How Oklahoma City’s Early Decision Saved Lives During COVID-19

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“No one runs with the intent to dismantle their economy,” said Mayor David Holt. However, Mayor Holt admits he would make the decision again to close down his city because it saved lives.

As the novel coronavirus ravaged communities on the coast, the Midwest city began to prepare under Mayor Holt’s leadership. Hear how.

Elected in 2018, Mayor Holt is the youngest person elected mayor and is the first Native American to serve in the position.  In his third year, Mayor Holt talks about the challenges he has faced as a local leader and how he overcame it.

What personal barriers have you faced in responding to COVID-19 in your community and how have you overcome them?

MayorDavidHoltI don’t think my challenges have been different than any other mayor, but I didn’t run for office to shut down small businesses. I did run for office to protect people, so I’m at peace with what we had to do, but it’s a tough situation to be put in that position. I think you get through it by just being very candid and transparent with your residents.

What role has technology played in keeping your city up and running – give an example, if possible?

That first month I had my phone in my hand 24/7 and it didn’t matter that I was mostly at my house. It’s really amazing how much you can accomplish today with just a phone. Also, so much of a mayor’s role is communication and having social media has allowed for easy daily updates.

 

 

About the AuthorMelissa Williams is a communications and marketing manager at NLC. She supports NLC’s membership and partnership teams.

 

 

About Our Partner: IGNITE is a global consulting practice designed to develop, engage and ignite relationships with Mayors, CIOs and global technology firms. The objective is to architect a connected city by placing people at the center of our purpose. IGNITE has refocused the connected city space and developed a smart framework that can scale, replicate and become profitable. The result creates a visible impact that is measured by PEOPLE through citizen engagement, transformed infrastructure and improved city services.