North Tulsa Forum Discusses Brady District Name Issue

Some North Tulsans met for their monthly district forum Saturday morning and listened to a city councilor's brief statement regarding the Brady District name controversy.

"You know what? If that name changes or not, Tulsa still has an opportunity to grow," said District 1 City Councilor Jack Henderson. He spoke about a city council meeting just days ago, where the topic was discussed.

Some people in the community are calling for the Brady District to change its name. The area is named after a Tulsa founder, Tate Brady. It recently came to light that he reportedly had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Henderson reiterated that the city council only has the power to change the name of the street. However, it is up to associations overseeing the area and the businesses themselves to change other titles.

Henderson said he wants to see Tulsans continue to support businesses in that area, as it is an area that has seen tremendous growth. He mentioned that many African American workers earn a living in that area.

"You think he'd [Brady] be proud of that? No. He would come up and say, 'take my name off of all of that, because I don't want to be associated with it,' and I hope that the board that represents those different entities will take heed of that and do whatever they need to do," Henderson said.

Henderson said he has heard calls to boycott the area but discourages that. Instead, he said it is important to encourage the area to grow. Others agreed.

"He's [Brady] been gone, like it's been said today, for 85 years, and I don't think that his legacy is so important today. What I think, today, what we need to do is continue to build our businesses," said forum attendee Victor Grimes.

Earlier this week at a city council meeting, a representative for the Brady Arts District Business Association said, "We want you to know that we are listening."

State Representative Kevin Matthews and State Senator Jabar Shumate, along with other district leaders, organize these forums each month to help improve their community.

Mayoral hopeful Bill Christiansen and a representative for Kathy Taylor both spoke at the meeting about their candidacy.