Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan has appointed Mayor Kathy Taylor to the Oklahoma Youth and Gang Violence Coordinating Council, a state-wide steering committee created to coordinate Oklahoma’s response to gang activity and violence.
In making the appointment, Morgan cited Taylor’s work in convening the Building a Safer Tulsa gang summit held last September.
The Coordinating Council will review and assess the current suppression, intervention and prevention efforts to reduce gang activity and violence in Oklahoma. The Council will also make recommendations to improve and make more effective the implementation and funding of current efforts. Using benchmarks, the Council will monitor and renew programs on a yearly basis to determine their success.
The Council, chaired by Lt. Governor Jari Askins, will convene its first meeting this fall in Oklahoma City, where Mayor Taylor will give a presentation on Tulsa’s progress in her first year in office.
Since the Building a Safer Tulsa held in September 2006, Taylor, with United States Attorney David E. O’Meilia, has led an aggressive anti-gang charge in Tulsa and has built a multi-agency partnership encompassing all three levels of government. The working summit focused on prevention of gangs, intervention with gang involved youth and re-entry for those who have been incarcerated as a result of gang related crimes.
In the area of prevention, Taylor has implemented the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max! initiative and facilitated the development of after school programs. Regarding intervention, Taylor has helped strengthen and support the Tulsa Youth Intervention Project (which has served over 250 gang-involved youth in Tulsa). With a focus on former gang member’s re-entry into productive society, Taylor has partnered with Career Tech and federal agencies to create the Tulsa Area Re-entry Initiative. Taylor has also created a City-wide Gang Steering Committee in Tulsa that she co-chairs with US Attorney David O’Meilia.