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At a time when many people feel increasingly disillusioned with government, Mick Cornett’s charming presentation offers a welcome reprieve. The mayor of Oklahoma City reminds citizens of the positive role local elected officials can play in communities. Cornett’s charisma shines through, and it’s not difficult to see how he won his seat in office. He speaks simply and humbly, and he makes his audience chuckle. getAbstract recommends Cornett’s anecdote about redesigning a city to veteran and budding politicians, public health administrators, city planners, and engaged citizens.


Oklahoma City was founded in 1889 following a “land run.” Settlers raced to claim government land, and in just one day, a town with a population of 10,000 appeared. The city prospered through most of the 20th century, though its economy was dependent on commodities, whose prices fluctuate. When oil prices soared in the 1970s, Oklahoma City boomed, but when oil prices fell in the 1980s, the city crashed. Its banks failed, and several industries – including petroleum and commercial real estate – imploded. Due to a lack of employment opportunities, many young, educated Oklahomans left.

In 1988, businessman Ron Norick became...

About the Speaker

Mick Cornettis mayor of Oklahoma City. In 2010, Governing magazine named him “Public Official of the Year.”

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