1. Economic District Development
At the top of our agenda is bringing together a more united effort in Ward 7 to launch new projects and continue upon the success of others. The traditional N.E corridor of OKC including 10th, 23th, and 36th Streets has seen some progress with the Pivot Project, Northeast Renaissance Renewal Project and TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) Zones. However much, much more is needed.
Kirk will work with community leaders to bring about a rethinking of best steps to draw consumers from the downtown core of Oklahoma City into a new district (yet to be named) that features existing restaurants and businesses along with a host of other opportunities. The new Innovation District, connecting the Health Sciences area with Automobile Alley, promises to contribute to more jobs and growth.
The leadership role of a City Councilman will be extremely important to bring together city hall, community leaders, economic developers, investors, a consortium of banks and lending institutions as well as City, State & Federal assistance in order to breakthrough previous barriers to progress. Conversations are already underway with the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce officials and The Economic Alliance leaders to improve relationships and create and accelerate forward progress.
Making room for minority ownership opportunities and building upon the African-American, cultural uniquenesses of this promising part of OKC is of the highest priority. Equally important will be creating safeguards to protect life-long community members from being displaced. Creating more jobs, better jobs, and better pay is the goal.
Kirk intends to assemble a N.E. OKC Leadership Council to unite N.E. OKC idea leaders, business owners, community and church leaders to help lead the charge.
Additionally, the Adventure District, Frontier City District (unofficial) and other areas still lack restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, an adequate number of individual auto-friendly fuel stops and more to support the growing population in the northern half of the ward. The I-35 corridor in Ward 7 is one of the busiest traveled regions of Oklahoma City. Sales tax dollars from Ward 7 residents are often spent in the suburbs outside of OKC because of the lack of access to amenities needed.