Target: Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr.
Goal: Formally apologize, replant, and compensate local homeowner for the losses suffered by the illegal destruction of her edible medical garden.
Denise Morrison, a local of Tulsa Oklahoma for many years, watched in agony as officials from the city’s code enforcement agency illegally tore up her entire medical garden on August 15th of last year, one day after her visit at the courthouse to schedule a hearing regarding her property. Now, after months of debilitating stress, Morrison will have her day in court, having filed a civil rights lawsuit which accuses local officials of overstepping their boundaries. It’s time for the city of Tulsa to acknowledge the illegal and unconstitutional actions of its officials and fully compensate Morrison for her losses.
Morrison, who was unemployed at the time of the unauthorized destruction of her property, used her yard as a sort of survival garden, utilizing her plants to naturally treat her arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Every element of the edible garden served a specific purpose in Morrison’s life, whether for nourishment or for the prevention and treatment of her various ailments. And despite claims made by code enforcement officials, Morrison was in complete compliance with city landscaping codes.
From the start, city officials tried to claim that Morrison’s plants exceeded the 12-inch height limit for flora and fauna, and thus must be removed. However, according to the Nuisances Classified of Tulsa’s Code of Ordinances, plants can legally grow above 12 inches if they are “healthy trees, shrubs or produce for human consumption grown in a tended and cultivated garden.” Morrison cultivated and tended her garden specifically for her diet, verifying her compliance to local law, as well as proving the illegal actions of city officials. Unfortunately, such attention to law was ignored by overzealous code enforcement officers.
“We don’t care,” was the response of officials in regards to their unlawful actions against Morrison’s property. Such inconsiderate behavior should never happen within a government structure. Morrison’s garden was not simply a hobby; as she explains, it was an essential element to her health and well-being. “Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance. They basically took away my life and my livelihood.”
A city government is supposed to protect the well-being of its citizens, not destroy it. By signing the petition below, you will help convince Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. that the city of Tulsa must take responsibility for its unlawful actions. Denise Morrison should receive a formal apology, be compensated for her loses, and be allowed to replant her once beneficial garden.
Dear Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr.,
Enough is enough. It’s been nearly a year since the illegal and unconstitutional destruction of Denise Morrison’s edible garden, and she has yet to receive a formal apology or any form of compensation.
The garden in question, which Morrison used as means to ingest the proper nourishment for her various ailments, was in full compliance with local landscaping laws, and yet Tulsa code enforcement officials proceeded to violate her civil rights as well as a court order when they willfully tore up more than 100 medical plants, flowers, and trees.
According to official claims, many of Morrison’s plants exceeded the maximum 12-inch height limit. However, according to the city’s Code of Ordinances, plants are allowed to exceed 12-inches if they are being cultivated and tended to for human consumption, which was clearly the purpose for Morrison’s garden.
The actions taken against Denise Morrison were not only unlawful and unconstitutional; they directly undermined her livelihood and well-being. Her garden was her medicine and source of natural nourishment.
Take action now to finally mend the wrongs inflicted upon a local Tulsa citizen. Denise Morrison deserves compensation for her destroyed garden, a formal apology for the harsh and unmitigated actions taken against her, and aid for the replanting of her once beneficial garden.
[Your Name Here]