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The MAPS 4 tax proposal intended to fund 16 different humanitarian and capital projects passed by the largest margin in the last half-century in Oklahoma City Tuesday.

“This is not just a victory, this is a mandate without historic precedent in our city,” Mayor David Holt said to a room full of supporters and well-wishers Tuesday night.

“We have never been more united as one OKC and I don’t just see it in the numbers. I see it in the faces I see here tonight.”

Vote numbers

Once all 234 precincts reported, the MAPS 4 vote was 71.71% for and 28.29% against the measure.

That percentage of approval topped the previous high of 68% cast for the MAPS 1 extension December 8, 1998.

By comparison, the original MAPS 1 vote in 1993 came in at 54% for and 46% against.

In all, 44,439 Oklahoma City residents voted Tuesday out of a population of around 600,000.

Sales tax vote turn out numbers over the last half-century provided by Mayor David Holt to Free Press show that over the course of 16 votes, as high as 70,000 voters have turned out all the way down to 25,000. Most turnouts have been similar to Tuesday’s hovering between 40,000 and 50,000.

Track record

In his speech at the end of the evening, Holt recalled that a key element to the ongoing success of the MAPS project votes over the decades has been the track record of the projects themselves.

“I definitely want to take a moment to thank our past mayors, our past council members, our past city managers, our MAPS staff members, the citizen advisory board, and all the people who laid the foundation that we built upon here for the last 26 years,” said Holt.

Engagement

This summer the City Council held a series of unprecedented hearings where various groups came and presented their concepts of what they thought should be included in MAPS 4.

Free Press reported on literally whole days of hearings that were a spectacle of citizen engagement with the different supporters of projects coming to city hall wearing matching t-shirts supporting the projects being presented.

The Mayor recalled the 18-month process that was “really the most engagement I’ve ever seen in any community.”

MAPS 4 passes
Mayor David Holt congratulates the voters of Oklahoma City Dec. 10, 2019, and the leaders who promoted the MAPS 4 effort. Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press

Next

Free Press interviewed Mayor Holt after his speech congratulating the city Tuesday night. We asked what comes next.

He said that in January they would start forming the Citizens Advisory Board. That will take a little time to give people a chance to express interest. Each Council member will be given an appointment to the board.

Holt said that the biggest job will be the chair of the board. But, all of the members of the board will have a big job ahead of them.

“For most of them, and certainly the chairperson, it will be the biggest volunteer job in their life,” said Holt. It’s a ten-year commitment, really.”

He said the process will mirror the MAPS 3 process which also had a long-term Citizens Advisory Board. He anticipates that lessons learned by that board will help those who will be on the new MAPS 4 Advisory Board.

MAPS 4 Projects

The 16 MAPS 4 projects are:


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