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Voting Is Power Summit Report: Disparities, Poverty, and Civic Engagement Struggles and Opportunities

Voting Is Power Summit: Aug. 22, 2015

A Report on Voting Disparities and Civic Engagement: Analysis prepared by Ron Robinson for our Lead North Class Project with Leadership Tulsa

Major Points: We have a 14 year life expectancy gap between north and south Tulsa (OU Levin Study). Physical health is often greatly affected by a community’s civic health as part of the “social determinants of health” which account, along with genetic components, for some 80 percent of life expectancy (OU Community Health, Dartmouth Study report). And civic health is greatly reflected in, and affected by, VOTING. It is no surprise then to see that disparities in life expectancy track along with disparities in voting turnout between north and south Tulsa.

Overview: In the Nov. 2014 general election, 27.1 percent of all registered voters in North Tulsa voted. One precinct in far north 74126 had the lowest turnout at 20 percent. By comparison, one zipcode in midtown, with highest life expectancy and lowest population of African Americans and Hispanics, the 74114, had 45.5 percent; one of the precincts in that zipcode has 49 percent turnout, the highest. So a near 30 percent gap between highest in midtown and lowest in North Tulsa. Even in the recent mostly northside state senate election in Dist. 11, there was inordinate unequal distribution of turnout percentage within that District as well; so even within areas of the northside, some precincts have more electoral voice than others.

 Access to Polling Physical Locations: There are seven precincts covering all or parts of four zipcodes in Far North compared to eight precincts in just one Midtown Zipcode 74114 and even 15 precincts in just one South Tulsa zipcode, 74133. The precincts therefore are further spread out on the north side than on the south side; this at the same time that poverty and sickness on the north side make transportation more difficult and inequitable as well. One precinct in Far North does not have a polling place within its boundaries, basically north of 66th St. and must go to another precinct location to vote.

North Tulsa precincts count for only some 16 percent of all precincts in Tulsa; this means even if there were 100 percent turnout in all precincts, other areas would account for 84 percent of any vote. The ability to make electoral decisions that affect a poverty and low life expectancy area in city wide elections and concerns, therefore, make it difficult for the northside to have the same electoral clout; this inability in turn feeds into the cynicism that leads itself to lower voter participation.

This disparity is not the only reason for low voter turnout on the northside, ( for example, the effects of mass incarceration on the poor and people of color and the percentage of felons and ex felons living in different areas needs to be statistically analyzed; and the promotion of the law about felons being able to vote needs to be promoted in areas of high felon residency; just one additional reason), but residents of the northside are statistically poorer and sicker and that makes it harder for us overall to access all institutions of civic life, including the key one of voting. It shows the result of basing polling places primarily on the number of residents in an area, for not all residents and not all areas are equal in resources. If you take the bus across town to work and back and have family to attend to, for example, on election day it makes getting to a designated polling place more difficult for those in poverty, especially given inadequate public transportation.

It also points up the need for one proposal to have locations established in each area of the city where residents could vote regardless of where they live; other proposals for increasing access, such as mobile polling places, are also available over a long term effort to turnaround multi generational voting patterns.

Another historic factor that is affecting civic engagement and health in North Tulsa has been the redistricting of state representative and state senate seats; over the past 40 years, even in the past five years, the amount of geography that is included in the representative area for example of Dist 72 has grown tremendously; what once in the 1960s for example was a boundary area that was included within the far northside area itself, so that residents had greater access to elected officials and more common to live closer themselves to the representative, and yet now the same district representative is covering all the way from the TU area, near to the Cherry Street area, all through north Tulsa all the way to downtown Owasso area and covering the town of Sperry itself; this stretching out of the physical boundaries affects again the ability of people in poverty to be in contact with the representative.

eeting, but as many will not be there, and one of the findings is that people don't "go to meetings" for social capital, it is important to share and discuss online so share and discuss away. I will try to present it in better format another day.

Community Benchmark Survey Summary Findings, April, 2015
Lead North (North Tulsa Development Council/Leadership Tulsa) Class Six Working Group 3

Analysis by
Ron Robinson

People in several North Tulsa zipcodes die 14 years sooner than those in nearby midtown and south Tulsa zipcodes;
a key ingredient of life expectancy and physical and mental health is what is known as "social ingredients of health, which along with genetics account for 80 percent of a person's health, much more than health clinic access along though that is vital;
a key social ingredient is social capital and civic engagement, where for example health is grown and shared;
a key indicator of civic engagement is voting; North Tulsa turnout for voting is at times half of what it is in South Tulsa.

How to grow civic health as a means to personal health (realizing the catch-22 that personal health issues contribute to being able to grow civic health).
See appendix below for previous reports on voter disparities.

Analysis by Ron Robinson
1. Worked on community project last year: 1-2 times 28.4 percent; 0=27.10; so more than half, 55.5 percent, on two or less; But for more than 15 times the result is 18.69 percent. A corollary question: How many times volunteered: 1-2 times 27.1 and zero 17.7 percent, so 44.8, close to half, only volunteered for anything two or fewer times a year; but the 15 or more times category was second highest at 19.6 percent.
Analysis: a disparity among community participation: verifies the 20-80 percent rule; twenty percent do 80 percent of the community participation; shows the reliance on a few, which increases fragility in an already fragile community.

2. Attended a Public Meeting where community issues addressed past year: 1-2 times: 37.3, 0: 28.9, so two third, 66.2 percent, attended any public meeting only two or fewer times. And 15.8 percent 3-5 times; so 82 percent attended any public meeting five or fewer times.
Analysis: Face to Face civic encounters are minimal. We did not ask for online civic discussion or advocacy of issues; need to see how public forums have shifted from f2f to social media communities.

3. Particularly political meetings or rallies: 82.2 percent two or fewer times, almost two thirds zero times.
Analysis: political involvement becomes not a public manifestation, but an affinity activity, which tends to promote polarization rather than moderation.

4. Any club or organizational meeting: 38.3 percent said zero; 18.6 1-2 times, so 56.9 for two or less; 10.2 percent said more than 15 times (see above for disparity of participation analysis)

5. Any meeting at neighborhood school: 44.8 percent said none, and 22.4 said one or two, so more than two thirds, 67.2 percent, had not been to a meeting in one of the most public of local spaces. Analysis: Schools have lost status as community connector, and are untapped local resource for “other than school” related connections to build up community engagement which is vital to the support of the schools themselves.

6. Friends over to your home in past year: leading category was more than 15 times, 24.3, though the other end of the spectrum, zero times (13 percent) and 1 or two times (15.8) equaled 28.8 percent.

Analysis: We need more detailed look to see if there is a grouping between those who go to the most public meetings and have fewest friends over to their home, or the most friends over; that would be a good dynamic to know; for example, one hypothesis is that people substitute personal for public relationships. “Bridges Out of Poverty” work [Dr. Ruby Payne] teaches us that In generational poverty areas like ours in the North Tulsa zipcodes, personal relationships and the ability to express individual personality is one of the resources people have in place of financial resources; therefore, public meetings usually are built upon and promote public rather than personal relationships and engagements (compare an agenda, with pre-planning and an order to follow at a school setting—where authority and exclusion triggers might exist—compared to “having friends drop by”, and yet the latter is the place where information is shared and decisions made;
Additionally 40.1 percent, highest category response, eat five meals or more together with their family. Due not only to cost of eating out, but it is a normally controlled location
In addition, poverty culture favors immediate action, the present is the most important time, and are in survival mode, intimate relationships and only being with people they like, and entertainment; public civic engagement meetings are often not structured for that.

