In recent years, Oklahoma City has found itself in the national spotlight for a multitude of reasons. We’ve hosted the NBA Western Conference Finals and two games of the NBA Finals. We’ve been on the receiving end of dozens of accolades. Our city’s name has shone in headlines. But the attention we’ve received goes beyond zealous basketball fans and national publications. Oklahoma City has also grown in popularity as the destination-of-choice for communities on benchmarking trips.
We have made strides in the last two decades that other communities only dream about, and they have taken notice. The progress we have made, the strength of our economy, the commitment of our citizens are all models nearly other cities would like to replicate. So far in 2012, we have hosted seven communities – Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Ga.; El Paso, Texas; Louisville, Ky.; Mobile, Ala.; Salina, Kansas and Bangladesh – and we are already receiving calls from cities making their plans for next year.
I often have the opportunity to spend time with these groups while they’re in town, and it is always a pleasure to see our city through their eyes, to get to talk to them about our vibrancy, our strength and our vision.
While our work is never done, I think it’s important to occasionally take a step back and look at all we’ve accomplished – the increase in quality of life for our citizens, the growth of our industries, the diversity and strength of our economy. Our success stories are spread across this city (and there are even a few in this month’s issue of The Point!). We are a city on the rise, and I know that if we continue to work together to achieve our vision, Oklahoma City’s star will only grow brighter.