Lori Decter Wright is a dedicated, creative and results-oriented leader possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and more than twenty years of experience as a small-business owner and nonprofit executive. She has a gift for building consensus, achieving strategic goals, and collaborating to accomplish successful outcomes. She has a proven track record of being innovative and pragmatic when recognizing opportunities and resolving challenges. She brings her fresh perspective and energetic enthusiasm to Tulsa City Hall as your City Councilor in District 7.
Lori Decter Wright was elected to her first two-year term on November 6, 2018. During her first year on the City Council, Lori Decter Wright has established herself as a leader who actively listens, creates coalitions, and takes action. She co-chairs the Tulsa City Council's Urban and Economic Development Committee and serves on the Council's subcommittees for the Equality Indicators Special Meetings and Covid-19 Response Team. She also represents the City of Tulsa on the Board of Directors for Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG). She holds regular town hall and constituent meetings in District 7, attends neighborhood meetings, visits regularly with community stakeholders, and represents District 7 and the City of Tulsa at various events across the city and county.
In addition to her work as a Tulsa City Councilor, Lori also serves as the Executive Director of Kendall Whittier Incorporated (KWI), a community-based nonprofit organization focused on food insecurity in Tulsa's Kendall Whittier, The Pearl, and Crutchfield neighborhoods. KWI operates the only emergency food pantry in the area that delivers groceries to doors five days a week, 52 weeks a year. KWI also sponsors three organic community gardens. Through her work, Lori has built solid relationships with charitable foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors across the city and state. She collaborates with staff and hundreds of volunteers to ensure that thousands of Tulsans in need are fed and nourished. She has an excellent reputation for getting things done and for connecting folks to each other so that they can cooperatively work toward achieving positive outcomes for the people of Tulsa.
Prior to joining Kendall Whittier Incorporated, Lori served Director of Education and Membership for Sweet Adelines International, a nonprofit association for women founded in Tulsa in 1948 and headquartered in South Tulsa. During her seven years on the Executive Management Team, Lori helped lead the multi-million dollar organization to innovate new methods for delivering education, programming and member benefits to its 23,000 members worldwide. She also strengthened its youth outreach programs and assisted communities across the globe with empowering young women through music education.
A Tulsan by choice, Lori has lived here for 12 years, including nine in District 7. Prior to choosing Tulsa as the place to settle down and raise a family, Lori and her husband were professional opera singers based in the Silicon Valley. Lori is an award-winning singer, performing with world-class opera companies and symphonies across the United States and overseas. Tulsa's own excellent cultural offerings were a major factor in the Wrights choosing to build their lives here rather than other cities in the region. In recent years, she has returned to the stage as a hobby, directing local musical theatre productions, performing around town, and singing the National Anthem for local events.
Lori Decter Wright completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Vocal Music Performance with an emphasis in Opera at San Jose State University.
Lori lives in District 7 with her husband, Joseph, and their two children. She is President of Shadow Ridge Homeowners’ Association and actively works to improve the quality of life for her neighbors. Lori has organized community and charitable giving events such as paying off student meal debt at local schools, emergency pantry food donations, winter coat drives, and collecting donated furniture to help families in need. Lori also serves on the Board of Directors for Tulsa Opera, is Board President of Spotlight on Opera and mentors local youth as they prepare for college.The Wrights are members of College Hill Presbyterian Church and Lori regularly shares her musical gifts with the congregation as well as will other local churches and community performance groups.
I bring the experience of two years on the Council. During my first term, I have established myself on the Council as a voice of reason. I do my homework before every meeting in order to ask questions that uncover the unintended consequences of the decision or policy we are considering. I work diligently to bring people together, cooperatively seeking solutions and collaborating on the issues, even when those issues seem polarizing. Most importantly, I have actively listened to the people in District 7, kept them informed, amplified their needs, and achieved success on their behalf at City Hall. I have a 100% attendance record for City Council meetings, and am prepared and qualified to represent constituents on every discussion, decision, and vote. My professional business experience as an entrepreneur and a business leader in the local nonprofit sector has prepared me to serve our community well, providing excellent service seeking common sense solutions while conserving resources.
My number one priority as a City Councilor is to listen and communicate. I am committed to boldly representing the people of District 7 at City Hall, keeping them well informed of the issues, policies, and projects they care about and that affect them, their family, friends, and colleagues. We currently have tremendous momentum at the City of Tulsa where collaboration and cooperation brings about positive changes and exponential growth. We must continue to work together to build a Tulsa where we want to live, work and play; a Tulsa that we can be proud of and a Tulsa where our kids and grandkids want to stay and create their own businesses, raise their families, and give back to the community.