7. How many times in the home of someone of a different race the past year: both 1-2 times and 3-5 times tied for most responses at 24.3 percent each, with zero accounting for 18.6 percent. [Remember this survey taken in an area with highest ethnicity being African American, followed by white, then Hispanic, American Indian, etc.; so while African Americans are the dominant culture in the area itself, of course they are a minority culture within the overall region.]
8. How many times get outside of your neighborhood into the home of someone in a different neighborhood past year? (We did not delineate the term neighborhood, and we found many people did not know the name of their neighborhood, or what might constitute it; so a different neighborhood might be on the other side of a major street but in an area very similar to their own on the northside; should probably specify being in a home of someone on the south, east, or west part of Tulsa, or suburb.). The most prevalent answer was 1-2 times, 24.3 percent, followed by 3-5 times 21.5, and 16.8 percent more than 15 times. Analysis: They are more host into their own home, than they are guest in someone else’s. This too connects with issues of personal relational safety and survival culture. It also indicates that simply holding “public issue” meetings in a home will not get perhaps the same response as engaging the issue within the home of each.
Connected to this, then, also is the response below on how people would like to receive information about the community: 50.4 percent, the largest category response by far was for mail (comes directly to home).
9. How many times in the past year have you been in the home of someone you consider to be a community leader: by far zero times, 57 percent followed by 1-2 times, 23.3 percent—so 80.3 percent two or fewer. Analysis: community leaders are cutting ourselves off from the primary location for our resident’s engagement. And some two-thirds are not self-labeled community leaders serving with a group.
10. How often do you attend religious service? Every week or more often was the highest response at 27.1 percent, followed by almost every week, 16.8. Analysis: shows the importance of the church community on the northside for being a vehicle for civic information, but perhaps not for engagement with those diverse from one’s self.
On the other hand, like other civic groups, the religious ones are fragile as well, as when asked how much money is spent on religious organizations and to “causes” the most prevalent category was under $100 with 35.5 percent, and zero being third at 16.8 percent; 100-500 dollars was 19.6 percent.

11. When we look at people indicating an interest in public and political issues: 26.9 percent very interested was main response; and 25 percent somewhat interested was the second highest. An overwhelming 75 percent said they were registered to vote. 5.7 percent didn’t know. 50.9 percent said they had voted in the past year, but 14.4 percent said they didn’t know. 54.8 percent said they had no challenges in voting, but 26.9 percent said not knowing enough about the candidates or issues hindered their voting.
Analysis: We were tapping into a selected niche of residents who voted (because the turnout statistics which are hard and fast indicate a difference) or people are misestimating their voting patterns, which indicates they know it is a value.
Also, knowledge about a candidate can be correlated with the location of receiving that knowledge, and the propensity mentioned above, to form relationships intimately and personally; impersonal appeals and info might not connect with our residents as personal connections will, and yet the geographic disparity of different legislative districts drawn after the censuses show how much harder it is for candidates on the northside with much more distance within their districts to make such personal intimate relationships.

12 Trust factors as a foundation for community engagement and civic health:
the biggest percentages trust national and local governments some of the time (more than hardly ever, less than most of the time); the respondents btw described themselves as middle of the road in political matters as the highest percent category (24.1) with moderate and liberal Democrat accounting for 21.1 percent.
Almost two-thirds lean on the mistrustful side of people in general (you cant be too careful, which is a contributing factor to lack of participation in civic matters: 63.4 percent answered that, and 7.6 percent answering I don’t know).
People in neighborhood: trust some was highest category (33.6)
The police: trust them some highest category (43.2 percent) with 36.5, more than a third, trusting them not at all or only a very little bit.
People working in stores, and trust level of the schools: trust them some was highest response
Different race/ethnicity trust levels: trust some was top category across the board.

Analysis: To increase social capital with those whom we don’t know, our own neighbors living near us or in North Tulsa in general even, requires a growing level of trust, which is built on being able to feel safe in order to be authentic and vulnerable, which is a requirement for being able to take on teamwork (see for example Patrick Lencioni’s work on effective teams); this is especially so, and a challenge, for those who connect most frequently and easily in their own homes and in settings that are conducive to their cultural strengths, and acknowledge how they interact and share with one another. Our potential in North Tulsa is that we have the inherent cultural and ethnic diversity among our residents to be creative and to be a “learning community”, but that very diversity can be a challenge to our trust levels; we need to continue growing in trust with others who are different from us (moving main trust category from some to most of the time).
The strengths found within our high level of “poverty culture or class” (resourcefulness in the face of few resources, thinking outside the box, knowing how to survive, loyalty, etc. [Bridges out of Poverty]) can be our own weaknesses when social capital and civic engagement is still predicated on “middle class/educated class cultures” that make it hard for us internally to interact with them (on top of the institutional classism/racism issues of not being invited to the table, not having the means to take off work to get to meetings, having to rely on friends, family, public transportation, not having child care, etc.).
Conversely, the challenge and potential is how to take these “weaknesses” and use them, and connect them with new media and the culture of new generations (favoring local action, relational, experiential, participative, communal) in order to better connect one with another.

Our snapshot responder was female, 47.5 years old, African-American, who has completed only a high school education, making less than $30,000 a year, who has never been married, who owns her own home (43 percent did, but 40 percent didn’t).

Next Steps:
1. The resident survey to listen to people was a pilot limited project. We need to improve it and institutionalize it through an ongoing online presence and another period of f2f surveys, ideally rotating the f2f aspect through different parts of North Tulsa each year so we can go in depth into the diverse areas of the northside, producing results that will be most beneficial to residents and groups in those specific areas.

2. Focus Group followup with selected survey respondents to add nuance and clarity and more understanding than from only the survey data itself.

3. A community leader online survey geared to tracking what leaders in North Tulsa are experiencing in their groups regarding civic engagement; what are they trying that works, doesn’t work, how are they doing with self-care, with growing or maintaining or losing their own resiliency and being leaders who create more leaders. This would have the crucial side-benefit of creating a self-selected broad-based directory of community groups/leaders in North Tulsa. Right now there are many who don’t know about others; there are community leaders who are “under the radar”; the under-resourced area itself is mirrored in under-resourced organizations and groups leading to the fragility of the area. We wouldn’t be determining who is a leader or not, but if someone can identify a group, small or large, organized or not, of which they are a part in North Tulsa then that constitutes leadership and their work needs recorded.

4. Ultimate strategy result is to have an ongoing Civic Health Index, just as we now have with the Tulsa County Health and Wellness Index each year that tracks primarily medical health. Civic Health is perhaps a pivotal part of overall Health; those who are more engaged in a community’s civic life are more apt to have access and use existing health resources, just as having a healthy family and being personally healthy is a key factor in being able to be civically engaged as well.

5. To do this will take partnerships with others beyond North Tulsa as well. We can see partnerships for this, as have been done in other places in the country, with universities, with government planners, with those concerned with Health (it is in many ways all geared to creating healthier citizens for a healthier community and eliminating that 14 year life expectancy gap).

6. We end on a positive high note of how some of our work and some of this area of interest is already having a life of its own beyond our Class. Our Community Benchmark Survey will be part of a breakout session at a planned Voter Engagement Summit on Saturday August 22 at Rudisill Library. Part of the discussion is on the voting turnout disparity analysis for the northside, and the way precincts, as one example, are more spread out in the poorer areas where people already have a harder time of transportation. Already being discussed by officials are some possible solutions such as creating fixed voting centers in each part of the area where people could vote regardless of where they live, so that people on the northside who may work on the southside could vote during the day on the southside to make it more convenient for them. Partnerships and proposals like this will come out of the ongoing listening to residents and leaders that would be part of a North Tulsa Civic Health Index. If our own teamwork is an indication, contemplating the elements of the survey itself raises it to our consciousness and commitment.

