On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. joined mayors across the country for the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems. At a press conference hosted by City Year Tulsa, Mayor Bartlett gave remarks on the impact of national service in Tulsa. Mayor Bartlett spoke directly to AmeriCorps members, “You have the ability to share your experiences and motivation—and encouragement, love and friendship, so that students won’t fall through the cracks and will become productive citizens in the city of Tulsa.” Speaking about the impact of national service in Tulsa, he shared, “National service is a true gift. The public service that we receive as a city is pretty incredible.”
Mayor Bartlett ended the press conference by sharing the vision of his late father, U.S. Senator Dewey Bartlett. Honoring the City Year Tulsa Eugene Field Elementary School team, Mayor Bartlett pinned an ‘Okie’ pin to each corps member’s jacket. “This stands for Oklahoma, Key to Intelligence and Enterprise. Each and every one of you are very involved in intelligence, enterprise, motivation and mentoring. I salute you for that.”
City Year Tulsa is one of many local organizations to put national service to work in Tulsa. Throughout six Tulsa Public Schools, 50 City Year AmeriCorps members greet students each morning and provide individualized support and attention, in and outside of class, in academics, behavior and attendance throughout the day. With over 450 AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Vista and Senior Corps members serving in Tulsa county, national service members provide support to many organizations, including City Year, Reading Partners, Teach for America, Meals on Wheels, RSVP, Tulsa City-County Library, Volunteer Tulsa and the Indian Nations Council of Government INCOG Senior Companion Program.
Mayor Bartlett was joined by City Year Executive Director Tom McKeon and City Year Senior AmeriCorps member Christion Jarvis. Jarvis spoke about serving at Eugene Field, "Then there are the 'Aha' moments and, in City Year. I live for those moments. It’s the moment when their eyes light up and a smile starts to form at the side of their mouth. They’re just about able to take on the world and when you say “Okay, now let’s try a harder one,” and they do it with pride."
The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is a national bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service in cities, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities.