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For the last six years, Vanessa Hall-Harper has been a fierce and relentless advocate for the people of District 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Hall-Harper first ran for Tulsa City Council as an insurgent outsider, vowing results and a different brand of politics. It is without question that she has delivered on that promise.
Since 2016, Hall-Harper’s list of accomplishments has grown almost too long to capture fully. From ensuring District 1 has access to healthy foods at Oasis Fresh Market, to launching expungement expos that give Tulsans a new lease on life, to leading community efforts to bring multi-million dollar investment to the District, to fighting for accountability and transparency in local government and more. Hall-Harper is an undeniable force for good at Tulsa’s City Hall.
But perhaps more notable than her accomplishments is the tenacity, bravery and steadfastness it takes behind the scenes to get the work done.
Hall-Harper puts her community first, no matter the cost.
Vanessa Hall-Harper is the first Black woman to serve as the Tulsa City Council chairperson. Accomplishing this in the very city whose government bombed and burned Greenwood to the ground in 1921 is no small feat.
Many are quick to criticize her, but few could withstand the unseen battles she fights for North Tulsa and Black Tulsans every day. To shield and serve the community she loves, Hall-Harper absorbs threats, vitriol, and attacks hurled at her from every direction.
In the countless moments when it would have been easier to fold under pressure from the powers-that-be, she stood strong. She has never wavered in her commitment to the people she first ran to serve.
Some ridicule her steadfastness as stubbornness or her determination as disrespect, in an attempt to stigmatize her as an angry Black woman. We suspect that any male councilor who displayed a modicum of her courage in the manner she does would be lauded for it rather than ridiculed.
No, Vanessa Hall-Harper does not play by the rules of the good-old-boy establishment.
She is a disruptor, a way-maker, a consensus builder and a champion for her constituents.
She is un-bought, she is un-bossed, and she is the agent of change Tulsa needs and deserves.
Vanessa Hall-Harper has more than earned her seat on the Tulsa City Council. We encourage all District 1 residents to re-elect her for a fourth term on August 23rd.