View Full Version : Why is Oklahoma City not a "Boom Town"?



kwash
07-08-2012, 09:08 PM
FRecently i saw forbes did a list of americas next "boom citys" and oklahoma city was no where on it. Austin, Portland, even Dallas were on the list as americas next boom citys, basically citys were wealth is growing along with great culture, great art scene and music scenes. It seems like a list of the next "hip citys" if you will. Charlotte even made the list, okc has definitly grown with the success of okc thunder and all the maps projects. I see okc on list like cheap places to live in america or cheap citys to buy homes etc etc. Why arent we getting more national recognition for being a "boom city"? Only thing i can think of is to many low wage jobs and not progressive enough for the whole "hip city" vibe????

ljbab728
07-08-2012, 10:01 PM
You might check out this thread.

http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=27143

A lot of those issues were discussed.

bchris02
07-11-2012, 11:38 AM
FRecently i saw forbes did a list of americas next "boom citys" and oklahoma city was no where on it. Austin, Portland, even Dallas were on the list as americas next boom citys, basically citys were wealth is growing along with great culture, great art scene and music scenes. It seems like a list of the next "hip citys" if you will. Charlotte even made the list, okc has definitly grown with the success of okc thunder and all the maps projects. I see okc on list like cheap places to live in america or cheap citys to buy homes etc etc. Why arent we getting more national recognition for being a "boom city"? Only thing i can think of is to many low wage jobs and not progressive enough for the whole "hip city" vibe????

Oklahoma City still has image issues to overcome, some of them partial truth and others remnant of the old OKC of the 80s and 90s. I live in Charlotte right now and when I mention OKC to somebody they immediately think boring, conservative, nothing but farmland, tornadoes, etc. Bottom line is OKC offers much more than most of the country realizes, but in my opinion magazines like Forbes will continue to pass over OKC until the city has more of a visible creative class and possibly until Oklahoma County votes blue. Cities like Austin and Portland are known for their prominent hippie, artistic, funky, LGBT, etc presence and those qualities are generally considered the standard for a hip city for young professionals. OKC has some of these, but its less prominent than many cities its size and until that changes and/or Oklahoma County votes Democratic in a Presidential election, OKC will keep its boring, conservative perception nationally.

In a way this is a blessing in disguise because growing too much, too fast is not a good thing. For instance, I have a hard time believing Charlotte really will be a boom town in the next decade because jobs have completely dried up here.

BoulderSooner
07-11-2012, 12:08 PM
pretty hard to call Dallas the next boom city ... it is the 4th largest MSA in the US

venture
07-11-2012, 12:20 PM
Those other cities also don't come across as being so reliant on a single industry like OKC is with energy. Also agree with Chris in the part that OKC really doesn't have the diverse culture those other cities have. However, I consider OKC a much younger city that isn't as well developed as Austin or Portland. OKC was essentially dead 15 years ago and has just recently, relatively speaking, started to redefine itself. Maybe in 15-20 more years we'll see the night and day difference in the image of OKC. Moving away from the stale dust bowl evangelical melting pot to one of a more diverse and cultured community. A lot of these changes will be natural in there evolution too since the current older and baby boomer generation will be replaced by the children of the 70s/80s. We are getting there, but not yet quite to the level of the other cities mentioned.

bchris02
07-11-2012, 01:30 PM
Those other cities also don't come across as being so reliant on a single industry like OKC is with energy. Also agree with Chris in the part that OKC really doesn't have the diverse culture those other cities have. However, I consider OKC a much younger city that isn't as well developed as Austin or Portland. OKC was essentially dead 15 years ago and has just recently, relatively speaking, started to redefine itself. Maybe in 15-20 more years we'll see the night and day difference in the image of OKC. Moving away from the stale dust bowl evangelical melting pot to one of a more diverse and cultured community. A lot of these changes will be natural in there evolution too since the current older and baby boomer generation will be replaced by the children of the 70s/80s. We are getting there, but not yet quite to the level of the other cities mentioned.

Charlotte is more dependent on banking than OKC is on energy, or at least it was prior to the recession. Many of those jobs have not been replaced and the ones that have have been replaced by much lower paying, lower quality call center jobs. I would agree its definitely not a good thing to be a one-industry town, which is why Charlotte is struggling so much right now, but I thought OKC was a bit more diverse than that being the state capital and all.

Pete
07-11-2012, 01:55 PM
The easiest answer is that OKC had not had booming population growth.

Over the past few decades, we've grown in the 10-15% range which is solid, but not in the class of the other cities mentioned here.

However, as the previously-posted link will show you, it looks like OKC is approaching or surpassing a projected 10-year rate of over 20%, so that may change perspectives.

