How Oklahoma City’s Early Decision Saved Lives During COVID-19

May 27, 2020 - (2 min read)

“No one runs with the intent to dismantle their economy,” said Mayor David Holt. However, Mayor Holt admits he would make the decision again to close down his city because it saved lives.

As the novel coronavirus ravaged communities on the coast, the Midwest city began to prepare under Mayor Holt’s leadership. Hear how.

Elected in 2018, Mayor Holt is the youngest person elected mayor and is the first Native American to serve in the position.  In his third year, Mayor Holt talks about the challenges he has faced as a local leader and how he overcame it.

What personal barriers have you faced in responding to COVID-19 in your community and how have you overcome them?

MayorDavidHoltI don’t think my challenges have been different than any other mayor, but I didn’t run for office to shut down small businesses. I did run for office to protect people, so I’m at peace with what we had to do, but it’s a tough situation to be put in that position. I think you get through it by just being very candid and transparent with your residents.

What role has technology played in keeping your city up and running – give an example, if possible?

That first month I had my phone in my hand 24/7 and it didn’t matter that I was mostly at my house. It’s really amazing how much you can accomplish today with just a phone. Also, so much of a mayor’s role is communication and having social media has allowed for easy daily updates.



About the AuthorMelissa Williams is a communications and marketing manager at NLC. She supports NLC’s membership and partnership teams.



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