For more on the details of voter disparities and access to polling:
The Community Benchmark Study in Far North Tulsa by Lead North Class

Our class in 2014-15 looked at the broad area of building social capital and civic engagement on the northside. We did a pilot project of a civic health survey that looked at how connected people seemed to be and feel with their community and one another. Below are some of the initial finds and analysis we did of the results, but our major finding is that this kind of survey needs to be institutionalized with someone who can keep promoting it each year so that it helps to lead not only to better connections and information itself but can result in an annual Tulsa Civic Health Index for the Northside such as the Tulsa Health Department issues for its Overall Physical and Mental Health indexes. A followup survey would also help the survey itself to grow in quality and depth.

1.      We found that some residents are very connected to community but most are not, following the proverbial 20-80 rule; some 20 percent of respondents were accounting for some 80 percent of the community meeting and other engagement measures. In an already fragile environment this burden on leaders is especially not healthy; burnout that can and does happen anywhere can be exarcebated in fragile environments.

2.      Face to Face community meeting involvement was therefore low; more than 80 percent attending five or fewer broad umbrellas of community meetings events. We did not ask about online community engagement, however, and through facebook particularly and various community groups that has become a growing place of civic engagement, with its own sets of pros and cons and issues.

3.      More than two thirds had not been to any community meeting inside their neighborhood public schools. This was seen as an opportunity since the school buildings are a community resource, and the more community is connected with the schools even from meetings and events in them than the more support the schools are likely to receive.

4.      One of the highest percentages of engagement came in the realm of having people over to one’s house, even family and friends; as public meeting attendance dwindled and people looked for safer environments emotionally the role of personal relationships has increased. At the same time, almost no people reported ever having been invited into the home of a broadly defined community leader. Shifting the location of where civic engagement occurs, both online and to smaller and more intimate settings, is likely to reap bigger results. (see recent studies about changing people’s attitudes on social issues due to personal relationships and door to door discussions).

5.      We found that very few people reported having people over to their house or going to the house of someone of a different race or ethnicity or with someone from a different neighborhood.

6.      We found that people did attend in highest percentages the community institution of their faith community; at the same time when asked about how much they support their faith community, the most prevalent answer was very little; again a few supporting the institution, which in fragile communities makes those institutions more fragile.

7.      More survey results need to be done on voting attitudes, but our respondents self reported that they were interested in political issues, and fifty percent said they had voted, and most said they had few barriers to voting, but the most often cited ones were about lack of information about elections and about the candidates; their not knowing led to not voting; they also said, in keeping with the safety factor of receiving community information, that they preferred to get political information through the mail directly to their home.

8.      Finally we asked people trust questions, as trust in neighbors and institutions is key to civic engagement; two thirds were mistrustful in general of others. When asked to choose from a variety of responses about how much they trusted institutions, the schools and the people working in the local stores (not necessarily the stores themselves as a business) received the highest trust scores; which might show the necessity again of where to conduct civic engagement, voter registration etc drives and events. We asked about trust across ethnic lines, and the uniform answer was that people trust others of other ethnicities “some” of the time which was a response just a little on the positive side of the spectrum of choices to respond.

9.      Building necessary trust to work together in civic engagement is key; we have on the northside the diversity which creates opportunities for deep rather than superficial engagement, but we need to look at how safe environments we are creating for it. Also in areas of high poverty and social underclasses, the ways that people and groups and institutions try to engage with residents might be counter-productive and class based, assuming that all have familiarity with a kind of meeting that is like a college lecture setting, with little interactivity, and little ways of establishing personal intimate relationships during the meetings; not doing so continues to drive people away from civic engagement, those whom need it perhaps the most.

10.  Our typical respondent was a 47.5 year old African American making less than $30,000 a year, who has never been married and perhaps owns her own home.


Next Steps To The Survey:

Continue to refine it. Find an institutional online home for it.

Form focus groups to go into deeper discussion and nuance on its findings.

Create a more specific survey of defined community leaders in order to track their and their organizations struggles, their strengths, their learnings of what is working and not working in civic engagement on the ground from their perspectives

Through it create a Civic Health Report on the Northside that could be issued annually ala the Tulsa Wellness Report by the Health Dept.


Walk with us Through A Tour of our Data on the Far North Tulsa Area We are Honored to Call Home and Serve

A Look at our Far North (McLain/Turley) Area

A Third Place Community Foundation,

We serve the 74126 and 74130; and our free food store also serves the Sperry area to the north after their sole grocery store burned down. Our Primary Boundaries: 46th to 76th St. North, Highway 75 to Osage County Line.

These boundaries are much of the Far North Tulsa regional planning designation, and except for the Sperry part for food programs, it includes much of the Tulsa McLain High School feeder district, and the school itself. Below this will be a fuller demographic study that breaks down the overall area into a city of Tulsa part, the major portion, and the unincorporated community of Turley part adjacent to the city.

Note: We are more than our statistics. We have strengths and spirit, and beautiful land, and people helping people in many ways.
But, also….

1.     We die 14 years sooner than in 74114 just 6 miles away on Peoria Ave. (Levin Study, OU, 2007)
2.     Rated Second Worse Zipcode in Tulsa for health outcomes: based on 1 best and 5 worst scale, the 74126 is 4.320 and our neighbor 74106 is the worst at 4.570. 74130 is 3.950 the fifth worst. By comparison 74114 is 2.150, so more than twice healthier. Our zipcode of 74126 does have the Worst health care access rates. (Tulsa Health Department annual report)
3.     2009 OU and Third Place Foundation nutrition study: 60 percent can’t afford healthy food; 55 percent worry about amount of food they have; 6 percent use spoiled food; 29 percent adults skip meals. (more results below)
4.     2013 OU and Third Place Foundation study at our Food Pantry (which is used by people both in emergency straits, but also are generally those with the fewest resources too and who have “emergencies of hunger” regularly; these figures would be different and less stark for our overall area:
52.6 percent high food insecurity;
42.1 percent very high food insecurity, experiencing hunger symptoms when surveyed; 
68.4 percent of households have at least one member with nutrition-related chronic disease; 
53 percent depression; 
47 percent anxiety; 
53 percent high blood pressure; 
32 percent high cholesterol; 
47 percent obese and 21 percent overweight. 

Sample demographic at food pantry: 68 percent women, 42 percent black, 36 percent white, 63 percent reported under $10,000 annual household income (the federal poverty guideline for single person household is $11,770, and goes up to $40,890 for households with eight persons; so most of our households at the food store fall even below the guideline for a single person); 5 percent employed, 47.4 percent disabled, 42 percent less than high school education and 16 percent high school degree.
5.     Historical Abandonment: current 40 percent of vacant homes are abandoned, not for sale or rent; McLain Shopping Center, Northridge Shopping Center, Suburban Acres Shopping Center once thriving now virtually abandoned though with some business still in each; in 2011, three of our neighborhood elementary schools in the zipcode closed (and one more in 2012 when a public charter school was started); in 2015 all school campuses will have been reopened with new educational programs, mostly charter schools, located in them; 2011 also the post office was closed even though post offices in wealthier areas with more options remained open. One of our community pools is always in danger of being closed. Planned and voted on Tulsa Rapid Bus Transit will not be extended to our far north area despite the severe transportation needs)