Bellaboo
07-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Does it matter ? Boom sometimes = Bust.....aka Las Vegas (lost wages), 14 % + unemployment...

bchris02
07-11-2012, 02:59 PM
Does it matter ? Boom sometimes = Bust.....aka Las Vegas (lost wages), 14 % + unemployment...

Agreed. I am leaving Charlotte for OKC in one week due to this. 10% unemployment and people still flocking here in droves has made it near impossible to find quality employment. As I've said many times, slow, steady growth is great which OKC has.

adaniel
07-11-2012, 03:24 PM
Does it matter ? Boom sometimes = Bust.....aka Las Vegas (lost wages), 14 % + unemployment...

This.

I love our strong, above average, but sustainable job and population growth as of late.

Living in both Dallas and Atlanta (both "boomtowns") has probably jaded my outlook but I don't want anything like that in OKC. DFW is still going strong (although its tapped the brakes on the breakneck pace of growth experiences in the 90's). Atlanta has pretty much fallen on its face. You can get a house really cheap there, though.

Looking at the components of population growth has shown strong in-migration into this area for some time now, so its not like people are not moving here.

What matters most to us: have a strong community with a sustainable long term future? Or being the "it" place for a few years and attracting a lot of wannabes until the next "it" place is crowned by Forbes/Fortune?

RadicalModerate
07-11-2012, 06:33 PM
I suppose, in large part, that the answer to the OP's question
depends upon how one defines "Boom Town" . . . Doesn't it?
ZHxB2GwTnlY
So, far, as least within my limited perspective,
CHK has come the closest to creating a positive Boom Town.
vis-a-vis OKC.

BTW: I would have to list Cromwell, OK
as the worst "Boom Town" ever,
using a different scale of definition.
Yet I have been wrong before . . . =)

Teo9969
07-11-2012, 06:41 PM
We're probably one or two Fortune 500 companies away from being on those lists. Or if somehow CHK or DVN were to take off and become Fortune 100 companies (This would have happened if Natural Gas didn't doom Chesapeake...but it did, so we deal with it).

What OKC needs terribly is a relocation from a respectable Fortune 700 medical or technology company to diversify the economy, or for a local company in a non-energy field to take off and stick around.

The other thing we need to do is start investing (moving?) in the urban core and developing the arts culture in OKC. Sports only take you so far, and right now, that's all we care about.

Oil Capital
07-11-2012, 07:34 PM
Just to clarify, here is a link to the Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2011/07/06/the-next-big-boom-towns-in-the-u-s/).

They actually ranked all 51 metro areas that have populations above 1 Million. Forbes only showed the top 8:

1. Austin
2. Raleigh, NC
3. Nashville
4. San Antonio
5. Houston
6. Washington, DC
7. Dallas
8. Charlotte

However, you can see the whole ranking list here. (http://www.economicmodeling.com/2011/07/08/clients-in-the-news-the-next-big-boom-towns/) Oklahoma City ranked 20th out of the 51 metro areas. Not bad at all.

Here is the criteria:

We started with job growth, not only looking at performance over the past decade but also focusing on growth in the past two years, to account for the possible long-term effects of the Great Recession. That accounted for roughly one-third of the score. The other two-thirds were made up of a a broad range of demographic factors, all weighted equally. These included rates of family formation (percentage growth in children 5-17), growth in educated migration, population growth and, finally, a broad measurement of attractiveness to immigrants as places to settle, make money and start businesses.

Questor
07-11-2012, 08:56 PM
What OKC needs is a better reputation. People are drawn to Austin not just for the economy, but because people think it's a fun city. Just talk to anyone in OKC that is considering moving there... all they can talk about is 6th Street, the nightlife, all the cool things there are to do at all hours of the day and night, the interesting people, the wide variety of restaurants, and so on. People really want to live there. OKC needs to work harder at changing its image of being a boring sleepy little town. And honestly in some respects it also needs to work harder at incubating or providing some of those things that Austin is known for.

You can see it in the media. Every time Austin is referenced in a movie or on TV, it's the darling city that is hip and cool that everyone wants to visit. It's even that way on more mundane shows like House Hunters. Contrast that with how we are usually portrayed....

Perception is worth a lot. The problem needs to be solved.

bchris02
07-11-2012, 09:38 PM
What OKC needs is a better reputation. People are drawn to Austin not just for the economy, but because people think it's a fun city. Just talk to anyone in OKC that is considering moving there... all they can talk about is 6th Street, the nightlife, all the cool things there are to do at all hours of the day and night, the interesting people, the wide variety of restaurants, and so on. People really want to live there. OKC needs to work harder at changing its image of being a boring sleepy little town. And honestly in some respects it also needs to work harder at incubating or providing some of those things that Austin is known for.

You can see it in the media. Every time Austin is referenced in a movie or on TV, it's the darling city that is hip and cool that everyone wants to visit. It's even that way on more mundane shows like House Hunters. Contrast that with how we are usually portrayed....

