Ginnie Graham: New city nickname demands generosity
BY GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
11/28/12 at 9:44 AM
If Oklahoma is OK, then Tulsa is "Fair to Middlin.'"
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett is on a quest to find our fine city a new slogan, or "brand."
These monikers seem forced when a city names itself.
It's like a nerdy kid trying to be popular by giving himself a nickname.
But "Oil Capital of the World" doesn't work anymore because it hasn't been true for decades.
Trying to be cool: On the table so far: "Tulsa's Cool" and "Creative Center of the United States."
Rule No. 1 about being cool is not to say you're cool. Refer to my earlier nerdy kid example.
The other lacks pizzazz and catchiness.
The mayor is right that we ought to think about how others view us.
If our mission statement doesn't match at least some of our reality, it'll just look silly.
Very funny: It's easy to mock this project. So, let's get it out of the way.
From a very unscientific survey of my online social circles, here are among the best send-ups:
"Tulsa: Austin without the cool stuff"
"City of Construction"
"Where a River Almost Runs Through It"
"Tulsa: You can set your watch back to it"
That said, Tulsa is like my family.
It's fair for me to tease and poke fun at it, but I don't want anyone else to do it.
No place like home: Despite the digs, most people are sincere about enjoying our city.
Tulsa offers Oklahoma's best in fine arts, dining, museums, trails and shopping. Our downtown and entertainment districts are also undergoing a renaissance.
Among the love my compatriots have shared:
"Eden on the Prairie"
"City of Heart and Beauty"
"Heart of America and Route 66"
"Oasis in Oklahoma"
"Natural. Bold. Generous"
Positive attention: It would be nice if our community could find common ground for this endeavor.
National attention usually comes from bad news.
Intolerance has been part of this - from the 1921 Race Riot to this year's Good Friday racially motivated shootings.
It doesn't help that we have dueling Christmas/holiday parades.
Our city and state pop up on lists showing poor performance in health, poverty, drug abuse, incarceration rates and other societal issues.
In our favor, we have innovative minds and determined hearts working to right those wrongs.
Finding agreement on this one, single thing would be a huge leap of progress.
We care, we share: Coming up time and again is generosity.
Perhaps, "City of Giving," "Home of Generosity" or "America's Most Generous City."
Tulsa has the nation's largest community foundation. Our city consistently ranks high in per capita giving, which includes all those $1 and $5 donations given by individuals.
There are some Mr. Potters out there grouching about this attracting people "looking for a handout."
That's a cynical view and one not worth pondering.
Secular and faith groups reach across the divide in Tulsa whenever disaster strikes, whether local or national.
Known as the city of praying hands, Tulsa is often the model how to hold hands.
Tulsa is more than OK, fine or even comfortable.
We're ready for a new image and one showing unity.
Original Print Headline: New city nickname demands generosity