6. Voting Disparities. Civic health often leads to physical health; those who are connected to community and its information and resources tend to have better health, and voting is one of the key markers for civic health. 
The Redistricting of political boundaries has caused great geographic gap between neighborhood residents and their elected officials who now serve area some five or more times larger than before; our state representative serves from near Cherry St. and TU area all the way north through our area to Sperry and all the way into downtown Owasso, whereas 40 years ago they served just our service area. Voting turnout in one precinct is 20 percent, the lowest in the county, compared to turnout in one precinct in the 74114 midtown precinct of nearly 50 percent, a 30 percent gap; overall North Tulsa turnout around 27 percent, lowest in the four quarters of the city. 
we have seven precincts serving all or parts of the four zip codes in our far north area with lowest life expectancy and lowest income, and one of the highest percentage of African Americans in Tulsa; contrast that with  74114, with the highest life expectancy and highest income, which has the lowest percentage of blacks and Hispanics, and which has itself 8 precincts (more than for all four zip codes here), and compare that with another zipcode in south Tulsa, the most populous, the 74133, which has 15 precincts within its boundaries, more than double the number in all of the far north area. 
The more precincts there are the more they are grouped together the closer they are located to residents locations, and difficulty of getting to the polling place increases. The area that has the least income, and the highest concentration of African Americans, has the least political impact through voting then; all of North Tulsa only has 16 percent of the total number of precincts in the metropolitan area so even if the turnout was 100 percent across the area, North Tulsa would still only have 16 percent of the voting voice per geographic region, meaning the concerns of the neighborhoods on the northside have less power to wield for their neighborhoods when it comes to overall city matters.

7.     Roughly 50 percent soon will be either under 18 and or more than 60 years old. Projection for 2015: 12,590 residents, 73.4 percent African-American, 15.6 percent white, 7.3 percent American Indian and other; 3.5 percent Hispanic. In our service area we are also split between incorporated far north Tulsa and unincorporated Turley community, white population in Turley will remain slight majority in 2015 but down to 52 percent. College graduates: 7.6 percent. (see below for more on the city/county comparisons within our area).

More Detailed Look From Percept Data (from 2012; we do the data update every three years so it will be time this Fall to update and compare again)
I.                   Our Far North City of Tulsa Area Data (excluding the part we serve that lies in the unincorporated county Turley area)

General Data.....
Population: 10,237, a decrease of 6.9 percent since 2000 census. Projected to continue decline by 2.8 percent to 2015 compared to U.S. growth of 5.1 percent.  Population grew slowly from 1990 to 2000, though had declined sharply as part of overall Far North area decline from mid-60s to 1990.

Households: 3,388  decrease of 7.6 percent from 2000 and projected decrease of another 2.5 percent by 2015.

Population by Race/Ethnicity: From a segregated predominantly white and American Indian area up until the schools began to be integrated in 1967, now in this city side of our service area: White (nonhispanic) 7.0 percent and projected to decrease to 5.9 percent by 2015.  African American (nonhispanic) 85.5 percent to increase to 86.4 percent by 2015; Hispanic 2.2 percent to increase to 2.7 percent. American Indian/Asian/other 5.3 percent to decrease to 5.0 percent by 2015. While overall city of Tulsa in this area population expected to decline, the ethnic diversity will become slightly higher as hispanic population rises. In short, this geographic area which is going to be 86 percent African American was almost 0 percent African American 50 years ago.

Population by Gender; 53.6 percent female down from 54.2 percent female in 2010 projected to decrease to 53.3 percent by 2015. 46.6 percent male up from 45.8 percent projected to increase to 46.7 by 2015.

Population by Generation: Generation Z (born 2002 and later)—19.1 percent and projected to be 29.2 percent in 2015; Millenials (1982 to 2001) 34.1 percent, down from 39.7 in 2000 and projected to decrease to 28.8 percent in 2015; Survivors (1961 to 1981) 22.9 percent down from 25.9 percent and projected to be 22.2 percent in 2015; Boomers (1943 to 1960) 16.4  percent down from 21 percent and projected to be 14.5 percent in 2015; Silents (1925 to 1942) 6.8 percent down from 10.8 percent projected to be 4.9 percent in 2015; Builders (1924 and earlier) 0.7 percent down from 2.6 percent and projected to be 0.3 percent in 2015...Over half (55 percent) of the population by 2015 expected to be younger than 33. Average Age: 31.4 up from 30.4 and projected to be 31.9 in 2015; Median Age 27.3 up from 26.7 and projected 27.6.

Average Household Income $33,891 up from $29807 and projected to increase to $36372; Median Household is $26,476  up from $23,266 and projected to increase to $28,245; 

Per Capita Income $11,217  up from $9,946  and projected $12,074.

ethnographic analysis:
Lifestyle Diversity: very low with only 12 of the 50 U.S. Lifestyles segments represented. Top segment is Metro Multi-Ethnic Diversity 46.3 percent of all households compared to 2.7 percent nationally. Struggling Black households 35.8 percent compared to 2.5 percent nationally. Building Country Families 7.1 percent compared to 2.8 nationally. Laboring urban diversity 2.2 percent compared to 0.5 percent; Working Country Families 2.1 percent compared to 1 percent.
Metro Multi-Ethnic Diversity: younger segment than most, still contains a number of individuals in 40s and 50s. single parent families and households with five or more persons ranks high, and overall household size is somewhat above average. Income and education levels low. Use of public transportation is double the national average and car pooling is primary transportation. Faith involvement far above average in this segment:  Rather than have a strong leader they prefer to be left on their own without interference; twelve step programs, youth social programs, personal or family counseling, church sponsored day school preferences.

Struggling Black Households: This segment is concentrated in urban areas particularly in the South. Almost half of adults are without high school diplomas, median household income is far below the national average, and four in ten households own no vehicle. This segment leads all other groups in watching Saturday mid-day and afternoon television. Strong faith involvement and belief in God are well above the national average. Primary concerns are Racial/Ethnic Prejudice, Affordable Housing (ranks number one), Neighborhood Gangs, Neighborhood Crime and Safety (ranks number two), Abusive Relationships and Alcohol/Drug Abuse. This segment ranks nearly last in concern for Recreation or Leisure Time. Contributions to religious organizations, charities and educational institutions are more or less average. Asked to identify programs and characteristics they would prefer in a church, these households are more likely to indicate Bible Study and Prayer Groups (ranks number two), Spiritual Retreats, Twelve Step Programs, Food Resources and Daycare Services.

Building Country Families (the third highest segment in both of our service areas): one third adults not graduated from high school; above average number of divorces, single parent families and families with one or no workers. Primary concerns: finding a good church, spiritual teaching, adequate food, health insurance, divorce and affordable housing. Looking for food resources, sports/camping, bible and prayer, parent training programs, global mission.

Racial Ethnic Diversity: Somewhat High. Hispanics/Latinos projected to be the fastest growing group at 19.4 percent increase from current rate.

Education: very low. 73.3 percent of population 25 or over have graduated from high school compared to national average of 80.4 percent; college graduates 7.6 percent compared to 24.4 percent nationally.

Household Concerns that are above the national average for these concerns: Race/Ethnic prejudice, finding spiritual teaching, neighborhood gangs, neighborhood crime and safety, finding a good church, affordable housing.

Marital Status: Married 41.8 percent, Single never married 37.7  percent, Divorced/Widowed 20.6. Female head of household 32.5 percent compared to 11.2 national.  Household with children 56.7 percent compared to 23.2 national.
Population by Occupation: 56.9 percent blue collar, higher than national average of 39.7 percent; 43.0 percent white collar primarily administrative support and clerical.

Owner Occupied Housing Units 58.8 percent; Renter occupied 42 percent; median rent $513
Vacant Units: 41.8 percent abandoned, not for rent or for sale; 21 percent for sale; 37 percent for rent.

