Mayor Attends White House Summit

WASHINGTON–Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt spoke at a summit Thursday at the White House that centered on fighting hate-based violence and extremism.

The mayor took the stage in the White House’s East Room on to discuss a U.S. Mayors compact signed by 148 bipartisan mayors that committed to using their platforms to reject extremism, racism and bigotry.

Mayor Holt also touted Oklahoma City’s longtime commitment to ending hate and preventing the violent acts that result from it since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Mayor Holt said his attendance at the summit hosted by President Joe Biden–as a Republican mayor at a time when party lines have become more divisive than ever–is consistent with his focus on fostering pluralism and achieving “One OKC,” his campaign slogan in his 2018 and 2022 mayoral elections.

“We may have policy disagreements, but that should not divide us to such a great extent that we’re dehumanizing each other,” Mayor Holt told reporters.

“I think that what I bring home is a renewed commitment to have better conversations in Oklahoma City and continue to govern in a way that’s pluralistic and respects people’s different perspectives and backgrounds, and their political views.”

While there are always going to be disagreements between parties when it comes to policy decisions, Mayor Holt said the president’s summit was less political and more about how we treat one another as humans.

Mayor Holt, a Republican, has received criticism for his bipartisan approaches to governance.

For example, he supported President Biden’s infrastructure bill last year.

He said criticism for his presence at the summit is not warranted.

“People want to put everything into a partisan matrix,” Mayor Holt said.

“It’s very, very intentional and purposeful, on my part, to continue to find ways to demonstrate that we can have conversations that aren’t partisan.

“No one could argue with the idea of standing against hatred and bigotry and racism and extremism.”

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