Perception is worth a lot. The problem needs to be solved.

Agreed. The thing is OKC isn't nearly as bad as most people perceive it but like you said perception is everything. As I said in an above post, I think one of the big problems with OKC's national image is its one of the few urban areas in the country that consistently votes Republican. Not that that's a bad thing as I lean Republican myself, but when it comes to being perceived as a "hip and cool" place, voting Republican is already two strikes against it. When people talk about Austin or Portland, their liberalism is one of the first thing that comes to mind and that's what attracts young people. OKC simply needs more of a visible creative class.

MikeOKC
07-11-2012, 10:17 PM
I think one of the big problems with OKC's national image is its one of the few urban areas in the country that consistently votes Republican. Not that that's a bad thing as I lean Republican myself, but when it comes to being perceived as a "hip and cool" place, voting Republican is already two strikes against it. When people talk about Austin or Portland, their liberalism is one of the first thing that comes to mind and that's what attracts young people. OKC simply needs more of a visible creative class.

Nope. I don't buy that. This article is very instructive...it's definitely worth the read.
The Fall of the Creative Class (http://thirtytwomag.com/2012/06/the-fall-of-thecreative-class/)

adaniel
07-11-2012, 10:35 PM
What OKC needs is a better reputation. People are drawn to Austin not just for the economy, but because people think it's a fun city. Just talk to anyone in OKC that is considering moving there... all they can talk about is 6th Street, the nightlife, all the cool things there are to do at all hours of the day and night, the interesting people, the wide variety of restaurants, and so on. People really want to live there. OKC needs to work harder at changing its image of being a boring sleepy little town. And honestly in some respects it also needs to work harder at incubating or providing some of those things that Austin is known for.

You can see it in the media. Every time Austin is referenced in a movie or on TV, it's the darling city that is hip and cool that everyone wants to visit. It's even that way on more mundane shows like House Hunters. Contrast that with how we are usually portrayed....

Perception is worth a lot. The problem needs to be solved.

OKC should focus on being OKC.

IMO the perception of OKC is actually pretty positive right now. I recently came back from Dallas and Memphis and was really surprised how many people spoke highly of OKC. Lots of reasons why too. Also, don't underestimate the power of the Thunder. I think the main problem is so many people have no opinion of OKC, if it even comes on their radar. That can be easily changed though.

In regards to trying to be hip, OKC has a small yet vibrant creative community that should continue to be fostered, but we will never be "hip" in the cool kids eyes. That's perfectly fine with me. I mean, not to be rude, but who cares if we are a "darling city" that looks good on House Hunters? Is that a sign of a city's health? They do the same thing with Portland and it has a 12% unemployment rate.

We are who we are: cowboy boots, buffalo burgers, wide open spaces, Thunder basketball, etc. We should embrace those things the same way Nashville dropped the "new south" BS and starting promoting itself as "Nashvegas", corny country music and all. We should also continue to exploit unique things that a lot of cities don't have, much like OKC is doing with the river and rowing sports.

People who want Austin will go to Austin no matter how hard OKC tries to imitate. Fortunately I feel that OKC is taking inspiration from several cities and kind of plotting its own path right now. If the people you know are moving to Austin just because of 6th Street, they will probably be unemployed and back in OKC within the year.

CuatrodeMayo
07-11-2012, 10:39 PM
OKC should focus on being OKC.

IMO the perception of OKC is actually pretty positive right now. I recently came back from Dallas and Memphis and was really surprised how many people spoke highly of OKC. Lots of reasons why too. Also, don't underestimate the power of the Thunder. I think the main problem is so many people have no opinion of OKC, if it even comes on their radar. That can be easily changed though.

In regards to trying to be hip, OKC has a small yet vibrant creative community that should continue to be fostered, but we will never be "hip" in the cool kids eyes. That's perfectly fine with me. I mean, not to be rude, but who cares if we are a "darling city" that looks good on House Hunters? Is that a sign of a city's health? They do the same thing with Portland and it has a 12% unemployment rate.

We are who we are: cowboy boots, buffalo burgers, wide open spaces, Thunder basketball, etc. We should embrace those things the same way Nashville dropped the "new south" BS and starting promoting itself as "Nashvegas", corny country music and all. We should also continue to exploit unique things that a lot of cities don't have, much like OKC is doing with the river and rowing sports.

People who want Austin will go to Austin no matter how hard OKC tries to imitate. Fortunately I feel that OKC is taking inspiration from several cities and kind of plotting its own path right now. If the people you know are moving to Austin just because of 6th Street, they will probably be unemployed and back in OKC within the year.