 II.                 Our Adjacent Unincorporated Far North, Turley, Platted Areas Demographics

Population; 2,748. Decrease from 3,034 in 2000, projection of continued decrease by 2015 to 2,643
Households: 1,070 decrease from 1,168 in 2000 and projected decrease to 1,035 in 2015
Population by Race/Ethnicity: White (nonhispanic) 56.3 percent down from 63.5 percent in 2000 projected decrease to 52.4 percent in 2015; African American (nonhispanic) 21.9 percent increase from 16.3 percent in 2000 projected to increase to 24.7 percent in 2015; Hispanic/Latino 5.3 percent increased from 2.8 percent in 2000 and projected to increase to 6.4 percent in 2015. This geographic area which was almost 100 percent White and smaller percentage of American Indian in the late 1960s will soon be a "minority majority" area.
Population by Gender; 50.1 percent female, up from 49.5 percent in 2000, projected 50 percent in 2015; 49.9 percent male decrease from 50.5 percent in 2000, projected 50 percent in 2015.
Population by Generation: Generation Z (born 2002 and later)—15.4 percent and projected to be 24.2 percent in 2015; Millenials (1982 to 2001) 26.8 percent, down from 27.8 percent in 2000 and projected to decrease to 24.5 percent in 2015; Survivors (1961 to 1981) 26.2 percent up from 25.1 percent and projected to be 25.4 percent in 2015; Boomers (1943 to 1960) 20.5 percent down from 28 percent and projected to be 18.4 percent in 2015; Silents (1925 to 1942) 9.5 percent down from 13.2 percent projected to be 6.9 percent in 2015; Builders (1924 and earlier) 1.6 percent down from 5.9 percent and projected to be 0.6 percent in 2015. Average Age: 36.7 up from 36.3 and projected to be 36.3 in 2015; Median Age 35.8 up from 35.7 and projected 35.1.

Average Household Income $46,620 up from $41,592 and projected to increase to $50,275; Median Household is $34,511 up from $28,507 and projected to increase to $37,509; 
Per Capita Income $18,153 up from $16,012 and projected $19,688.
Note the some $7,000 annual income increase as you go from city of Tulsa to unincorporated area in far north Tulsa; this difference exists even within the unincorporated area as you go from the 74126 to 74130 zip code, which has higher income average than 74126. Reflects ethnic difference, also age differences with more retired income in unincorporated area, also home ownership vs. rent, and property lot size increases from cityside to countyside.

Lifestyle Diversity: very low with only 14 of the 50 U.S. Lifestyles segments represented. Top segment is Laboring Country Families 36.0 percent of all households compared to 2.7 percent nationally. Working Country Consumers 16.1 percent compared to 4.1 percent nationally. Building Country Families 8.1 percent compared to 2.8 nationally. Surviving Urban Diversity 7.9 percent compared to 4.0 percent. Laboring Rural Diversity 4.4 percent compared to 1.5 percent. Cautious and Mature 4.3 percent; Mature and Established 4.3 percent; Metro Multi-Ethnic Diversity 3.7 percent; Working Country Families 3.3 percent; Struggling Black Households 3.1 percent; Rural Working Families 2.9 percent; Working Suburban Families 1.2 percent; Mature Country Families 1.0 percent; Country Family Diversity 1.0 percent; Exception Households .8 percent; laboring urban diversity .7 percent; Struggling hispanic households .6 percent; established country families .4 percent; mature and stable, .2 percent.

Laboring Country Families: With a fairly average age distribution, this segment is above average in blue collar employment and below average in median household income. Little more than half of the women are in the labor force. Home ownership is high, with housing units typically being single family dwellings, though property values are lower than most. Faith involvement is above the national average in all categories. Belief in God is high, and acceptance of the changing racial/ethnic face of America is low. The primary concerns of this group are Divorce, Finding Spiritual Teaching, Abusive Relationships, Finding a Good Church, Teen/Child Problems and Parenting Skills. Contributions to religious organizations are high, support of charities and educational institutions low. Asked to identify programs and characteristics they would prefer in a church, these households are more likely to indicate Divorce Recovery Programs, Bible Study and Prayer Groups, Food Resources, Personal or Families Counseling and Family Activities.

Working Country Consumers: This segment is evenly split between urban and rural populations. It consists of persons of all ages, with income and education somewhat below average. Blue collar employment is high, as are precision production and craft occupations. Over two-thirds of all homes are single-unit structures and mobile homes make up a noticeable percentage of the total. While strong faith involvement is only slightly below the national average, a significantly higher percentage than average say they are not involved. On the other hand, significantly more than average believe that God is actively involved in the world including nations and their governments. The primary concerns of this group are Adequate Food, Health Insurance, Day-to-Day Financial Worries, Finding Spiritual Teaching, Abusive Relationships and Stress. Asked to identify programs and characteristics they would prefer in a church, these households are more likely to indicate Bible Study and Prayer Groups, Family Activities, Parent Training Programs, Youth Social Programs, Care for the Terminally Ill and Church Sponsored Day School.

Building Country Families: See Above in Report One.
Racial Ethnic Diversity: Extremely High. Hispanics/Latinos projected to be the fastest growing group.
Education: Extremely low. 67.3 percent of population 25 or over have graduated from high school compared to national average of 80.4 percent; college graduates 5.9 percent compared to 24.4 percent nationally.
Household Concerns that are above the national average for these concerns: Dealing with Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Dealing with Teen/Child Problems, Dealing with Abusive Relationships, Dealing with Divorce, Dealing with Problems in Schools, Dealing with Neighborhood Gangs, Finding a Good Church, Finding spiritual teaching
Marital Status: Married 53.5 percent, Single never married 22 percent, Divorced/Widowed 24.4
Population by Occupation: 56.9 percent blue collar, higher than national average of 39.7 percent; 43.0 percent white collar primarily administrative support and clerical.
Owner Occupied Housing Units 74.4 percent; Renter occupied 25.7 percent; median rent $461. Vacant Units: 36 percent abandoned, not for rent or for sale; 35 percent for sale; 29 percent for rent.

So the Combined Data For Our Total Service Area
12,985 Total Population In 2010. Projection for 2015: 12,590
Population Density, 2010: Far North 2605 per square mile, Turley 1033 per square mile; projection for 2015, Far North 2531, Turley 994
White Population: In 2010 it was 2265; by 2015, projected 1,971, or 15.6 percent of our overall population; of that 1,971 total some 1,386 will be in the now unincorporated Turley area.
African American Population: In 2010 it was 9,356; by 2015, projected 9,245, or 73.4 percent of our overall population; of that 9,245 total, some 8,593 will be in the incorporated Far North Tulsa area.
American Indian, Asian, Other: In 2010, it was 990; by 2015, projected 930, or 7.3 percent of our overall population; of that 930, 435 will be in the unincorporated Turley part.
Hispanic Population: In 2010, it was 374; by 2015, projected 442, or 3.5 percent of our overall population; of that 442 total, some 273 will be in the incorporated Far North Tulsa part.

Total Per Capita Income: In 2010 there were 1,158 households out of total 4,458 households with an annual income under $15,000. In Far North Tulsa section that amounted to 28.4 percent of the households there, and in the Turley section that amounted to 18.3 percent of the households there. In both cases, the income category with the highest percentage was the category of those below $15,000….By 2015, projected 1,045 households out of total 4,337 households will earn less than $15,000 annual income. In Far North Tulsa section that will amount to 26.4 percent of households and in Turley it will amount to 16.7 percent of households there. In Far North Tulsa it will still be the income category with the highest percentage of households; in Turley it will have dropped to the third highest percentage; those earning in the category of $35,000 to $49,999 will be 19.1 percent of households in Turley or top percentage of income categories.

