Leading on the Frontlines: Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum

A Republican mayor from “tornado alley” elaborates on the steps he took to get ahead of another disaster, Covid-19.

  • June 11th 2020
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G.T. Bynum Speaks with Suzanne Malveaux

Using Natural Disaster Lessons to Confront Covid

Tulsa, Oklahoma Mayor G.T. Bynum says transparency and information sharing between elected leaders and their communities is crucial in any disaster. When the coronavirus hit, one leader he connected with was the mayor of Seattle, the first hard-hit American city. In his response, how did Bynum handle blowback from Tulsa residents for strict guidelines? Bynum says the Trump administration should get more credit in the press for its handling of the pandemic. He shares why working across party lines is critical for the country’s future. He speaks with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. Bynum is an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.

Bynum and Malveaux

G.T. Bynum is the 40th Mayor of Tulsa. Sworn in in 2016, Bynum is using data-driven outcomes to bring people together through innovative programming and resident engagement. Bynum’s focus on public safety, community development, fiscal stewardship and creating a more equitable and welcoming city for all Tulsans, is transforming Tulsa into a world-class and globally competitive city. Bynum’s vision has led to the successful recruitment of two of the largest employers in the history of Tulsa, while outpacing cities throughout the country in job growth. Bynum continues to receive national recognition for his work in implementing one the most comprehensive community policing programs in the country.

Suzanne Malveaux is an award-winning journalist who serves as CNN’s national correspondent, covering politics, national news, international events and culture. Previously, she co-anchored CNN’s Around The World and co-anchored the network’s Emmy-winning coverage of the revolution in Egypt and the network’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Arab Spring. Suzanne has covered the White House for over 10 years as a White House correspondent and has interviewed all 5 living Presidents, and several First Ladies. She is a 2011 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leading on the Frontlines

Leading on the Frontlines, a new series from Aspen Ideas Now, features mayors and governors across the country in candid discussions about how they're facing tough decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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