Our Homebuilder’s Day at the Capitol was a Big Success! We had the largest turnout yet and plan to keep growing our attendance. Mike Means does a great job representing our OSHBA and advocating for us, but our presence and our voice are a must! There were more than 2,000 bills at the beginning of the session to be read and discussed, and meetings held about. This was a huge task. I also want to thank the legislative committee for their help.

I do think we have an opportunity that would help our industry. I listened to a local economist who said not all taxes are bad taxes. He said look back at downtown OKC in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It had vacant buildings and infrastructure in need of repair, drugs, crime, etc. So in 1993, OKC voters decided to turn their struggling city around by approving a new tax on themselves. MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) is OKC’s visionary capital improvement program for new and upgraded sports, recreation, entertainment, cultural, and convention facilities. Then MAPS for Kids was passed to help improve Oklahoma City public schools’ facilities, technology, and transportation. The leaders of OKC came up with a vision for the city. They painted the picture, sold it to the taxpayers, and executed the plan.

The economist said you show me a state with bad roads, uneducated population with poor healthcare, and high crime rate, and I will show you a state that is struggling, where businesses aren’t moving to but leaving the state. Show me a state with good roads, low crime rate, well-educated population with good healthcare, and I will show you a thriving place where businesses want to be.

We need to think about how Oklahoma City improved itself and try to apply this concept to the state as a whole. We have to face the facts. Our state doesn’t rank well compared to other states in healthcare, education, roads, crime, and incarceration.

I know it is a huge idea that most say can’t be done, but if our association will partner with others maybe we can find the right group of leaders who can come up with a vision, paint the picture to our taxpayers, and execute the plan. Our state and our organization are filled with great people who can figure this out. We just need to push, pull, and get the word out. Our state deserves better, and Oklahoma can be that thriving state we all dream will benefit our members.What that means for home builders is working together in a united effort.

At a recent meeting with realtors about our OK Building Summit, discussion naturally tailed off into how to get our groups working together. That is what made me think about how we can pull groups together to share ideas and common interests and how working together we can improve our state.  I would encourage each of you when given the opportunity to jump in and share and work towards making our state as great as we think it is.

Dan Reeves is President of OSHBA. He can be reached at dreeves@landmarkfinehomes.com