Top Priorities for District 7, Southeast Tulsa: Reducing crime and investing in public safety; Updating infrastructure including roads and bridges; Innovating and growing opportunities for business development; and Improving the quality of life for all Tulsans.
I am going to keep doing what I have done since the day I took office. I regularly host in-person Town Halls and attend neighborhood meetings focused on the issues and concerns of residents. Throughout this Covid-19 pandemic, in an effort to maintain social distancing, I have engaged with constituents by hosting a series of virtual Town Halls via videoconferencing platforms. I connect constituents directly to the City of Tulsa staff and community stakeholders to implement policies, strategies, and solutions for them. I maintain a very active social media presence across multiple platforms to engage and inform constituents daily through posts, comments, private messages, emails and phone calls. Finally, I send out regular announcements and solicit input by email. I rely upon input I receive from constituents through all modes of communication and reach out directly to those who may not contact me on their own volition to seek insight and obtain feedback from them.
When District 7 is prosperous it benefits the entire City of Tulsa, as District 7 generates more than 22% of the Retail Sales Tax revenues for our City. In collaborating with the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Mayor's Office I continually voice the needs of District 7. In my first term on the Council I have sponsored and supported revisions to City ordinances that reduce red tape and improve efficiency for businesses. I am working to create a coalition of District 7 businesses along the E. 71st St. Retail Corridor. I have assisted developers with negotiating the zoning process and facilitated discussions between them and neighborhood residents as well as existing businesses. Tulsa is a great place for entrepreneurs and District 7 is ideally situated for businesses to launch and grow. Providing support and modernizing our antiquated permitting, licensing, zoning codes and ordinances creates a more business-friendly city that attracts companies and entrepreneurs to Tulsa.
Not only do I believe the mask mandate is helpful, I was key in getting it revised and passed by the Tulsa City Council. I had been doing my own research on potential ordinance language and shared that with my colleagues. Knowing the ordinance would be coming up for a vote, I requested that we have area medical doctors attend our committee meetings to provide us with detailed information about wearing masks, the rate of viral transmission in Tulsa, and the situation with our local hospitals and healthcare providers. We were also able to review the draft for proposal from City Legal and pivot toward using the language modeled in Stillwater's ordinance instead. We had to work quickly to make that happen and it helped that I was armed with my research of other municipal mask ordinances. We made the right decision to mandate masks as an effective step to protect the health of our citizens and our local economy during this pandemic.
No, and I have declined to accept campaign contributions from the Fraternal Order of Police PAC in the past. I am grateful to the individual police officers and their family members who are supporting my campaign for re-election.
My wife and I have started multiple businesses from scratch. Our main company Affordable Auto was started 7 years ago in the heart of our district. We have the privilege of hiring from and serving the same community I plan to represent.
I was Homeschooled throughout high school while still being involved in multiple team sports. At 17 I graduated and attended Rhema Bible College, where I played college basketball and studied evangelism.
My wife and I love to give back, we know if it wasn't for others giving to us we would not have the life we do. We are both involved with our church, and supporting missions, I have also been involved with the "Wise Foundation" serving our burn survivor community. We are a sponsor of Dave Ramsey's financial class for local high schools. Along with campaigning for other candidates and other charitable events.
I bring the ability to connect with people and the energy that is needed to accomplish the hard work.
I have ran and operated our business for 7 years in the district. I feel I have had a chance to not only hire and employ some of the community but also to serve and learn from them.
Running my business has taught me how to manage large budgets, network and bring people together for a common goal.
1: Be a champion for common sense governance.
2: Strengthen the business of our district and look for ways to attract new business.
3: Improve community relations with police and emergency services.
4: Protect and defend our constitutional rights and freedoms.
There will be monthly district meetings for feedback from the community that will double as a way to inform them of changes with the City that may effect them and their businesses.
When larger decisions are being voted on I will make a conscious effort to reach out to the constituents and hear what our district wants.
I also apply an open door policy to encourage feedback.
We need to support our local small business we already have, and continue to research MISSED opportunities by the City to see how we can improve in the future.
One way is for the City of Tulsa to make a percentage of all purchases LOCAL.
Other less glamorous ways to improve is our infrastructure. Things that help existing businesses and attract new ones alike: Lower crime rate (well equipped police), ease of travel & commute (roads and intersections), quality of potential employee's (education).
I believe any measure possible to reduce the spread of a potentially deadly virus is good practice for citizens. But I do not believe it justifies criminalizing it's own citizens for not complying.
The FOP is an integral part of our police department, though some may not like it, that is a fact. Better to be connected and informed than estranged. The FOB has been a part of many great community outreach events and has our Police best interests at heart. But It will be our job as Councilors to make sure that position is not abused. So yes I plan to work with the FOP.