+10

CaptDave
07-11-2012, 11:10 PM
+ another 10. OKC is doing pretty well now as far as reputation. The Thunder impact has been huge - I was recently in Washington DC and wore a Thunder t-shirt one day. Numerous people say something positive to say about my adopted hometown as I walked around.

bchris02
07-11-2012, 11:17 PM
Nope. I don't buy that. This article is very instructive...it's definitely worth the read.
The Fall of the Creative Class (http://thirtytwomag.com/2012/06/the-fall-of-thecreative-class/)

That's interesting. It's been ingrained in our culture that the creative class is what attracts young professionals and while that may be partially true, I agree it does not cause economic growth, but rather economic growth causes a creative presence to move in. OKC is already seeing this happen and it will just get bigger as time goes.

ljbab728
07-11-2012, 11:51 PM
A lot of these changes will be natural in there evolution too since the current older and baby boomer generation will be replaced by the children of the 70s/80s. We are getting there, but not yet quite to the level of the other cities mentioned.

Venture, I'm part of the baby boomer generation and I'm not quite ready to be replaced yet, thank you. LOL

NoOkie
07-12-2012, 07:58 AM
That's interesting. It's been ingrained in our culture that the creative class is what attracts young professionals and while that may be partially true, I agree it does not cause economic growth, but rather economic growth causes a creative presence to move in. OKC is already seeing this happen and it will just get bigger as time goes.

I think the creative class is the vanguard of getting more youth in, but not the reason the youth come. Simply put, OKC isn't as cool as Austin or Portland(Comparisons in this very thread). Both of those places have some big subcultures that draw people there and get their attention. Portland has a serious foodie culture and an incredible number of "artisinal" products (Some of it kind of hipstery bull**** like bespoke artisinal hemp tie-dye shirts, but also some good craftsman making quality goods at incredibly high prices). Austin has it's music scene and nightlife. Both places have some serious craft brewing going on too.

What does OKC have? I've lived here for 5 years now, and can't pinpoint anything other than artisinally crafted conservative politicians that can't keep their mouths shut. When people ask me why I live here, I can't give a good answer other than "Jobs are plentiful and housing is cheap." OKC is a nice enough place to live, and I'm really happy at the progress we've made at improving our city, but what's the elevator pitch? What can you say to a 18-25 year old to make them want to move here? Thunder basketball, buffalo burgers, cowboy boots and Crazy Old Sally Kern isn't going to do it.

G.Walker
07-12-2012, 08:21 AM
Every city is different, every city have their strengths and weaknesses, every city has their own identity. Why should we strive to be like other cities? We should move forward in our own skin....I would hate to be labeled as a another Austin or Charlotte.

Believe it or not, Oklahoma City does have a an young identity, that has emerged in the last 15 years or so. I have been living here since 99' and have notice an emerging culture.

The urban core is seeing an influx of a young professional culture, tailored around young professionals in the medical and biotech industry. Downtown is full of young professionals who are nurses, young doctors, and some holding management positions in biotech firms. For example, a 25 year old guy from Durant was just hired on as a Senior Network Engineer at my job making $70,000 fresh out of Graduate School, him and his girlfriend are starting their OKC life in Deep Deuce...

Also, there is strong alternative rock music culture here, or I should say Flaming Lip culture...I see many youngsters adopting this alternative rock music as lifestyle, especially in Uptown...

Pete
07-12-2012, 08:38 AM
OKC is a nice enough place to live, and I'm really happy at the progress we've made at improving our city, but what's the elevator pitch? What can you say to a 18-25 year old to make them want to move here?

"OKC is a rapidly emerging city that is still largely a blank slate and not only can you live there very easily and well, you have the opportunity to truly help shape the community. There is evidence of this happening on many fronts -- urban neighborhoods, the creative arts, restaurants and nightlife to name a few -- and as the city needs young, bright, motivated people, you'll be welcomed with friendly, open arms."

NoOkie
07-12-2012, 08:40 AM
Every city is different, every city have their strengths and weaknesses, every city has their own identity. Why should we strive to be like other cities? We should move forward in our own skin....I would hate to be labeled as a another Austin or Charlotte.

Believe it or not, Oklahoma City does have a an young identity, that has emerged in the last 15 years or so. I have been living here since 99' and have notice an emerging culture.

The urban core is seeing an influx of a young professional culture, tailored around young professionals in the medical and biotech industry. Downtown is full of young professionals who are nurses, young doctors, and some holding management positions in biotech firms. For example, a 25 year old guy from Durant was just hired on as a Senior Network Engineer at my job making $70,000 fresh out of Graduate School, him and his girlfriend are starting their OKC life in Deep Deuce...

Also, there is strong alternative rock music culture here, or I should say Flaming Lip culture...I see many youngsters adopting this alternative rock music as lifestyle, especially in Uptown...

