Hi everyone! Hoping your summer has been one with maybe a little travel involved or daycations around our state. I’m thinking about doing a feature on glamping spaces in our state, or in north Texas. It’s kind of a cute concept I previously was prevented from writing about due to an exclusivity agreement I am no longer a party to. Look for fun day trips coming soon.
Edmond’s new mayor, Darrell Davis, in what appears to have been a highly bold move, made a proclamation that Edmond would be inclusive and accepting of our LBGTQIA+ community and June 14, 2021, a contingent of “patriots” came to speak at City Council during citizen comments. It was a half hour filled with hate, misinformation and bigotry, which happened again on the 28th, many being the same contingent that were in opposition to mask wearing and vaccines in 2020 in response to our city’s response to Covid.
Last night, Edmond resident’s showed off their best side, with an entire council chamber and overflow showing up to support our neighbors,
friends and family with only 3 people from Edmond’s “We the People” patriot group showing up to continue an offensive objection, trying to have the proclamation overturned claiming it was obtained by “tyranny”. Sara Cunningham, founder of OKC’s Free Mom Hugs showed up in support, as did Aaron Edwards, founder of Dads Hug, Too, and one of the organizers for Edmond Pride who spoke so eloquently about his support of our friends and neighbors.
My hairstylist Janna Carr got up to speak her personal experience and her speech was on point and eloquently stated. She, her wife who is an MD, her kids are all just people who want to live their best life minus hate or bigotry. After her speech, the leader of “We the People” stated “patriots” were oppressed and needed their own day proclaimed, and bizarrely so did domestic violence survivor’s to which the next speaker, a student from UCO stated that we had just celebrated that day on July 4, and that domestic abuse survivors are recognized in April each year, to which it appeared the organizer of “We the People” had no knowledge.
The coolest part of this town is the fact that the City Council is non partisan, right? Perhaps I should do a civics feature on how our municipality actually functions for the patriots that think it operates solely for their benefit and no other, and just run it on repeat throughout our social networks. I can tell you right now, I saw so many “genuine patriots” defending our LBGTQIA+ community last night, to defend their neighbors, friends and families rights to simple things like just being themselves without fear of being harmed in the face of sheer ignorance and bigotry, I was beaming.
Speaking of amazing things happening around Edmond, the musical talent this Saturday night from 6-10 pm at Heard on Hurd in Downtown Edmond will just blow you away.
At 6 pm, The True CW will take the stage with his lively beats.
At 7:20 pm, R & B singer Alyse will take the stage. Take a moment to listen, she is a phenomenal talent.
And then, this month’s Heard on Hurd headliner is Jabee, whom hasn’t graced the stage in Edmond since March 2019 as the season opener headliner! Jabee is not only an Emmy winning performer, but a community conversation starter and a genuine changemaker. Listen below, and I can attest he is even more dynamic in person.
One last note for everyone who is interested in the development in Downtown Edmond. There is a proposed apartment complex and 340 space parking garage coming to the old Dolese plant west of Broadway. This was a golden opportunity to provide a place to live for all of the workers in Edmond, however, the Council made it clear that they knew the specific project would draw wealthier residents from outside of Edmond. The apartments will run the gamut from studio sized to 3 bedroom with the studio’s starting at $1,000 per month.
A citizen stood up stating she was a student at UCO and now makes $15 an hour, and that no students and some young small families who might be interested in apartment living could even come close to affording this complex that will be built not even a mile from UCO. Councilman David Chapman stated the Council is aware of the affordability factor being at the high end, when the developer added they might be bringing more “work force” living to Edmond.
I don’t know about you, but what does that even mean? Ugly, so small its almost uninhabitable, without amenities at all?
There is a gap that developers or people of wealth may not be ready to address with the public quite yet. And. Lets be clear. Fair priced housing doesn’t have to mean ghetto, to be quite frank and clear. It just doesn’t make everyone involved a higher profit margin, that is all.
Edmond is made up of regular working folks, and is not 98% affluent as some leaders and business entities would like to portray. This development would have been a better fit over by 15th & Bryant, to be honest, not Downtown Edmond.
It felt as if the developer was so proud his development would “drop 400 affluent people directly into Downtown Edmond” to shop at the 2 antique stores, three independent clothing retailers, the knitting studio, the outdoor equipment store, Fields Jewelry, or drink at the brewery or the Patriarch, or dine at the fast food options of The Mule, El Taqueria, Oak City Pizza, Hott Wings or restaurants like Othello’s, Around the Corner or Sunnyside Diner in the fact that his development would bring highly affluent residents ready to drop their discretionary income at will, very quietly stating it would generate $175,000 in revenue a year, over 8 years, only $1,400,000. Heard on Hurd has generated over $35,000,000 in 8 years according to Citizen’s Bank President and CEO Jill Castilla, so this revenue cited by the developer is small change in comparison and doesn’t include living options for anyone unless they can afford $3,000 for a three bedroom apartment. Big no from a lot of people, and quite rude in my humble opinion. I’d rather live in the Plaza District for $3,000 a month.
And, it seems this developer may have forgot to check out the Plaza District, Mid Town in OKC or Automobile Alley that is in the direct proximity to these up and coming young professionals actual work spaces (even though they developed a complex in Midtown). Most up and coming wealthy young professionals are looking for spacious home settings and very spacious outdoor settings to settle down with in and around Edmond, not apartments close to the west side of downtown Edmond that potentially cost more per month than a 2,000 sq ft home, with a 3 bed apartment costing $3,000 per month.
It seems developers may need to research their best planned developments and perhaps do a little more digging into the actual demographics of our town before dropping more sprawling mini malls or expensive multifamily developments. Have community meetings instead of just listening to the entities that are trying to entice your business. Being useful rather than just profitable is a thing these days, and can make or break a developers reputation in mid sized communities such as Edmond.
Hit up Heard on Hurd this Saturday in Downtown Edmond from 6-9 pm for a family and dog friendly community block party. Be sure to stop in to the locally owned independent brick and mortar spaces who choose to support this amazing event every month and give them your support, along with the pop ups and food trucks we are so lucky to have in our sweet town every month thanks to Heard on Hurd.
I have been releasing the last issue of EdmondActive throughout the last three weeks and am in final production of the next issue to send to the printer now. Thanks to all who have supported EdmondActive Magazine for the last 12 years either by supporting our advertisers, reading or joining in at Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but for reading Around Edmond and participating since July 13, 2009. EdmondActive is yours, exists for you, and I am humbled at the support for it that remains, even in light of some who do not because of my pro inclusivity views.
Stop by again next week to see what’s happening around Edmond!