Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, somewhere between pragmatist and evangelist, in an interview with Streetsblog:
I will say that one secret to our success is that we’ve been able to convince the suburbanite that their quality of life is directly related to the intensity of the core. And so they have continually passed initiatives to support inner-city projects, sometimes at the expense of the suburbs.
It helps that a lot of us outside the core remember what it was like thirty years ago, and don’t want to see it like that ever again.
I try to win an intellectual argument. I stand toe-to-toe with a lot of retired suburbanites who don’t like downtown, don’t like me, are tired of funding taxation. I’m serious, they have more negativity than you could possibly imagine.
And when I’ve lost on every turn and every argument in this debate that takes place in neighborhood after neighborhood I close with this: “We’re creating a city where your kid and grandkid are going to choose to live.”
My own neighborhood, just outside the I-40/I-44/I-235 loop, has skewed much younger in the ten years I’ve been here: the empty-nesters (like, um, me) are still around, but the influx of young families has transformed the area. They don’t necessarily like taxation any more than the folks out on 199th Street do, but they’re seeing things get done, and they like that.