Why You Should Earn to Give in Tulsa, OK, USApost by NicoleJaneway · 2022-05-29T17:18:52.325Z · EA · GW · 6 comments
TL;DR: Tulsa Remote is a one-year program that offers $10,000 (before tax) to people who are willing to move to Tulsa and work remotely here.
To qualify, you must be eligible to work in the US and have a remote job or full-time self employment outside the state of Oklahoma. If you apply and get accepted, you must move to Tulsa within 12 months.
Interested EAs could use the stipend to defray the cost of moving and put the rest into saving or donation. Tulsa has all the things you would reasonably want from a mid-size city. There's a burgeoning tech scene and a lot of entrepreneurial excitement.
Acceptance into Tulsa Remote includes three years free access to a well-apportioned coworking space. It is extremely easy to meet people there, in the bustling Slack community, and through Tulsa Remote events.
Due to the low cost of living (83.2 versus US average score of 100), Tulsa is a great place to earn to give or work towards FIREA (Financial Independence, Retire, Effective Altruism, which is an acronym I just made up to describe the career of someone who has generated enough savings that they can comfortably shift to doing EA work full time).
Tulsa is the perfect place for this kind of remote work incentive program. Its infrastructure was mostly built during a brief mid-century oil boom, and the population never grew to projected levels. Tulsa Remote members grow the city's tax base with relatively less negative impact than in a space constrained city like Washington, DC where gentrification would be a concern.
It's also worth noting that the program is largely privately funded, so it's not like the money is directly coming out of tax-payers' pockets. I've been asking around and Tulsa Remote seems to be looked on favorably by the locals as a path toward economic development.
Personal experience: In January 2022, I started in the Tulsa Remote program as a frontend engineer. My apartment, which I found through the TR Slack, is a two bedroom located in Midtown that I split with another transplant. My rent is $425, which includes all utilities. This is about a third of what I paid for a comparably sized apartment in Washington, DC (cost of living 152.1 versus US average score of 100).
I was surprised by how quickly I found friends and fun things to do after work and on weekends. I go into the coworking space about once every two weeks, but I always find it to be an effective work environment. I've gotten involved in Code for Tulsa and feel a sense of community at the local YWCA where I workout in the mornings.
I bike commute and do not own a car. If I need to get to the airport or run a major errand, I'll take an Uber or Lyft, which is much cheaper than car ownership.
Reflections on the bike commute: I find it kind of funny that folks assume you must have a car to live in Tulsa. When I tell people I've just biked to their event, they look stunned. Getting covid tested in the winter was interesting because I kept being told to remain in my vehicle, and I had to keep explaining that I'd biked. I think the bike commuter infrastructure will continue to improve over time as more people move here from out of state and show that it's possible to live outside downtown without a car.
Culturally, Tulsa is very family oriented. It seems like a lot of the native Tulsans my age are married with children. Some businesses close surprisingly early (6pm) and/or aren't open on the weekends, which I guess reflects the fact that people may not work as much and can run errands during the work day.
This is highly subjective, but from my perspective, the only major downside to Tulsa that's truly insuperable is lack of access to nature. Between Rock Creek Park and Kenilworth Gardens, I was really spoiled for choice as a resident of Washington, DC. Tulsa's Turkey Mountain (ahem, large hill) and Keystone Ancient Forest are much smaller and less accessible.
Summary: Overall, I'm glad I devoted a year to Tulsa Remote, and I'm planning to renew my lease for at least another year. It's exciting to feel that I'm at the start of Tulsa's rise as a "little Austin," and I feel it's much easier to get mentorship for the kind of work that I do here compared to in Washington, DC. I'm able to bank a sizable portion of my remote income, so I can work towards FIREA faster while providing exposure to EA ideas to people who might not otherwise have encountered them.
If you have any questions, please get in touch! We're looking to kick off the EA Tulsa chapter very soon, and would love for you to be a part of it.
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