Population by Phase of Life: By 2015, the population based on phase of life will still be basically unchanged from 2010: the most populous phase will be those in formal school years, five to 17 years old, followed by families and empty nesters between 35-54 years old; those two categories combined will amount to 46 percent of all persons in the Far North section and 44 percent of all in the Turley section. In the Far North side, the third most populous category will be singles and young families 25-34 years old while on the Turley side those in retirement years, 65 and over will be the third most populous category.

Minors compared to Adult Population. By 2015, some 3,633 residents of total population of 9,947 of Far North will be under 18 years old, or 36.5 percent of the population; which means voting age population will amount to 63.5 percent of the population, 6,314 adults. By 2015, some 786 residents of Turley’s projected 2,643 residents will be under 18 years old, or 29.7 percent of the population, leaving 70.3 percent for the adult voting age population, 1,857 persons. For the Total Service Area: By 2015, some 4,419 of the 12,590 population will be under 18 years old, or 35 percent. (Think of the changes over the decades in employment opportunities for those in school years; they have been declining, adding to the financial burden and stresses of poverty on families). In the Far North section, the increase will come primarily in those under 10 years old as the percentages fall slightly of those between ages of 10 and 17; in the Turley section, the increase will come in those 14 and under and the percentage of those 15-17 years old is projected to stay steady.
Seniors 60 and above between now (2010) and 2015: While the population is projected to decline during the working years categories, the population is projected to rise among those 60 and older in both the Far North and the Turley section: In Turley, 60-64 rise from 5.1 to 5.6 percent; 65-69, rise from 3.9 to 4.4 percent; 70-74, a slight decline from 3.5 to 3.4 percent but by comparison in 2000 this was at 1.8 percent; 75-84, slight decline from 4.3 to 4.2; and 85 plus, increase from 1.8 to 2 percent, and in 2000 it was only at 0.6 percent. In the Far North section, the 60-64 year old group should hold steady at 4.4 percent but that’s an increase from 3.9 percent in 2000; 65-69 a jump from 3.3 to 3.6 percent, 70-74, 2.7 to 3.0 percent; 75-84, 2.6 to 3.0; and 85 and over, 0.8 to 1.0 percent. In Turley, those 60 and over will amount for 19.6 percent of the total population, and in Far North it will amount for 15 percent of the total population.

So in Far North some 50.5 percent, over half of the population, will be under 18 or over 60; in Turley, some 49.3 percent, or just about half of the population, will be under 18 or over 60. These age groups are most economically vulnerable, and least served in our area with no senior nutrition sites currently active

III. Food Statistics from the survey we conducted with the OU Graduate School of Social Work in 2009, and which is why we operate our new and growing Food Pantry and our Community GardenPark and Orchard:

...55 percent worry about the amount of food they have
...6 percent use spoiled food
...29 percent use a food pantry
...31 percent receive food from church
...35 percent borrow food from family
...25 percent borrow food from friends
...25 percent adults skip entire day from eating
...29 percent adults skip meals
...26 percent did not eat and are hungry at time of 
...43 percent eat less than they should
...60 percent eat low cost foods
...52 percent cannot afford nutritious meals
...57 percent run out of food
...60 percent cannot afford healthy food

The Food Environment:
...29 percent have no affordable source of food in community
...63 percent know about a food pantry
,..56 percent rate the food quality in Turley area as fair or poor
...59 percent indicate food in Turley area expensive or very expensive relative to budget

Overall Health:
...56 percent not currently healthy
...41 percent health is fair or poor
...54 percent are overweight
...66 percent should weigh less
...47 percent smoke or use other tobacco


Loving The Hell Out Of The 74126 Area: News, Events, Opportunities, Neighborhood (website for our A Third Place Community Foundation and its Welcome Table projects, miracles among the ruins).
Hi all. As usual, unless you are following along with us on Facebook these days, you might not know that we have been pretty busy in our mission fields here, so busy it is hard to keep up the reports like we used to do more regularly; but some of the highlights are listed below for you to follow the links and also to share with others in your email lists and social media circles.
1. We have been a part of this year's North Tulsa Development Council class with Leadership Tulsa and our team project has been on cultivating civic engagement on the northside. As a pilot project to laying a firmer foundation of data to track civic engagement, and to working toward identifying barriers to it in our neighborhoods, our team has been conducting a community benchmark survey both online and in a pilot area of far north Tulsa. We have one week to go in collecting data in this first go-round and for all those who take the ten minutes to fill out the survey, either online or in person, they will receive four free tickets to the Tulsa Zoo. Here is the link to share this final week with others who live on the northside: Thanks for taking it if you live here, and thanks for sharing with others who do whom you might know.
As part of this project, we have also started working with the Tulsa County Voter Engagement Initiative and plan to be a part of its Summit meeting later this summer. More on that as the details come, but it will be held on the northside. Part of this has been a followup to the voting disparity work analysis I did after the November elections. You can read that blogpost at
2. We were blessed to be able to host the daily Mobile Eatery from the Food Bank during Spring Break to feed children, youth, and adults as well that week here at our Community Center; we are working with them and others in our area to create and promote the Summer Cafe sites for children and youth too. In our area our partner, the Tulsa Health Dept. Northside Wellness Center will be a major site again this year, as well as O'Brien Park, and we are working toward being a site here too. You can see news coverage of the Spring Break feeding at
Speaking of feeding, we offer free breakfast to the community every Saturday at 9 am at our community gardenpark and orchard at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. and have been a volunteer site for some 150 University of Tulsa students, and both at the park and our community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., we hosted a group from First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City for a weekend of work with us. Besides our own three times or more a week meals, we have also recently helped provide pizza dinner for parents of McLain High School students for a gathering. And this past week we hosted Langston University nursing students during one of our regular food community days at our free grocery store, as they provided a healthy meal and also talked with residents about Diabetes. We also enjoyed helping to promote and participate in the health department's Senior Day at the Wellness Center this past Monday. Our own senior group has taken visits to Gilcrease Museum lately, and has trips planned to the Zoo and to the Botanical Garden coming up in the future.
3. This coming Saturday, April 18, from 10 am to noon we will host our annual trash litter pickup volunteer day in our area, celebrating Earth Day and the Great American Clean-Up with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. We will provide trash bags, gloves, and water, and will also feed volunteers free lunch at the end. Meet at our Welcome Table Center.
4. We were pleased to be at the Tulsa School Board the night it voted to officially reopen the closed Cherokee School across from us for the expansion of The Lighthouse Academy Charter School, and we are working with the school and community leaders to make its reopening special and a launch for revitalization of our area; we are also pleased to see the former closed Wiley Post School which was used by the Health Dept. and by the YWCA and now by World Won Ministries for EduRec will be again used as a school for the creation of the new Langston Hughes Academy for Arts and Technology beginning with 9th grade students.
Our partner meetings are held monthly first Thursdays at noon with a free lunch at The Welcome Table Center; come see how you connect with our neighborhoods. Or always give me a call at 918-691-3223.
To follow along with The Welcome Table Church news and our progressive missional community, and to see some of my recent sermons posted from my trips to Texas, go to and I preached on the importance of place in determining the mission and future of the church; and I preached on Growing Smaller to do Bigger Things in the World as part of size and the future of the church. 
Our big coming event will be our annual missional church retreat, Fri. May 29 to Sun. May 31. This year's theme is Spiritual Practices in Missional Settings. Come go deeper with us and experience how places of abandonment, scarcity, and poverty can be places of transformation. For more information go to
Also our weekly worship gatherings; tomorrow worshipping at 5 pm Sunday, Apr. 12 with Trinity Episcopal Church downtown at 5th and Cincinnati Ave. during their taize-style worship communion and meal; then travel to Stillwater on Sunday, April 19 at 10:30 am as I preach at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Stillwater; we will be back to worshipping at The Welcome Table at 5 pm on Sunday, April 26, always with a meal. And our last Thursday of each month, April 30 10 am Bible and Brunch study and conversation and meal at The Welcome Table; come and explore scripture with us and how it inspires all we do, and challenges us to even more.
It was a privilege to be a part of the 50th Anniversary Tulsa Selma celebration worship, and also to preach at the Good Friday service at All Souls: here is a link to my homily, "Crosses and Conversions" on Good Friday, centered upon the anniversary of the Good Friday race-based killings in our area and my own family's North Tulsa presence and conversions from before the time of the Tulsa Race Massacre up through these Good Friday race-based killings: It was great to attend the showing and discussion with OU graduate social work students of the documentary Hate Crimes in the Heartland.
This summer at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Portland, OR I will be on and moderate three missional church panels: one a broad overview of the radical difference of missional church; two specific explorations of some of the manifestations of it in our wider association; and third, with the UU Christian Fellowship, looking at what the first century church can teach the 21st century church.
I guess that is all. I know there is much more; so many small acts of justice done with great love...and so much more to do.
For those who would like to order one of our "Love The Hell Out Of This World" tshirts, or our God Is Love tshirt, or Death and Glory tshirt with one of the universalist historic logos of the off-centered cross in a circle, each shirt for $20, get more information at
Loving the Hell out of the 74126,



