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

Voting Is Power Summit: Voting Saves Life

A Report on Voting Disparities and Civic Engagement: 
Analysis prepared by Ron Robinson for our Lead North Class Project with Leadership Tulsa
Updated from Aug. 2015 Voting is Power Summit Meeting

The Major Points

1. We have a now almost 11 year life expectancy gap between north and south Tulsa (In 2007 the OU Levin Study showed it was almost 14 years; in the nine years since, the focus on social determinants of health in the 74126 and 74106, and the beginning of an increase in clinic access, have helped to narrow the gap by three years; it remains an outrageous injustice of disparity). 

2. Physical health is often greatly affected by a community’s civic health as part of the “social determinants of health” which account, along with lifestyle choices, for some 70 percent of life expectancy (OU Community Health, Dartmouth Study report; the other 30 percent consists of almost 20 percent in a person's genetics, and 10 percent only from clinical treatment, doctor and hospital care). 

3. And civic health is greatly reflected in, and affected by, VOTING. Those who vote are connected more to their community; those who are connected more to their community live longer and stronger lives. 

4. It is no surprise then to see that disparities in life expectancy in zipcodes track along with disparities in voting turnout between north and south Tulsa.

The 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 turnout; and one of the precincts in that midtown zipcode had 49 percent turnout, the highest. 
So there was a near 30 percent turnout 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 alone as well from precinct to precinct; so even within areas of the northside, some precincts have more electoral voice than others; often tracking along socio-economic lines. 

Disparity of 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 where the highest turnout was, 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. 

The reason for this, of course, is that numbers rather than need is used to determine precincts; it can be said it is the same reason for the disparity of health care access and of food insecurity disparities of access to full service grocery stores. Instead of going where the greatest health care needs are, clinics and hospitals have located where the greatest number of residents are; instead of going where the greatest food insecurity is, grocery stores go where the greatest number of residents are; when post offices were closed, they were closed not where people had the most alternatives and resources available for postal related services, but in the areas where people had the fewest number of these resources. The same is true of voting places. The disparity is confounded because the areas where there are the most residents are also the areas where there is the easiest transportation and most other resources as well. It is easier than to vote in certain precincts and parts of town and harder in other parts. 

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.
Highlighting this issue is the location chosen for the second early voting site. In both Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, the opening of a second early voting site is a good step to increase access to voting, but the sites chosen were not where there is the current low voter turnout; instead, following the numbers not need model, the sites were located in wealthier and whiter areas where people already have easier access to voting. 

It also points up the need for one proposal to have locations established in each area of the city where residents could vote on election day 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. And there are a host of other electoral reforms proposed that would help, such as automatic registration, moving the day elections are held, and others. 

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 has now grown vastly to cover 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, who once lived in geographic proximity to them and with them, and it affects the ability of the representative to physically get to all of the areas within the political boundaries and to be known by constituents. These are greater problems than those in areas with smaller geographic boundaries. This takes on particular importance in poorer neighborhoods because of some of the reasons why people don't vote. When they feel disconnected from information on the candidates, and the issues, they don't vote as often; they are motivated by personal relationships in ways and to degrees that those of higher social economic characteristics are not, those who rely on accessing information online and through print and have the means to attend campaign functions. 

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 seemed to feel connected 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, a kind of leadership support survey that also gives a snapshot of civic health on the northside, a kind of 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, growing from the issues internal to the survey we noted. Still....

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. As online civic and community association grows that will accerbate the disparities and disconnect among those without the means to online access the same as others. 

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. A concentrated effort is needed to get more and more community residents physically inside school buildings. In poorer neighborhoods, the local school buildings are one of the few community resources physically present; when they are not used to the fullest extent, it affects the poorer residents more because they don't have alternative spaces for community engagement. [note again the one precinct in Tulsa on the northside which does not even have a polling place available in its area, indicative of the dearth of physical resources for the community there]. 

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 even door to door discussions, at 

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. [poorer neighborhoods also often suffer from stereotypes of crime, and from real issues of blight and lack of enforcement of stray animals, etc. all of which can reduce the kind of personal visiting and campaigning that would have the most effect on voter interest and tunout.]

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. [Since our work we have connected with the statewide civic health work being done through the University of Central Oklahoma, and more connections and replicating the survey in other metropolitan areas would be helpful]. 

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

---Create a more specific survey of defined northside 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. This survey would also serve to be a way to let leaders and others know what is going on in the northside year to year. 

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