I'm not saying we should copy Portland or Austin or Charlotte. I'm saying we seem to have a non-identity. From the anecdote about your friend, your elevator pitch is "Jobs are easy!" which they definitely are, but that's not enough to boost us up into the top 10.

I'm not dissing OKC(much), I like living here well enough that I'm still here despite the awful weather. I just think that we lack something to set us apart from the other cities we're contending with in the cool arena. Hopefully this big development push in the urban core helps cultivate that.

NoOkie
07-12-2012, 08:40 AM
"OKC is a rapidly emerging city that is still largely a blank slate and not only can you live there very easily and well, you have the opportunity to truly help shape the community. There is evidence of this happening on many fronts -- urban neighborhoods, the creative arts, restaurants and nightlife to name a few -- and as the city needs young, bright, motivated people, you'll be welcomed with friendly, open arms."

Man, for someone on the other side of the country you're a really good booster for OKC. That's a pretty good pitch.

Pete
07-12-2012, 08:59 AM
The reason that population growth is so important is not just the hard evidence and external PR, it also indicates lots of people are moving in from elsewhere and that means two big things: 1) It's a place people with no previous attachment are actively choosing; and 2) such an influx tends to displace the old guard and bring in a completely new perspective and identity.

Think about Charlotte... In the middle of the deep South and tobacco country. I remember going there in the early 90's and not liking it one bit because of those two influences, and that view was from a native Oklahoman. Imagine how someone from the Northeast felt.

Similarly, for the longest time Portland had always been viewed as Seattle's poor relation, filled with Oregon bumpkins. Dallas had absolutely nothing more to offer back in the 60's than Oklahoma City does now.

These and many other cities completely transformed because of job growth, lots of people moving in from other areas, and a whole new identity emerging.


I see evidence of this happening in OKC. I truly believe that once we start to tie together our various urban districts (the street car will be a huge catalyst) there will be a legitimate central city community that will offer a tremendous amount to the creative class, while still offering the comfortable, affordable and family-friendly suburbs just an easy commute away.

bchris02
07-12-2012, 10:16 AM
I think the creative class is the vanguard of getting more youth in, but not the reason the youth come. Simply put, OKC isn't as cool as Austin or Portland(Comparisons in this very thread). Both of those places have some big subcultures that draw people there and get their attention. Portland has a serious foodie culture and an incredible number of "artisinal" products (Some of it kind of hipstery bull**** like bespoke artisinal hemp tie-dye shirts, but also some good craftsman making quality goods at incredibly high prices). Austin has it's music scene and nightlife. Both places have some serious craft brewing going on too.

What does OKC have? I've lived here for 5 years now, and can't pinpoint anything other than artisinally crafted conservative politicians that can't keep their mouths shut. When people ask me why I live here, I can't give a good answer other than "Jobs are plentiful and housing is cheap." OKC is a nice enough place to live, and I'm really happy at the progress we've made at improving our city, but what's the elevator pitch? What can you say to a 18-25 year old to make them want to move here? Thunder basketball, buffalo burgers, cowboy boots and Crazy Old Sally Kern isn't going to do it.

I've lived in Charlotte for three years and when this city became a boomtown it was because "jobs were plentiful and housing was cheap". I still can't put a pinpoint on what exactly the cultural identity of this city is. At its roots its tobacco and NASCAR, but things are changing. The economy has gone completely south though, jobs are no longer plentiful, so I guess the only thing keeping this place afloat is the momentum.

OKC today is where Charlotte was 10 years ago. Today, Charlotte has a few things OKC doesn't have, such as:

-A more developed arts district
-A few more 24-hour options (OKC needs something like Amelie's French Bakery, a 24 hour bakery, or something like Midnight Diner)
-Better shopping (Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, IKEA, Costco); Charlotte didn't have this stuff 10 years ago
-A true theme park
-Slightly better nightlife

Most of these things are achievable by OKC within the next decade, except for maybe the shopping but that depends largely on the national economy.

Steve
07-12-2012, 01:35 PM
There's another answer all of you are missing: these lists are often full of cow excrement designed simply to drive readership and advertising. There's a dark secret behind many of these lists - that they are often tied to chamber/cvb advertising, etc. Other lists are geared toward driving up short-term readership hits in major markets. That's why each list my editor sends me, I argue against writing about it.
Now, is there a greater discussion to be had on this topic anyway? Of course.

catch22
07-12-2012, 06:26 PM
There's another answer all of you are missing: these lists are often full of cow excrement designed simply to drive readership and advertising. There's a dark secret behind many of these lists - that they are often tied to chamber/cvb advertising, etc. Other lists are geared toward driving up short-term readership hits in major markets. That's why each list my editor sends me, I argue against writing about it.
Now, is there a greater discussion to be had on this topic anyway? Of course.