North vs. South and the 2014 Election: Precinct Disparity, Turnout Disparity, Social Determinants of Civic Engagement Disparity

Civic Engagement Group
North Tulsa Development Council Leadership Class Project
Ron Robinson Initial Report on 2014 November General Election Voting in North Tulsa compared with some other areas of Tulsa.

Here I I have finished the Voting Data analysis, at least from current data, from the recent election for our own A Third Place Foundation renewal work on the north side and as input for my Leadership Tulsa project on Civic Engagement and North Tulsa, adding in the registration figures and the percentage turnout disparities between North Tulsa and South Tulsa. This is an update to a facebook post I made back in November with preliminary data.

This also looks at the way the concentration of the number of precincts in a given zipcode on the southside might also affect the ease of voting compared to zipcodes on the northside with fewer precincts located in them; the 74126 for example has five precincts serving all or part of it, compared to 15 precincts serving the 74133 on the south side of Tulsa. Turnout disparities range from my own precinct on the northside (Lighthouse School) that had a 20 percent turnout compared with 50 percent turnout for the precinct in Brookside that votes at All Souls Church. It will also look at the apparent affect of lack of social determinants and how that might affect civic engagement the same way it affects health outcomes for individuals and neighborhoods.

Intro: Simply looking at the numbers of votes cast, the turnout percentages by precinct, and looking at the dispersement of the precincts themselves begins to reveal disparities of voice, votes, and difficulty in getting to the precinct polling places….Also, I am using the lens of the vote for Governor, which was the election on the ballot with the greatest number of votes cast….And I haven't looked through the lens of east or west Tulsa yet here either in comparison with South Tulsa; hope others who live there can do so. One of my models was a voter turnout analysis that was done by  I believe professor Gary Allison at the University of Tulsa Law School after, I believe, the 2008 election. I am not sure I have that report easy to find again, but I might contact him for a copy or see if someone on facebook has it still. Finally, I initially prepared the report as an analysis for community needs in the far north area served by the Foundation I serve as Executive Director, so it still contains that focus though I have broadened it out here to cover all of North Tulsa.)

Quick Headline from near the end of this preliminary analysis: Even before looking at numbers of registered and actual voters, we can highlight that we have seven precincts serving all or parts of four zip codes in our far north area with lowest life expectancy and lowest income, and one of the highest percentage of African Americans in Tulsa; contrast that with one zip code in midtown south Tulsa  74114, with the highest life expectancy and highest income, which has the lowest percentage of blacks and Hispanics, which has itself 8 precincts, and compare that with another zipcode in south Tulsa, the most populous, the 74133, which has 15 precincts within its boundaries, more than double the number in all of the far north area. 

Why is this significant? Especially with poorly funded public transportation, with work hours on election days and difficulty getting time off to vote, and with the difficulty and cost to arrange to go to early voting days and to go to the trouble to do absentee ballots (fewer post offices, for example), all of this makes it much easier for people to get to polling places when there are more of them grouped much closer to the people geographically, when you don’t have to travel as far to get to a polling place. (One of our precincts again has no polling place in its precinct, but residents must go to another precinct next to it to vote; its percentage of turnout remains on par with others on the northside, but that still means it might have had higher turnout with a polling place within its own boundaries).

As the northside zipcodes are also the ones with the highest percentages of people with illnesses, with food insecurities and hunger, and this adds to the necessity to make it as equitable as possible to have access to voting. In other words there is a privileging in some zipcodes which makes it easier to have a higher turnout, which gains them more power.  In addition, just as the major factors in a person’s health and life expectancy come from social determinants of health and not from actual physician clinic time factors, so the social capital of a zipcode will affect its voter registration and turnout; how many civic groups, school parent groups, active neighborhood groups, the strength of faith communities, parks and community centers, businesses where people can meet, etc all lend resources and connections and support to voting as they do to other forms of civic engagement. We will also look below at the role of the felony convictions and percentages of people with those and where they might be concentrated and how that can affect voting, as well, in certain areas (see the studies and recent books on the rising mass incarceration among minority populations in particular, and among the poor in general).

Also why geography alone counts: Where someone lives matters; which neighborhoods have a voice matters; there are issues and needs in some neighborhoods that are not present in all, or other neighborhoods. So, sheer numbers translate into votes on citywide priorities; when there is the kind of turnout gap between north and south Tulsa, as well, it will likely affect the time politicians spend in the areas campaigning, and where they focus their resources afterwards.  

Here we go: Far North Focus
This first section is for my Foundation in particular and Far North Tulsa. If you want you can jump down to the overall North Tulsa statistics.
Let’s start with our four Turley area community and area residential area precincts: We start with simple voter turnout; below we will contrast it with percentages of registered voters.

In those four precincts there were 664 total votes cast in the November, 2014 election. Of these four precincts, two are completely in the unincorporated area and two overlap between city and county sides. My interests lay mainly in the total number of votes cast, rather than who they were cast for, but for information sake as political parties play an important role in voter information and turnout and precincts, I will include the election results for this area.

In the two precincts wholly in the unincorporated area the total vote was 333; in those two precincts Dorman, the Democrat, won one precinct 97-73 in voting at Turley Assembly of God; the other Fallin, the Republican, won 75-68 in voting at O’Brien Park; this precinct (551, voting at O’Brien Park) by the way has to vote outside its own precinct boundaries; there is no polling place anymore located in its boundaries; its residents must go within another precinct boundary to vote, a geographic hardship if you are poor; also there was no early voting or no absentee ballots from this precinct (might look at differences in poverty levels relative to areas with high to low early voting and use of absentee ballots). Of those two unincorporated area precincts then Dorman received 165 and Fallin received 148.

Next, Adding in the the two precincts serving both the unincorporated Turley residential areas as well as the city residential areas: there were 331 total votes. In those Dorman won both; at one, voting at The Lighthouse Charter School, Dorman won 81 to Fallin 12; in the other, Gethsamane Baptist, Dorman won 212 to Fallin 18; adding up the total votes in these two precincts that overlap Turley community and city of Tulsa area, Dorman won receiving 293 to Fallin’s 30 (two other candidates receiving the few other votes). For example, my own precinct is the one that votes at The Lighthouse; I live a few blocks outside of the city of Tulsa limits but my precinct covers this area on the county side and the subdivisons like Northgate in the city of Tulsa.

