With a growth rate that rivals top cities across the nation, Oklahoma City continues to be a destination everyone wants to live and do business in.

Oklahoma City’s peak in rapidly advancing industries like aviation, aerospace, biotechnology, energy and logistics make it a hot spot on the map for innovation and technology. Thankfully, Oklahoma City’s economy continues thriving, bursting with economic diversity and steady employment trends.

As Oklahoma City presses on, we will look to our city’s leaders to continue paving the way for progress with strategic forward-thinking, planning and execution, always keeping Oklahoma City’s economic structure and smart fiscal policy in mind.

We are accountable for ensuring Oklahoma City stays on the right path, keeping Oklahoma City friendly for business development, low taxes and incentives for programs that advance our city.

Since 1993, Oklahoma City voters have taken it upon themselves to bring transformation to our city with the original MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) tax, making Oklahoma City the first in the nation to take on a public facility enrichment of this magnitude.

The one-cent tax that keeps Oklahoma City debt-free has funded development of major metropolitan improvements and attractions like the Ronald J. Norwick Downtown Library, MAPS for Kids, improvements to Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Chicksaw Bricktown Ballpark, the Bricktown Canal, Civic Center Music Hall, the Oklahoma River, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma Spirit Trolleys and improvements to the State Fairgrounds. These improvements to Oklahoma City have boosted the economy for tourism, entertainment, business and more.

MAPS 3, slated to begin in 2018, will take on Oklahoma City’s public transportation shortfall with the OKC Streetcar.

The efforts of MAPS projects and support have sent the message loudly and clearly since 1993 that Oklahoma City is a big league city. We are here to stay. We are a city for businesses, entrepreneurs, corporations and families of all shapes and sizes.

Cities aren’t built in a day. Oklahoma City is no exception to that.

Twenty years ago the streets of what is now Bricktown looked very grim. Boarded up windows, graffiti-covered storefronts and abandoned warehouses were commonplace in Oklahoma City. But then, 1993 came along and Oklahoma City voters banded together to rebuild their city. MAPS was passed, and it became the cornerstone today’s Oklahoma City was built on.

Warehouses that were left empty were purchased and transformed into thriving businesses. Restaurants began popping up on every corner. Historical corners of downtown became enriched, reviving districts like the Plaza District, the Paseo and Midtown.

Today, downtown Oklahoma City is home to some of the nation’s largest, most successful industries and to one-of-a-kind, world-class residents and yet, we have not reached our full potential.

Oklahoma City’s story is still being written, and it is up to us to push forward.

Oklahoma City is home to hundreds of small, tight-knit neighborhoods and communities. The people who make the city a great place to live know that residents need to be involved to ensure communities remain safe for young families.

For more than two decades, Oklahoma City police have been training neighborhood watch volunteers to be their eyes and ears within our communities. These efforts have paid off—after two years of patrolling, some neighborhoods reported as much as a 67 percent decrease in crime, according to NewsOK.com.

Expanding neighborhood watch and related safety programs should be a priority for our city’s future.

When living in a city, nothing is more important than the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your loved ones are safe. Day in and day out, the Oklahoma City police force serve and protect our city so residents can be confident in their security.

To make sure our neighborhoods stay safe, leaders in Oklahoma City have invested heavily—more than half the general fund— in police, fire, emergency services, disaster rescue and recovery, and public education programs.

But leaders in Oklahoma City aren’t stopping there. To ensure that residents never lose that peace of mind, city officials have increased officer patrols and invested in new vehicles and equipment, including more than 75 new police cruisers and SUVs, while instituting new public safety programs.

Low cost of doing business. Big incentives for success.

These are the principles driving economic opportunity in Oklahoma City. It’s the way business has been done dating back to the Land Run of 1889. We’ve always been an entrepreneurial people who promote opportunity and foster success.

While the oil boom of the early 20th century put Oklahoma City’s economy on solid footing, it’s our economic diversity that has sustained our recent successes. Today, Oklahoma City industries are as varied and forward-looking as aviation and aerospace, biotechnology, energy and logistics, among others.

Oklahoma City has been ranked 5th in the country for job creation and 4th for economic strength.

Thanks to career training programs with multiple centers across Oklahoma City and the state Oklahoma City’s workforce is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. That is why some of America’s most successful corporations call Oklahoma City home.

The city’s economic growth has been the result of careful analysis, planning, and execution. One of the key components to our success is the economic environment city leaders created through low taxes, business incentives and smart fiscal policy.

We need to make sure our city stays on this path of success, which means supporting leaders who are focused on promoting Oklahoma City’s viable economic environment and vision for the future.

If you have lived in Oklahoma City for more than 20 years, you know what an exciting time this is for the city. Downtown Oklahoma City is now a bustling hive of activity. Any given night, people can be found at trendy restaurants, music halls and sports facilities.

But that wasn’t always the case. In the 1980s and early 1990s, many storefronts were boarded up and buildings empty. Then, in 1993, Oklahoma City voters approved Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) – an initiative that invested millions in a downtown revitalization project that resulted in the construction or restoration of many public buildings and utilities.

Since then, store and restaurants have popped up in the city’s cultural hubs like Bricktown and the Plaza District near venues that attract artists, entertainers, and professional sports teams from across the country. With proven success and at the recommendation of city leadership, the people of Oklahoma City approved MAPS 3 in 2009, which will use another $777 million over 10 years to improve trails, parks, sidewalks and public buildings.

Ours is a story that’s still unfolding. OKC has come a long way from those abandoned buildings and empty storefronts downtown, but there’s more to be done to reach our full potential.

Maintaining Oklahoma City’s public infrastructure is a big task. Residents and visitors rely on our streets, sidewalks and bridges to get to work on time, safely walk throughout our neighborhoods and get across the city.

The city’s Public Works department is doing its best to be prepared and responsive to the threats to our infrastructure posed by weather and wear-and-tear. City crews are always ready with snow plows and salt trucks when winter weather hits the city. And to mitigate winter weather’s long-term effects, city leaders established a pothole hotline so citizens can report problem spots in their neighborhoods. The program helped the city to fill about 81,000 potholes in one year alone.

But sidewalks and streets aren’t the only infrastructure improvements OKC has tackled. In 2001, city voters approved $470 million for construction of more than 70 new and renovated schools, bringing our districts into the 21st century and giving our students the tools and environment they need to succeed in a globally competitive economy.

With the help of city leadership, Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) 3 is bringing even more improvement to our city’s infrastructure. Phase 1 of MAPS 3 includes miles of new and repaired sidewalks across the city. These improvements, began in August 2013 and will make it easier to get around the city and visit local shops, restaurants and businesses.

Streets, sidewalks and schools are the nerve system of every city. To keep the city running smoothly, Oklahoma City’s infrastructure needs to be maintained and updated. While infrastructure improvements like sidewalks and streets might be overlooked in other cities, leaders in Oklahoma City have made them a priority because they are key to keeping our city moving.