Spot on Steve. These lists should be taken with a grain of salt, but they are still great at sparking relevant and necessary discussion and idea development in the community.

dankrutka
07-12-2012, 11:41 PM
I've said it before, and I'm still saying it, OKC's districts need to develop a greater density of desireable options. These areas make cities unique. They make the city "cool."

The problem is that OKC's districts - Plaza Court, Plaza District, Paseo, Automobile Alley, 9th Street, Western, etc... - lack concentration, but many have great promise. It would really help OKC if some of these areas could really develop into a cool, more dense area where lots of people, including 20 somethings, want to be. this is an area where OKC lacks, but could succeed. Tulsa is a smaller city with less momentum, but better districts. I think district development is one piece of the puzzle.

ljbab728
07-13-2012, 12:38 AM
http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-sales-tax-receipts-could-reflect-transformative-growth/article/3691993

BDP
07-13-2012, 11:49 AM
Those other cities also don't come across as being so reliant on a single industry like OKC is with energy.

This is pretty key. Hard to put yourself out there and predict a boom for a community that is so dependent on one industry. A commodities industry at that.



I truly believe that once we start to tie together our various urban districts (the street car will be a huge catalyst) there will be a legitimate central city community that will offer a tremendous amount to the creative class, while still offering the comfortable, affordable and family-friendly suburbs just an easy commute away.

Very true. I really wish they would do that first. If you tie Mid Town, Deep Deuce, and Bricktown together, you have a really cool place to live and work. Seriously, that alone would make it comparable to some districts in traditionally urban cities.



And I don't really get why people are saying the city needs to appear less conservative to make a boom town or hip city list, especially THIS list. It has Dallas and Charlotte on it. These aren't exactly liberal communities. I certainly don't think it would hurt for the community to come across less bigoted and intolerant. Unfortunately, our progressives have little influence and our political discourse is dominated by a very singular point of view. However, I am noticing more and more people of differing lifestyles and points of view making up the cultural mix of the city, especially in the emerging areas. This is good, as we don't have to be viewed as a liberal haven to become more appealing to would be residents. We just have to offer more choices of living, so that our dominant reputation does not continue to be a non-starter for many when it comes to personal or corporate relocation decisions. The good thing is that is exactly what's beginning to happen. I think if you diversify the lifestyle options, you will see the community begin to diversify and, with it, the economy. In turn, you get the real economy you want, which is a stable one, instead of one that is at the mercy of an industry whose well being is as dependent on global political dynamics as it is traditional economic paradigms.

NWOKCGuy
07-13-2012, 02:26 PM
Huffington Post (24/7 Wall Street, actually) ranked OKC as the #6 city for millenials.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/millenials-cities-best_n_1669532.html#slide=1219575

dankrutka
07-13-2012, 04:27 PM
Just curious. What major cities consistently vote Republican? I think Dallas actually votes fairly liberal, no?

MikeOKC
07-13-2012, 04:50 PM
Just curious. What major cities consistently vote Republican? I think Dallas actually votes fairly liberal, no?

Dallas proper, absolutely. But these things need to be looked at with a metropolitan yardstick. Collin County had one of the highest vote percentages for John McCain in the entire country. Remember, Collin County and Denton County (Lewisville, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen..."North Dallas" as many people call all of this) is, alone, 1.5 milllion people

stlokc
07-13-2012, 04:50 PM
I haven't researched this, but I think I remember a stat that Oklahoma City was the largest city in the United States to vote for McCain, with the exception of Phoenix (where McCain is from). Of course, part of this goes back to how wide the boundaries of OKC are. If the city limits didn't stretch north of Memorial, west of Portland or south of 240, it would likely be a different story. In addition, there were very few urban counties that voted red. Not suggesting this is good or bad, just the way it is. OKC is a conservative place.

MikeOKC
07-13-2012, 04:54 PM
I haven't researched this, but I think I remember a stat that Oklahoma City was the largest city in the United States to vote for McCain, with the exception of Phoenix (where McCain is from). Of course, part of this goes back to how wide the boundaries of OKC are. If the city limits didn't stretch north of Memorial, west of Portland or south of 240, it would likely be a different story. In addition, there were very few urban counties that voted red. Not suggesting this is good or bad, just the way it is. OKC is a conservative place.

Let's get the huge elephant in the room out of the way. Yes, 2008 that is very true. Obama carried nearly all (95%) of the black vote according to every exit poll. That's unprecedented in American electoral politics. So, yes, 2008 had a disproportionately large Democratic vote in cities due to the solid black bloc of votes for Obama. That translates into a huge "urban" win for Team Blue.

stlokc
07-13-2012, 04:55 PM
It's also true that in older cities with more constricted city limits, a lot of the more inner-ring suburbs are considered "swing" areas that tend to move with the prevailing cycle. Exurban parts of metro areas tend to be conservative regardless (at least cities between the coasts)

stlokc
07-13-2012, 04:57 PM
MikeOKC...indeed. But (again I'm generalizing), most of metro OKC's African-American and Latino voters are in the city proper. So if any part of the state of Oklahoma was to go for Obama, you might think it would have been OKC proper.

