COMING MONDAY: Hispanic immigration has changed the face of some neighbohoods
BY MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
Sunday, July 17, 2011
7/17/11 at 5:02 PM
In a part of east Tulsa sometimes called “Little Mexico,” an entire shopping center has nothing but Spanish signs, and a restaurant might not even bother with English menus.
But the membership of the Cooper Neighborhood Association remains overwhelmingly white and Anglo.
“We’ve done everything we can to reach out to our Hispanic neighbors,” says Pat Kendall, explaining how the group distributed Spanish fliers and invited a translator to its meetings. “But nobody came.”
The 2010 Census confirmed what already seemed obvious — that several Tulsa neighborhoods have seen a rapid shift in demographics, going from predominately white to heavily Hispanic.
Census maps reveal a distinct pattern, with Hispanic clusters along Interstate 244 and U.S. 169, where the Cooper Neighborhood sits east of the highway and between 11th and 21st streets.
With its concentration of Hispanic businesses, the area near 21st Street and Garnett Road has earned the nickname “Little Mexico” — sometimes mentioned derisively, but usually with pride.
“It feels comfortable,” says Beatriz Soto, who moved into the area from Texas about seven years ago.
“Not because everything is Spanish, but because everybody is friendly.”
Read the entire story in Monday's Tulsa World.
Pat Kendall, president of the Cooper Neighborhood Association, has seen his neighborhood's demographics change over the years, becoming one of highest populations for Hispanics in Tulsa.