In the half-hour address outlining the city's accomplishments, Cornett said Oklahoma City is one of only three in the United States with gross domestic product growth of more than 3.5 percent in three consecutive years.
He also acknowledged that 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is a trustee of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and suggested an idea Cornett wants the city to embrace this April.
“He and the rest of the board are asking people in the Metro to do one act of kindness, perform one act of service, and one act of honor,” Cornett said. “Imagine how powerful that can be when we do it as a community.”
The 1995 bombing was the largest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. It killed 168 people in downtown Oklahoma City.
Cornett also said crime has dropped in eight major categories, and 14 percent overall.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty announced Wednesday officers would soon wear body cameras as part of a pilot program, and Cornett said that initiative needs to be a priority for elected leaders.
The Oklahoman’s William Crum reports Cornett detailed progress and highlighted areas he feels more work is needed.
Cornett said the Oklahoma City metro area includes some top-performing schools and others that need to improve. Equity in education is a must for success, he said.
“Quality schools are mandatory if we’re going to have the quality of life in Oklahoma City we deserve and our kids deserve,” Cornett said.
Other cities are adopting aspects of Oklahoma City’s strategies for reducing domestic violence, Cornett said. If you suspect domestic violence, get involved, he urged listeners.
“We are doing better,” Cornett said. “We are not going to be able to keep our crime numbers down if we don’t continue our focus on domestic violence.”
Up to a half-dozen major buildings could soon rise on downtown’s west side, Cornett said.
Cornett highlighted General Electric’s new research center and said the company will hold its annual shareholders meeting this spring in Oklahoma City.
“Obviously GE believes in Oklahoma City’s future and they are anxious to bring some of the largest investors in General Electric to our city,” he said.
The mayor singled out other significant moves, including The Oklahoman’s return to downtown, the arrival of outdoor retailer Cabela’s, and the opening of a new Embassy Suites hotel.
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