In May 2019, the City of Tulsa and the Community Service Council released the 2019 Equality Indicators report today, which uses data to measure equality as it relates to economic opportunity, education, housing, justice, public health and services in Tulsa. In 2018, the first Equality Indicators Report was released to establish a statistical baseline for understanding inequality in Tulsa.
The Equality Indicator tool was created with guidance from the City University of New York Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), who developed the original Equality Indicators methodology. The City of Tulsa intends to utilize the Equality Indicators data collected and analyzed by the Community Service Council to demonstrate commitment, transparency and accountability to improve the conditions for underserved Tulsans through the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity and partners throughout the community. The Community Service Council primarily used data reports for the years 2017 and 2018 to comprise the 2019 Equality Indicators Report.
“In its second year, the Equality Indicators Report will continue to serve its intended purpose – which is not as the document that solves all of our problems, but rather as one that illuminates the problems we have so we can address them collectively,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “The Tulsa Equality Indicators is part of the City of Tulsa’s commitment to that work and to our ultimate goal of a city where every Tulsan has an equal opportunity for a great life.”
In 2019, Tulsa received an overall score of 41.74 out of 100, compared to a 40.02 from 2018. The 2019 theme scores, 2018 comparisons and highlights are below:
Economic Opportunity: 39.89, up 0.89
Under the Economic Opportunity theme, the topic score for the ratio of white to black income median household income improved to 54 from 49.
Education: 43.67, up 4.67
Under the Education theme, the topic score for the ratio of rates of Advanced Placement courses offered at high schools with at least 35% White population to high schools with at least 35% Hispanic/Latinx population per 1,000 students improved to 58 from 37.
Housing: 42.11, down 0.67
Under the Housing theme, the topic score for the ratio of rates of homelessness for veterans to non-veterans per 1,000 adult population improved to 100 from 86.
Justice: 33.89, down 1.44
Although the Justice theme score slightly decreased from 2018, topic scores such as use of force, improved to 34 from 20.
Public Health: 50.56, up 4.22
Under the Public Health theme, the topic score for the ratio of rates of Black to White preterm births improved to 65 from 55.
Services: 40.33, down 2.67
Although the Services theme score slightly decreased from 2018, topic scores such as the ratio of percentages of vacant housing units in north to south Tulsa improved to 51 from 47.
“Over the past year, we’ve been excited to see both the community and the City using the findings from the Equality Indicators to push for change. Starting with this report, they will be able to see where and when these changes have occurred,” said Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of ISLG. “While the root causes of the inequalities being measured are complex and may in some cases take many years to combat, our hope is that regular monitoring will keep attention focused on these inequalities, urge action, and show when incremental change has occurred, which in itself can be a sign of real progress.”
“This report provides information about where changes are happening, and how those changes align with local and other efforts to reduce disparities,” said Melanie Poulter, Director of Innovative Data & Research for Tulsa Community Service Council. “Together, this information may suggest where the City and other entities want to focus additional analytical work to understand the impacts of their efforts and strategies, where there is a need to enhance or adjust them, and where new ones need to be developed. The Community Service Council is pleased to be the backbone organization providing this level of data that drives the focus of work for so many public and nonprofit entities.”
Since the 2018 Equality Indicators Report was released, the City of Tulsa unveiled Tulsa’s first resilience strategy focusing on racial equity. With 41 tangible actions within the Resilient Tulsa Strategy, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity was created to help with the implementation of the action items, which helps create a more inclusive and equitable future for all Tulsans. The City also launched the New Tulsans Initiative, which fosters connections between all immigrants and long-term residents. With 26 goals to help build a more cohesive Tulsa, the City is celebrating and valuing our diverse cultures by implementing specific policies, programs and practices to remove barriers and promote social inclusion of immigrants and their families into civic life.