Well Norman, we’ve made it through another election cycle.

But that doesn’t mean our work is over.

Over the last year, while the pandemic has raged, the problems our city already faced have been exacerbated. We congratulate our new elected officials, and we’re looking forward to the April 6 runoff between Ward 3’s Alison Petrone and Kelly Lynn.

And as soon as this summer comes, we’re ready to watch all our councilors get started enacting the promises and priorities they’ve spelled out for us over the last few weeks.

We heard a lot during the election cycle about the issue of division in our community; many candidates cited it as the biggest problem facing our city right now.

Whether or not that’s true, what we need to see now is not just a dedication to the *idea* of unity, but to actually making it happen.

Unity doesn’t just occur because of kind words or civil treatment on the dais.

The ability for our city councilors to collaborate and work well together is a good start, but unity really happens when we can agree that all Norman residents, regardless of housing status, age, ability, race or ethnicity deserve the same rights and the same access to a safe, healthy way of life in Norman, and when we work to make that a reality. Unity comes when we focus on making sure that the everyday issues in Norman — stormwater utilities, tree canopies and power outages, access to emergency and public safety services, and much more — are handled in a way that serves all Norman residents.

We know our new council has the ability and capacity to make wise choices for the physical and financial wellbeing of our city, and we want to see it happen. Cries for unity mean nothing unless we take the actions to make that our reality.

Which leads us to another call to the people of Norman. You voted in impressive numbers Tuesday, but don’t stop letting your voices be heard.

The work of your councilors, both new and old, is to make this city a better place for you and yours. Talk to them about how you want to see this city change; tell them what you and your neighbors need to live well in Norman.

For Ward 3 residents, stay engaged, do your research and show up to the polls on April 6 to vote in your runoff election. Keep up the voter turnout progress we saw in last week’s election.

The work has just begun for all of us.

The Norman Transcript Editorial Board includes Publisher Mark Millsap and guest members Brandi Coyner, Keith Gaddie, Kathy Haney, Karlos Hill, Marc Nuttle and Michael Ridgeway. For comments or questions, please email editor@normantranscript.com.

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