In this election season, we Tulsans face a sea of candidates. The number is up to 19 contenders for mayor, with 22 vying for city council spots.
It's tough to wade through all the muck and the yuck to get down to what each candidate is all about - what his or her ideas are on Tulsa's social aches and pains, what his or her financial priorities will be and, perhaps most importantly, what is his or her favorite kind of pizza.
I'm sorry, but I happen to believe that pizza is the judge of all men. Same thing with pie - your favorite kind of pie can tell your life story and your position in debates ranging abortion to gun rights in one bite, flat.
Because some poor soul would have to make a heckuva lot of different types of pizzas and pies to decide this race in a way that would satisfy my ignored, deprived inner child, Tulsa's Young Professionals (TYPros for short) partnered with AM 740 and FM 102.3 News Talk KRMG, Flytrap Event Center and Urban Tulsa Weekly to bring you, my thirsty T-Town voting friends, the candidate meet-and-greet of your dreams. It all goes down tonight (Tuesday) at Flytrap Music Hall, 514 E. Second Street (that's Second and Greenwood), starting at 5:30pm.
Voters can make use of the evening by talking face-to-face with candidates in the mayoral and city council races, just in time to give us all a few weeks of soul-searching before we head to the polls for the primaries in September. The general election is Nov. 10.
Just think: A favorite among Tulsa's music and meet-up venues. The chance to hobnob with the future Tulsa mayor and city councilors. The satisfaction of knowing that you're making your mark on local politics.
Did I mention there will be free beer at this event? No? Well, I'm telling you now: Everyone who shows up to this event gets a free sample of beer from the tanks at Tulsa's own Marshall Brewing Company.
The event will be a kick-back, relaxed type of deal, so leave your notecards and clip-on ties at home and bring out a little bit of the crazy.
Look also for food, a full liquor bar and live music by Travis Fite at this event. Admission is free, but drinks from the liquor bar are on you.
After you chat up your favorite candidates at this first-ever beer summit, turn to these resources for all the election information you could ever need (and more):
AM 740 and FM 102.3 News Talk KRMG, especially the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley. KRMG and TYPros will also host a Mayoral Debate at Jewel in Brookside on Tuesday, November 3. Listen to KRMG for details.
Batesline.com, by political hound Michael Bates. He might not grace the pages of Urban Tulsa Weekly any longer, but it's still election season, and that means Michael is pounding the pavement for political news in this town and then spilling the beans on his blog - you know, the one city reporters won't admit to reading first thing every morning so they'll look like they know what they're talking about in morning staff meetings.
The Tulsa chapter of League of Women Voters. Be on the lookout for the League's one-of-a-kind Voters' Guide, to be released before the primaries. The League sends each candidate a battery of questions and then publishes their answers, along with a sort of resume of each contender. There are usually dead-tree versions of the Voters' Guide floating around, but I hear this one will be published to the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa Web site.
Social media sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Social media might be the new kid on the media block (depending on how you look at it), but it is, in my opinion, the best way to look beyond the buzz and see what real people are really saying about everything from candidates' positions on economic development to where your mayoral pick ate lunch that day.
There's many more sources of information on the mayoral and city council candidates out there. What are you reading? Where are you listening? What are you watching?
Banner art from Urban Tulsa Weekly.