As mayor of America's 29th-largest city, Cornett has focused on two fundamental priorities - education and jobs. At the top of his list has been the implementation of MAPS for Kids, which continues to keep its promise to renovate or rebuild every single building in the Oklahoma City Public Schools system, while also providing capital funding to the 23 other school districts that serve Oklahoma City. In 2007, the US Conference of Mayors awarded him the "City Livability Outstanding Achievement Award." Later that year, Cornett led the charge to pass another initiative addressing school infrastructure in the inner city. Read More >
Since Cornett's arrival in the Mayor's Office, Oklahoma City has continued an economic Renaissance, strengthened by significant and rapid growth, and marked by thrilling accomplishments. Over 72,000 new jobs have been created in greater Oklahoma City since Cornett took office, led by the arrival of Dell Computers in 2004. The arrival of the NBA in 2005, the permanent attainment of major league status in 2008, and the announcement of the new Devon Tower that same year have all underscored Oklahoma City's emergence as a world-class city.
On December 31, 2007, Cornett put Oklahoma City on a diet to change the culture of obesity in Oklahoma City. For those efforts, the Oklahoma State Medical Association awarded him the "Prevention in Practice" award, Blue Cross Blue Shield awarded him the "Rodney L. Huey, M.D. Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award" and the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition awarded him the "Public Official" award.
For all of this success, Cornett is quick to credit the vision of his predecessors, the hard work of the City Council, the City Manager, the staff of the City, and the people of Oklahoma City. Because of them, Oklahoma City is proudly becoming a model of progress for the nation.
Cornett began his career as a broadcast journalist. He spent 20 years in local television, first in sports and later in news. He served as a reporter, anchor and manager, and simultaneously worked as a newspaper columnist and sports play-by-play announcer. As a news anchor, he covered City Hall, where he gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of city government in our daily lives, and to our city's future growth. In 1999, Cornett left local television and started his own video production business, which he still operates today. He also returned to the University of Oklahoma as a journalism professor.
In 2001, Cornett entered politics by challenging a two-term incumbent on the City Council, and won his seat by the largest margin over a sitting incumbent in City history. He served on the City Council until being overwhelmingly elected mayor in 2004. Read Less ^