Tulsa, Oklahoma

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Seal of Tulsa.png
General information
Dewey Bartlett Jr.jpg
Mayor:Dewey Bartlett Jr.
Last mayoral election:2013
Next mayoral election:2017
Last city council election:November 4, 2014
Next city council election:2017
City council seats:9
2014-15 FY Budget:$597 million
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:398,121
Gender:51.3% Female
Race:White 62.6%
African American 15.9%
Asian 2.3%
Native American 5.3%
Two or More 5.9%
Ethnicity:Hispanic or Latino 14.1%
Median household income:$40,781
High school graduation rate:86.6%
College graduation rate:29.8%
Related Tulsa offices
Oklahoma Congressional Delegation
Oklahoma State Legislature
Oklahoma state executive offices
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 45th-largest in the United States. With an estimated population of 398,121 in 2013, it is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area.[1] The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma, and extends into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.

City government

See also: Mayor-council government

The city of Tulsa utilizes a "strong mayor" and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.[2]


The mayor serves as the city's chief executive, and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and committee members and overseeing the city's day-to-day operations. The mayor also possesses veto powers and represents the city on the state, national and international levels..[2] Dewey Bartlett Jr. is the current Mayor of Lincoln.[3]

City council

The Tulsa City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[2]


The city council consists of nine members, each of which are elected by one of the city's nine districts.[3]

A full list of city council members can be found here.

Commissions, boards and committees

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Tulsa City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[4]

For a full list of Tulsa's commissions, boards and committees, see here.



See also: Tulsa, Oklahoma municipal elections, 2014.

The city of Tulsa, Oklahoma held nonpartisan elections for city council on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 16, 2014.[5]

All nine city council seats were up for election. An incumbent ran in each race. In Districts 5 and 8, incumbents ran unopposed.

For districts in which more than two candidates filed to run, a primary election was held on June 24, 2014. These districts included 1, 2, 4 and 7. Candidates, who received a majority of the votes in the primary, won outright and did not have to run in the November 4 general election. In races where no candidate received a majority, the top two candidates faced each other in a run-off election on November 4, 2014.[5]


Tulsa's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2014-15 was $597 million.[6]

Contact Information

See here to contact the mayor.

See here to contact individual council members.

Ballot measures

See also: Tulsa County, Oklahoma ballot measures

Oklahoma City is in Tulsa County. A list of ballot measures in Tulsa County is available here.

Initiative process

Population as of 2013: 398,121.[1] Oklahoma City is a charter city.

Tulsa's initiative process follows state law (see Laws governing local ballot measures in Oklahoma for details) for both charter amendment and ordinances.


See also: Oklahoma government sector lobbying

The City of Tulsa does not retain the services of a private lobbyist. The City is a member of the Oklahoma Municipal League, the United States Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, and the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. Each of these organizations do advocate on behalf of their members at the Federal and State levels of government on issues, some of which are of interest to the City of Tulsa.[7]

Issues in the city

Shooting of Eric Harris

On April 2, 2015, a reserve deputy sheriff shot and killed an unarmed African-American man named Eric Harris. Just before the shooting occurred, local police had caught Harris illegally attempting to sell firearms to an undercover officer. When Harris fled, several officers tackled him. It was at this point that a reserve deputy sheriff named Robert Bates reached for his stun gun to subdue Harris, but instead shot him in the back with a handgun. Video footage of the incident records Bates saying, "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry," immediately after he fired the shot. Harris began screaming shortly thereafter and told officers that he was having trouble breathing. One officer responded by saying, "You shouldn't have f---ing ran" and "f--- your breath." Harris died in a hospital later that day.[8][9]

The shooting in Tulsa followed a number of similar incidents in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, Madison, Wisconsin and North Charleston, South Carolina, in which police have shot and killed unarmed black men. Many of these events have led to protests as well as demands for more police accountability and solutions to racial disparities in major urban centers throughout the country.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office charged Bates, the reserve deputy who shot Eric Harris, with second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, Bates could face up to four years in prison. Bates' full-time occupation is as an insurance executive. He began serving as a reserve deputy in Tulsa in 2008.[10]

Website evaluation

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Public Records
Local Taxes

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process
Main article: Evaluation of Oklahoma city websites

This website was most recently evaluated on November 27, 2012.

The good

  • Budget
    • Current budget is published.[11]
    • Budget is archived for at least three years[12]
  • Agendas
    • Agendas and minutes for city council meetings are posted.[13] They are also available for at least three years.
  • Elected Officials
    • City council members are listed with email addresses in their individual profiles.[14]
    • The general office address and phone number is given.
  • Administrative Officials
    • Administrative officials and department heads are listed with their emails.[15][16]
    • The general office address and phone number is given.
  • Building Permits and Zoning
    • Building permits and zoning information provided.[17]
  • Audits
    • Annual financial audits are published.[18]
  • Contracts
    • Information on city contracts is available.[19]
    • Bids over $10,000 are posted[20]
  • Lobbying
  • Public Records
  • Taxes
    • Taxes and tax revenue are broken down on the "Balancing Budget" page.[23]
    • Includes info on the 3rd penny sales tax extension.[24] Sales tax and other tax information is also available.[25]

The bad

  • Elected Officials
    • Direct numbers are not listed for elected officials
  • Administrative Officials
    • No direct phone numbers are listed for administrative officials

See Also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 U.S. Census, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on September 2, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tulsa City Charter, Art. II & III, accessed on September 2, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 City of Tulsa, "Elected Officials," accessed on September 2, 2014
  4. City of Tulsa, "Boards," accessed on August 26, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tulsa County, "2014 Election Calendar," accessed May 14, 2014
  6. City of Tulsa, "2014-15 Budget and Capital Plan: Executive Summary," accessed on August 26, 2014
  7. City of Tulsa, "Lobbying," accessed on September 2, 2014
  8. Politico, "Police release video of accidental shooting of black man in Tulsa," April 13, 2015
  9. Vox, "Tulsa reserve deputy charged with manslaughter for shooting Eric Harris," April 13, 2015
  10. CNN, "Deputy charged in Tulsa shooting," April 14, 2015
  11. City of Tulsa, "Budget," accessed on September 2, 2014
  12. City of Tulsa ,"City Budget Archive," accessed on September 2, 2014
  13. City of Tulsa, "Meetings," accessed on September 2, 2014
  14. City of Tulsa, "Tulsa Council," accessed on September 2, 2014
  15. City of Tulsa, "Mayor's Management Staff
  16. City of Tulsa, "Departments," accessed on September 2, 2014
  17. City of Tulsa, "Zoning," accessed on September 2, 2014
  18. City of Tulsa, "CAFR," accessed on September 2, 2014
  19. City of Tulsa, "Contracts," accessed on September 2, 2014
  20. City of Tulsa, "Bid Results," accessed on September 2, 2014
  21. City of Tulsa, "Lobbying," accessed on September 2, 2014
  22. City of Tulsa, "Public Records," accessed on September 2, 2014
  23. City of Tulsa, "Balancing Budget," accessed on September 2, 2014
  24. City of Tulsa, "3rd Penny Proposal," accessed on September 2, 2014
  25. City of Tulsa, "Sales Tax," accessed on September 2, 2014