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By Editorial Staff

According to John Hopkins University’s latest coronavirus data, Tulsa County currently has 21,829 positive cases and have lost 201 souls to the highly contagious virus. 

Had District 5 city councilor incumbent Cass Fahler persuaded the other city councilors to vote against the proposed masks mandate as he did back in July, the number of COVID-19 related deaths could very well be doubled. You could be missing a family member at your kitchen table, and that is still a possibility if Cass Fahler gets reelected for Tulsa City Councilor District 5.

Hence, Fahler’s inability to vote for a commonsensical policy that protects the lives of Tulsans from the deadly coronavirus is one of several reasons The Black Wall Street Times’ editorial staff chooses to endorse MyKey Arthrell for District 5 City Councilor.

The BWSTimes’ staff is entirely aware that COVID-19 isn’t the only virus suppressing Tulsa from reaching its full potential. Systemic racism, xenophobia, and homophobia continue to stymie our city’s growth and may even contribute to why Tulsa continues losing major corporate deals.

In July 2020, Tesla selected Austin over Tulsa for its new plant — creating 5,000 jobs in that region. At a 2011 tech conference hosted by The Atlantic and UC San Diego, Elon Musk, founder and owner of Tesla, self-described as “Socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

Since joining the Council, Fahler has showcased anti-Blackness by pushing far-right propaganda, talking-points through the city council. In August, Fahler launched an anti-Black crusade to remove the Black Lives Matter mural from America’s Black Wall Street of Greenwood Ave. He hasn’t fully supported the LGBTQ+ community either, voting against LGBTQ+ protections. Hence, Fahler has been incapable of separating his personal religious views from the Council. Fahler and other Tulsa leaders’ socially conservative views and over-all response to the pandemic have undoubtedly shuttered the doors to economic opportunity for its citizens. 

Arthrell vows to embrace the marginalized and listen to BIPOCs and the LGBTQ+ communities’ concerns, followed by a commitment to act.

Moreover, the BWSTimes’ editorial board understands that life after COVID-19 won’t be an easy recovery for Tulsa’s already financially struggling public education options. And with Oklahoma still being behind national funding trends for public education, Arthrell is the best choice as he’s committed to ensuring that all funding pathways to local schools are explored and is committed to tapping those funding resources. 

A current study shows that individuals with untreated mental health issues were 16 times more likely to be shot by a law enforcement officer. This statement isn’t anti-police; it’s factual. We agree with Arthrell; county jails should not be used as a means to treat those with mental illnesses. According to the World Health Organization, as many as 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health issue. 

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Oklahoma is currently the number one incarcerator of women and people of color in the US. It’s not because Oklahomans are inherently bad, but rather, our state continues to use archaic practices as it relates to racially biased policing. This claim is evident in the Tulsa Equality Indicators. Arthrell is committed to police reform.

In the 21st Century, in the world’s wealthiest nation, housing shouldn’t be a problem; nevertheless, hundreds of families struggle to find affordable housing. Therefore, we agree with Arthrell’s zoning plans to make housing available for all Tulsa families in desired and highly developed areas. 

During early voting and on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, we hope you cast your ballot for McKey Arthrell for Dist 5. City Councilor.

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...