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2.6: Greater Expectations — G.T. Bynum
Mayor G.T. Bynum on how data analysis can reinvent civic decision-making, and how social media can reconnect elected officials to the people.
Happy First Day of Spring, Tulsa! Editor Anne Brockman shares what’s on the menu this season across town.
So let’s talk, Tulsa.
"People in Tulsa aren't sitting back and saying, Hey, aren't we great for doing these things? They're saying, Yeah, this is great. What are we going to do next? What's next? What more can we do?"
That’s the mayor of Tulsa, G.T. Bynum. Though he’s only been in office for 2 years, the city has already seen major changes and exciting prospects under his bespectacled watch. And even though he probably still gets carded at the liquor store, Bynum comes from an impressive political lineage.
Robert J. LaFortune, the mayor of Tulsa from 1970-1978, is Bynum's grandfather. Bynum's uncle, Bill LaFortune, served as mayor from 2002 to 2006. Bynum is a descendant of R. N. Bynum, who served as mayor from 1899 to 1900. G.T. still has R.N.’s shotgun from his days as mayor. Different times at city hall.
In this interview, Bynum talks candidly about his relationship with his grandfather and how much city governance — and Tulsa itself — has transformed. And how something as seemingly unsexy as piles and piles of data might be the key to reinventing not just Tulsa, but how all cities run.
In just a minute, we’ll find out what the Data Pioneers discovered to be the strongest link to increased income. But first, a quick word from our sponsors.
When we left off, Mayor Bynum was explaining how data analysts found the one thing that has the greatest correlation to increased per-capita income in Tulsa. The Urban Data Pioneers came back with a clear answer: advanced graduate degrees.
When we come back, Mayor Bynum divulges what’s on his current reading list, and why he focuses so much on the big picture. But first, Anne Brockman is here with some foodie news.
You can follow the Mayor on Twitter, @gtbynum. Just search G.T. Bynum on Facebook. If you reach out with a comment or an idea, he’ll probably respond, too.
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Every episode, we play you out with some local music. This is "Otherside" by Roots of Thought off of the EP Familiar Feelings.
Learn more about this band, who recently represented Tulsa at SXSW, at rootsofthought.com. You can find their music on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and Bandcamp.