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Ambassador program doing more than cleaning up streets of downtown Tulsa

downtown tulsa partnership.jpg
Posted at 9:19 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 08:54:24-04

TULSA, Okla. — Take a walk around downtown Tulsa and you might notice it's looking a bit cleaner these days.

It's thanks to efforts from the Downtown Tulsa Partnership ambassador program. You may see ambassadors driving around in a teal truck or wearing teal shirts. They're working to make a difference downtown seven days a week.

Since Downtown Tulsa Partnership launched last July, ambassadors picked up nearly 130,000 pounds of trash and removed about 1,000 graffiti tags.

“These ambassadors are doing everything from emptying trash cans and ensuring that our streets and sidewalks are free of litter, to removing graffiti tags and putting up banners and decorations throughout our downtown," said Brian Kurtz, president and CEO of Downtown Tulsa Partnership.

Their duties go beyond cleaning. Safety is also a big pillar for them.

Leola Maxey, operations manager for the program, said if they see something, they’ll say something. They’ve built a relationship with the unsheltered living downtown. In the past eight months, they’ve provided more than 700 welfare checks. They check on both those living on the street and those just visiting.

“To see if they need assistance, if they’ll need EMS to be called for them, if they need police to be called for them," Maxey said. "And we also go into the businesses and provide this for them as well if they need our help in, you know, maintaining the property.”

Maxey said the team is also the information hub for downtown. They’ve made 2,000 hospitality contacts so far, helping visitors find their way.

“Anyone who’s looking for directions, a good place to eat, a museum, they’ll come to us and they’ll ask us this information and our jobs is to provide friendly faces and be able to have that information that they need," Maxey said.

They welcome others to downtown and work hard to make it a better place to visit.

“This is a visitor destination," Kurtz said. "This is the backyard for so many Tulsans. It’s important that when people are down here they have a great experience so they can continue coming back.”

“We never know how a smiling face can make a huge difference for someone out there," Maxey said.

You can contact the ambassadors about trash or graffiti removal here.

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