800 Tulsa area business leaders, Mayor Dewey Bartlett outlined his focus for 2011 at the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s State of the City at the Tulsa Convention Center last Wednesday.
Among issues of greatest concern for the mayor was the city’s financial state, which he addressed with an update on a recent study conducted by KPMG providing 21 feasible recommendations to help the city government run more effectively. A link to the complete study with accompanying recommendations can be found here.
“We now have the most transparent look at every city service and department that has ever been undertaken in the city of Tulsa and one of the few in the nation,” said Bartlett. “It tells us a lot about what needs to be done and how to do it.”
The remainder of the mayor’s address was focused on what he considers opportunities for Tulsa’s future including renewable energy initiatives, energy manufacturing, completion of the Gilcrease Expressway, regional relationships, completion of PlaniTulsa and development of the Arkansas River.
“We must begin again with the planning and development of the Arkansas River Corridor for economic development, business opportunities and environmentally correct recreation attractions,” he said. “It is my recommendation that we now begin the process of evaluating our options to develop our crown jewel – the Arkansas River.”
Since the vote on Arkansas River development in 2007, the Chamber and INCOG have partnered to continue progress on the Arkansas River master plan. The Chamber’s advocacy program secured $25 million in funding from the State of Oklahoma through a bond package in 2010. The Chamber’s federal advocacy program was successful in obtaining an additional $50 million authorized in federal funding from the Water Resource Development Act due to work by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe.
“For more than four years, regional Arkansas River development has remained a top priority on the Chamber’s long-term strategic plan and we continue to support INCOG as it works through the planning stages with the Corp. of Engineers,” said Mike Neal, Chamber president and CEO
Bartlett will continue to push for completion of the Gilcrease Expressway, a repeat top priority on the OneVoice agenda, along with leaders from the Tulsa Metro Chamber and OneVoice partners during the 2011 legislative session.
“It is my priority to complete the Gilcrease Expressway during my terms in office, which will be completed in 2017,” Barlett said.
The complete 2011 OneVoice agenda will be available January 2011 at OneVoiceTulsa.com. Visit the site for updated news and information on legislative issues affecting the Tulsa region as the November election nears.
For a complete recap of the State of the City, please visit the Tulsa World article below:
Mayor emphasizes river development in State of the City address
Chamber launches CEO Roundtable initiative
The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s Small Business Council is starting a new initiative it expects the business community to find extremely valuable. CEO Roundtables are groups of eight non-competitive CEOs (or equivalents) who serve as each other’s advisory board and support unit. Roundtables are self-governing groups that meet monthly for at least two hours to share best practices and exchange ideas in a confidential setting.
Area business leaders are invited to sign up for the no-cost personal advisory groups
“The goal of the CEO Roundtable is simply to make all participating CEOs more effective personally and professionally,” said Sean Kouplen, Small Business Council member and president of Regent Bank.
Kouplen presented the idea for the groups to the Small Business Council and is currently participating in one of two “beta” test roundtables. The response has been tremendous.
“The participants seem to be getting much-needed encouragement, feedback and resources which we believe will make them more successful as business leaders in this challenging environment,” Kouplen said.
Deadline to apply for groups forming in October is Thursday, Sept. 30. The groups will be ongoing and additional training dates will be announced throughout the year.
Tulsa Metro Chamber will provide facilitator and group training but will not participate directly in the groups. Chamber staff will survey participants regularly to ensure the groups are beneficial and functioning to the satisfaction of group members.
To participate in CEO Roundtables, applicants must hold the position of CEO or the equivalent in his or her company; the company must have been in existence for at least two years; the company must be a Tulsa Metro Chamber member in good standing; and the company must have a minimum annual sales revenue of $250,000.
Sign up today
Further criteria and an application can be found by clicking here. There is no cost to participate.
For questions or to submit an application, contact Warren Unsicker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.560.0235.
What we’re working on
Education and workforce
• Attending the U.S. Chamber LEADS conference in D.C. on education reform as guest of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
• Attending the Leadership Oklahoma Fall Education Forum and serving as guest speaker against SQ 744.
• Finalizing plans for the College Access Career Readiness Kickoff.
• Preparing to interview Tulsa Public School Board candidates.
• Planning for the Workforce Roundtable Series.
• Marketing and planning Return On Inclusion event.
• Finalizing partner surveys for distribution regarding Talent Dividend.
• Attending CoreNet conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
• Submitting an RFP for a manufacturing project.
• Submitting the second round of follow-up questions for a manufacturing project.
• Attending the Oklahoma Conference on Manufacturing in Norman.
• Meeting with delegates from Russia and Belarus to give overview of small business and BRE programs.
• Holding small committee meetings focusing on the development of a multi-jurisdictional local cash incentive fund.
• Beginning the FastTrac classes for New Venture and Growth Venture at The Forge.
• Speaking with area chamber executives about the BRE program and the potential for a regional effort.
• Hosting a Mayors Breakfast for area manufacturing leaders.
• Attending small task force meetings evaluating funding opportunities for land acquisition to be used for future local incentive purposes.
• Attending a Tulsa Parking Authority meeting.
• Preparing an impact analysis on Tulsa and/or the state should SQ744 pass.
• Completing mapping of HQ’s of Tulsa companies in U.S.’s largest cities.
• CVB 101 training
• Economic Development Council report and meeting.
• VisitTulsa Advisory Board meeting.
• Arabian sponsorship meetings.
• Compiling and designing the VisitTulsa Attractions Map.
• Compiling and designing the “Heart of Tulsa” Attractions Map.
• Accepting advertising submissions for the 2011 Tulsa Visitor’s Guide.
Marketing and communications
• Hosting a press conference for a local engineering firm that is a new enrollee in Quality Jobs program.
• Completing e-newsletter content for a number of newsletters targeting various audiences.
• Finalizing a direct mail piece to site consultants across the country.
• Completing Tulsa’s Future II campaign collaterals.
• Implementing a Search Engine Marketing campaign for ChooseTulsaJobs.com.
• Updating a number of brochures for various Chamber programs.
• Pitching potential earned media concepts.
• Completing content for the 2011 Visitor’s Guide.
• Preparing media reports for clients and partners.
• Preparing communication strategies to defeat State Question 744.
• Providing national trade publications updated information on Tulsa’s tourism and hospitality industry.
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
Bankers Life & Casualty Co.
Cedar Key, Inc.
Everett Advisory Partners
Jeeves Corporation, Inc.
Ken Hargrove Construction Consultants, LLC
Madison Communications & Electrical Systems
Ted Massad CPR