Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods
A Mobile Video Project
In Oklahoma’s capital, the voices of low-income people are like faintly heard footsteps behind the long march of an oil and gas boom, which is stumbling. Some impoverished areas seem stuck in time, struggling with blight, crime and other issues. University of Oklahoma students and Oklahoma Watch journalists joined forces to gather short videos and deep data about residents’ concerns in these areas and then record responses from leaders—a virtual conversation.
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Where Videos Are Recorded
The neighborhoods where “Talk With Us” videos are being shot have some of the highest poverty rates and percentages of minority residents in Oklahoma City. Two of those areas have historic significance and emanate a cultural pride. The third has little identity, comprised of seedy apartments and modest homes.
Life in Poor Neighborhoods
Many people have exaggerated fears about low-income neighborhoods. Residents there have many of the same concerns, graces and hopes that define any community. But statistics bear out the extremes of suffering connected with poverty. Professor David Moxley speaks to the forces at work in poor areas. Councilman John Pettis talks of growing up in one.
Professor, Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work
University of Oklahoma, Norman
Councilman, Ward 7
Numbers That Matter
Living below poverty level, Oklahoma City, 2009-2013
State’s ranking in per-pupil common-education spending, at $7,466 per student, 2012.
Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25-plus, Oklahoma City, 2009-2013
Hispanics in Oklahoma City, 2010
Population, Oklahoma City, 2013
Hispanics in 149-member Oklahoma Legislature, 2015
African-Americans in Oklahoma City, 2010
African-Americans or women on the 8-member Oklahoma City Council, including mayor.
Number of offenders in Oklahoma prisons and jails, yielding the second highest rate in nation, 2013.
Hispanics on the 8-member Oklahoma City Council, including mayor.