MikeOKC
07-13-2012, 04:58 PM
It's also true that in older cities with more constricted city limits, a lot of the more inner-ring suburbs are considered "swing" areas that tend to move with the prevailing cycle. Exurban parts of metro areas tend to be conservative regardless (at least cities between the coasts)

Actually, even in many major cities on the coasts. Look at county-by-county around San Diego, New York City, Houston, Miami, Kansas City, (even Detroit and Atlanta!).

MikeOKC
07-13-2012, 05:03 PM
MikeOKC...indeed. But (again I'm generalizing), most of metro OKC's African-American and Latino voters are in the city proper. So if any part of the state of Oklahoma was to go for Obama, you might think it would have been OKC proper.

Oh, I agree. You're right about OKC, no question about it. It was still relatively "closer" in OK county and precinct-by-precinct a big percentage win for Obama in OKC proper. In fact, take Edmond, Bethany and Warr Acres out of Oklahoma County and Obama wins the county.

stlokc
07-13-2012, 05:09 PM
So the upshot of what we're saying, again, I am NOT taking a political position about good v. bad, but if liberal areas are what is considered "cool" in the parlance of the young, then you can blame/credit OKC's municipal and county boundaries for making the city appear more conservative than it might be.

MikeOKC
07-13-2012, 05:13 PM
So the upshot of what we're saying, again, I am NOT taking a political position about good v. bad, but if liberal areas are what is considered "cool" in the parlance of the young, then you can blame/credit OKC's municipal and county boundaries for making the city appear more conservative than it might be.

Bingo. Plus, throw in the fact of the large legal geography of the city, it doesn't "help" (or whatever). Again, I agree, for better or worse, good/bad/indifferent.

RodH
07-14-2012, 02:26 AM
Huffington Post (24/7 Wall Street, actually) ranked OKC as the #6 city for millenials.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/millenials-cities-best_n_1669532.html#slide=1219575

OKC is actually ranked second behind Pittsburg in the report. #6 is the alphabetical order among the ranked cities.

progressiveboy
07-14-2012, 08:06 PM
Huffington Post (24/7 Wall Street, actually) ranked OKC as the #6 city for millenials.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/millenials-cities-best_n_1669532.html#slide=1219575 I noticed the comments made regarding this article. It appears that several people mentioned OKC is a "negative" light. As a native of OKC, I wish my hometown the best of luck, however, it still has a reputation as a town that still is viewed as a big cowtown.

ljbab728
07-14-2012, 10:51 PM
I noticed the comments made regarding this article. It appears that several people mentioned OKC is a "negative" light. As a native of OKC, I wish my hometown the best of luck, however, it still has a reputation as a town that still is viewed as a big cowtown.

There isn't a city in the country that isn't viewed in a negative light by some for various reasons. 20 years ago you would have never had OKC even considered for this kind of list. The article actually mentions the nightlife in OKC as a plus. No matter what we may think about the pros and cons of OKC nightlife I don't think I've ever heard that before and it shows that perceptions are changing. Like many lists, you have to take this with a grain of salt. However, there may be people in the millenial generation who see it or hear about it and say "I think I'll look into that". It certainly doesn't hurt us.

dcsooner
07-15-2012, 09:00 AM
I noticed the comments made regarding this article. It appears that several people mentioned OKC is a "negative" light. As a native of OKC, I wish my hometown the best of luck, however, it still has a reputation as a town that still is viewed as a big cowtown.

Agree, and really little is taking place in Okc to truly urbanize. Still too spread out, too many empty spaces, no mass of business or people. Very few urban ammenities. The airport is disgraceful for a city of its size (just left OKC yesterday)

dankrutka
07-15-2012, 02:12 PM
[QUOTE=ljbab728;555304]There isn't a city in the country that isn't viewed in a negative light by some for various reasons. [QUOTE]


I agree, but, unfortunately, the stereotypes against OKC are a lot worse than other most other cities. Having said that, there's not much OKCitians can do about stereotypes, but continue improving the city.

Pete
07-15-2012, 02:15 PM
And remember those same sort of cowtown stereotypes applied to virtually all the cities that show up on recent and current boomtown lists.

adaniel
07-15-2012, 02:45 PM
[QUOTE=ljbab728;555304]There isn't a city in the country that isn't viewed in a negative light by some for various reasons. [QUOTE]


I agree, but, unfortunately, the stereotypes against OKC are a lot worse than other most other cities. Having said that, there's not much OKCitians can do about stereotypes, but continue improving the city.