Now we look at the Other precincts in our two mile service area, but which also include areas of population beyond our service boundaries:
At Suburban Acres Library, 440 total votes with Dorman receiving 411, Fallin 23, 5 and 1 for others.
At Traice Academy, the old Lindsey School in Lakeview addition but extending west into our area, 423 Total votes; Dorman with 375 and Fallin with 37 and 8 and 3.
At Tulsa Tech at 38th and N. Peoria, but extending north into our service area north of 46th: 509 total votes, with Dorman 479 with Fallin 25 and 4 and 1 to others.
Adding these three other precincts serving areas within our service area: 1,372 total votes. Dorman received 1265 to Fallin 85. 

So, adding all of the 7 precincts that cover residences within our two mile service area: total votes of 2,036. Of this amount, Dorman received 1,723 to Fallin’s 263. Or, Dorman won with 84.6 percent of the vote with Fallin receiving 12.9 percent of the vote. This compares to Tulsa County Total: 131,649 total votes of which Dorman received 40.3 percent losing to Fallin’s 56.9 percent. And compared to Oklahoma total: 824,831 total votes; Dorman received 41 percent losing to Fallin’s 55.8 percent. (One might factor in, however, being on the losing end of elections and being “outsiders” in the political power structure on the county and state level, then, as one of the mitigating factors to “being heard”.)
Our 7 precinct turnout (in sheer numbers, not with registered voters factored in, and not with percentage of population or elgible to register voters factored in) then was 0.015 percent of the total Tulsa County vote or one and a half percent; and 0.002 percent or two-tenths of one percent of the total vote in Oklahoma. But Let’s look at geographic conditions. These seven precincts serving our area cover basically a four mile stretch from 36th to 76th St. We will see that among many factors, geography plays a part in voter turnout; the higher voter turnout precincts are in precincts with smaller geographic areas making it easier and less expensive to get to the polls. 

More Broadly North Tulsa Statistics:

Next, beyond these seven precincts serving far north city of Tulsa, there are another 21 precincts in all of North Tulsa for a total of 28 precincts for North Tulsa compared to 177 for Tulsa (not counting the ones covering other cities and areas in Tulsa County as a whole, but just concentrated in the city limits basically). That gives North Tulsa some 16 percent of the total number of precincts for the approximate whole city area; or the other three geographic sides of the city have 84 percent of the voting precincts. 

Our 7 precincts cover the geographic area of all or some of four zip codes, and these zip codes have some of the lowest life expectancy and lowest income in the area; contrast that with one zip code in midtown south Tulsa, with the highest life expectancy and income, 74114, which has eight precinct locations alone, and anogther zipcode in south Tulsa with 15 precincts alone.

The turnout in our total 7 precincts in our service boundaries, amounting to 2036, compares to the eight precincts in the one zip code, 74114, which had a turnout of 5,379 votes cast.
So, the one zip code south had more than a two to one voting advantage over the all or part of four zip codes north. One precinct total in the 74114 was itself almost 63 percent of what the total number of votes cast totalled in all of the 7 precincts in our area. 
Overall North Tulsa area, mostly incorporated city of Tulsa but includes some unincorporated adjacent to Tulsa City: A Total of 30,197 registered voters.

Of that amount, In our immediate four precinct area: 586 registered (186 voted) at Assembly of God Turley 31.7 percent; 931 (236 voted) at Gethsamane Baptist 25.3 percent; 457 (95 voted) at Lighthouse 20.7 percent (my precinct had the lowest turnout percentage); 535 (147 voted) at Obrien Park 27.4 percent (even though they have to leave their precinct boundary to vote, the turnout for this precinct is roughly on par with the other neighboring precincts, but location could still be a factor in how many might have voted.).
Total of 2509 registered in all four precincts. In November 636 voted in these four precincts: roughly 25 percent.
Include the other three North Tulsa precincts serving residential areas in our service area:
Suburban Acres Library 1830 (440 voted) 24 percent; Traice Academy 1606 (423) 26.3 percent; Tulsa Tech 2141 (509) 23.7 percent for Total 5577 registered (1372} 24.6 percent

Total for all 7 precincts in which some or all residents live whom we serve in far north Tulsa: 8086 registered (2,036 voted) for 25.1 percent (roughly one in four persons who were eligible to vote did so)
Remainder of North Tulsa: 22,111 registered voters in remaining precincts and of those 6,163 voted, or 27.8 percent.
Total for North Tulsa precincts: 30197 total registered and 8199 voted, or 27.1 percent.

Comparing with some Southside Precincts:
Next, we do a comparison to southside precincts. For now let’s do a comparison with our one highlighted southside precincts in the selected 74114 zipcode, zip with the highest life expectancy in the metro area; remember it has more precincts just within its one zipcode (8) than all of the precincts in our service area (7) which covers all or part of four zipcode areas). Geographical density adds to ease of voter access and to voter turnout; it is only one of the factors of course, but is important. Actually another southside zipcode, the most populous, the 74133 zip in south Tulsa, has 15 precincts. The 74114 zipcode is also the least black and least Hispanic zipcode in the city of Tulsa area, on par with zipcodes in the suburban areas of Tulsa County. The 74133 is only slightly more black and Hispanic.
In the 74114:  Precinct 720062,  2151 registered 1057 voted 49.1 percent turnout; 0065  with 1429 registered 719 voted 50.3 percent, one in two potential voters turned out; 0071  had 2674 registered 1281 voted 47.9 percent; 0075:  895 registered 362 voted 40.4 percent; 0076, 1237 registered 526 voted 42.5; 77, 1336 registered 621 voted 46.4; 0079, 1568 registered 615 voted 39.2; 0085, 525 registered 198 voted 37.7 percent.

Total for the 74114 zipcode 11,815 registered 5379 voted, or 45.5 percent (20 percent higher turnout than from our far north precinct turnout, and 18.4 percent more than the total North Tulsa).

It may be useful to look at some comparisons based on possible ethnicity data, even within the general geographic areas of Tulsa. For example, within North Tulsa, the highest concentrations of black population is in the 74126 and 74106 zip codes. We have the data for the 74126 outlined above:
it covers the precincts at Turley Assembly of God, Gethsamane Baptist, Suburban Acres Library, The Lighthouse School, and at O’Brien Park (where residents of the 74126 go to vote in a neighboring zipcode location). 4,339 registered voters in 74126 and 1,076 voted, for 24.7 percent
which is a few percentage points lower than the total North Tulsa voting percentage, but in the 74106, there are 9,299 registered voters and 2,544 of them voted, or 27.3 percent, which is just slightly higher than the total North Tulsa voting percentage; putting the two zipcodes together results in a 26.5 percent voter turnout. Also to note is that the 74106 has six precincts within it, two less than the 74114 but one more than the 74126.

By the way, That most populous zipcode, the 74133 in south Tulsa, with 15 precincts alone, accounts for 20,505 registered voters; in the latest election, 7,760 voted, for 37.8 percent.

More Data Needed For Further Analysis on Why there is the Voting Turnout Disparity:

Next needed data would compare the total number of registered voters in North Tulsa precincts with the number of adults 18 years and older, i.e. potential registrants, to get a percentage comparison between zipcodes in Tulsa. And then we need to factor in percent of persons with felonies living in the precincts/zipcodes who are not eligible to vote (bearing in mind that felony convictions alone do not prevent voting in Oklahoma; only if the time of the original sentence has not lapsed.)  And again it would be good for a followup looking at eastside and westside precincts.