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OKC Civic Life Journal: Graying leadership gives way to millennials

Mid-February is here. City council races in Wards 2, 5, 6 and 8 were decided Tuesday. Two races could have gone to an April 2 runoff but James Cooper (Ward 2) and JoBeth Hamon (Ward 6) won outright.

Five of Oklahoma City's nine elected officers will be 40 or younger when Tuesday's winners are seated April 9. Neighborhood connectivity is seen as central to improved learning in the city's public schools.

Are they millennials? With the exception of Hamon (born 7/10/1990), the 40-and-under council majority falls close to the Generation X-millennial divide. Mayor David Holt could count among the last of the Gen-Xers; his 40th birthday is March 10.

A generation of Oklahoma Citians with "hipster tendencies" say, by their numbers and by the way they vote, that they are about building a city that values inclusivity. Election results will be certified Friday at 5 p.m.

Mayor David Holt views the generational shift on the Oklahoma City Council "as an opportunity to harness new energy and new ideas."

Cooper (@JamesForOKC) will be Oklahoma City's first openly gay elected officer. He won a five-way race to succeed Ed Shadid, who is retiring. 

Councilwoman-elect Hamon (@jospacebear) captured in a brief series of tweets a theme that clearly resonated with central and inner-northwest voters.

Hamon will be the 11th woman to serve on the Oklahoma City Council since Patience Latting, who later served 12 years as mayor, was elected in 1967.

Opponents of economic development incentives declared victory when Amazon announced it would drop plans for a New York City-area headquarters.

Serious assaults are on the rise in Oklahoma City, said police Chief Bill Citty. Citty told the city council aggravated assault is the statistic "that bothers me the most."

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William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›