There's one thing people of OKC can do: stop being so thinned skinned and learn to weed out constructive criticism from the trolling.

Pete is right. People bash other cities all the time, particularly ones in "flyover country".

I, for one, am not going to get worked up about what some bitter posters on the Huffington Post think about OKC.

Pete
07-15-2012, 03:13 PM
We are going to get a lot more vocal critics simply because OKC IS being put forward as an up-and-coming city, so that will prompt lots of: "Oklahoma City??? Who the H would want to move there??"

Or now that the Thunder is kicking the crap out of most the NBA, we are going to get more and more: "Yeah, but you have a small, boring town".


I will tell you this: When I moved to Southern California 20 years ago the only thing anyone knew about Oklahoma City was that it was in the same state as OU football. One of my friends from the east coast would only half-jokingly introduce me this way: "This is Pete. He's from one of those big rectangular states somewhere in the middle." And when I told anyone I was from Oklahoma, I would frequently get a response like, "Hey, I know a guy from Nebraska!"

I can assure now most people know about Oklahoma City due to the Thunder but even beyond that, they see the city much, much differently. At the very least, the fact we even have an NBA team implies we are really a city on the way up.

Last month I was on an LAX parking shuttle which was shared with a bunch of teenage kids and a couple of adults; turned out they were a group from HS bound for a cruise. They asked me where I was headed and when I told them Oklahoma City, they said, "Cool! You gonna get to see the Thunder?" Having answered that same question dozens of times on many different LAX trips I can tell you the usual response had always been, "Why are you going there??"


There is also an air of superiority by many from bigger cities and they like to keep other cities down. The more good press and PR we get, there is also going to be increased criticism. Beats the heck out of people not even knowing where OKC is.

CaptDave
07-15-2012, 06:12 PM
I think we are better off not being a boomtown regardless of the perception of OKC on the coasts. Steady, sustainable growth will be our best path to being perceived as a peer city to the others on various "best of" lists.

WilliamTell
07-15-2012, 08:12 PM
I think we are better off not being a boomtown regardless of the perception of OKC on the coasts. Steady, sustainable growth will be our best path to being perceived as a peer city to the others on various "best of" lists.

Ditto.

I've really never understood why so many people want OKC to become a boom town? So we can get hordes of people looking for work, driving up the cost of living, using up resources, increasing traffic, increasing crime,etc,etc,etc. I personally like the size of the city and how (besides long distances)its easy to get around and easy to live here. If you want congestion and to live with a bunch of hippies go find somewhere to do that.

BUT my biggest problem with a boom town is that there is always a bust.

We already have tons of building going on in the surrounding suburbs (because thats what builders do) while we have all this urban space that is just empty. Do we want that on steroids so we end up like Vegas or florida, or any of the other 'boom' towns that went bust leaving millions of people around the country in houses that they cant get out of with a 400k loan and the current value is only 120k. Massive numbers of unemployed because the citizens of that town demand so much money because the cost of living is so high, Cities that are declaring bankruptcy because they got caught up in it all.

If you want that nonsense go somewhere else.

dcsooner
07-15-2012, 08:50 PM
Ditto.

I've really never understood why so many people want OKC to become a boom town? So we can get hordes of people looking for work, driving up the cost of living, using up resources, increasing traffic, increasing crime,etc,etc,etc. I personally like the size of the city and how (besides long distances)its easy to get around and easy to live here. If you want congestion and to live with a bunch of hippies go find somewhere to do that.

BUT my biggest problem with a boom town is that there is always a bust.

We already have tons of building going on in the surrounding suburbs (because thats what builders do) while we have all this urban space that is just empty. Do we want that on steroids so we end up like Vegas or florida, or any of the other 'boom' towns that went bust leaving millions of people around the country in houses that they cant get out of with a 400k loan and the current value is only 120k. Massive numbers of unemployed because the citizens of that town demand so much money because the cost of living is so high, Cities that are declaring bankruptcy because they got caught up in it all.

If you want that nonsense go somewhere else.


Best way to explain away the lack of attention is to say you don't want to be like the pretty girl with all the friends because they will just turn on her later/

Pete
07-15-2012, 09:35 PM
I think we are better off not being a boomtown regardless of the perception of OKC on the coasts. Steady, sustainable growth will be our best path to being perceived as a peer city to the others on various "best of" lists.

But that's what we've been doing for the last 50 years.

You can't blame people for wanting things to ramp up.

CaptDave
07-15-2012, 09:48 PM
I agree Pete. I have only lived here since 2002 and the change / progress has been tremendous. The formula used to change OKC for the better has mostly worked extremely well and I prefer not to jeopardize future progress by becoming impatient. But having HUGE changes like the Devon tower has been a lot of fun to watch. Just my two cents.