Politicians have an agenda; data doesn’t. That’s the ethos behind Tulsa Mayor G. T. Bynum’s effort to shape the Oklahoma city’s policies using statistics collected by a team of his own citizens.
Bynum, a Republican, ran on this platform under the shadow of the 2016 presidential election—against an incumbent whose campaign characterized Bynum as liberal in contrast to the standing mayor’s strong conservative vision. “What if, instead of responding with partisanship, we responded with a focus on results?” Bynum recalled thinking, in a TED Talk a year later. “And so we decided to respond not with a negative ad but with something people find even sexier—data points.”