An Interview with Newer Citizens of the 405 - 405 Magazine

An Interview with Newer Citizens of the 405

When the news broke, many were stunned.

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When the news broke, many were stunned. The Census is not always a riveting read, but for Oklahoma City, it was big news. According to the most recent report, OKC is now the 22nd largest
city in the United States, having been 31st in the 2010 Census. The numbers show that Oklahoma City is one of 14 American cities to gain at least 100,000 people in the last decade—thus jumping Milwaukee, Baltimore, Louisville, Memphis, Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland, Boston, and El Paso. “This growth validates that we’re doing something right,” said OKC Mayor David Holt. “And being #22 validates the new arrivals, because they can see they weren’t the only ones who saw something special here. OKC is an ‘it’ city now. It’s where Americans want to live.”

We asked six people who recently relocated to OKC a timely question: “Why did you move here and why did you stay?” Here are their answers.


“I arrived in January 2021, by way of Dallas, for one professional opportunity that led to something even better. It didn’t take long to discover the genuine kindness, sense of community and absence of traffic. Besides a beachfront house in the Caribbean—why would you ever leave?!” – Dave Gilbert, Chef




Julien X Toronto, Canada“I moved my life from Toronto, Canada, and made new grounds and a home in the state of Oklahoma. What makes Oklahoma City special is that it is the place to experience. To judge from afar won’t ever do you or this beautiful city any justice. I was enthralled by the artistic allure of the Paseo district, the delicious we food we found, then to top it off with a walk down Automobile Alley, where I get to enjoy the varieties of eclectic coffee shops and local gift shops. While visiting a friend here, I met my now wife. Staying in OKC has become a no-brainer; too many hidden gems to count! I look forward to exploring all the more and adding to my long list of to-dos.” -Julien Hyacinthe, Actor


Kara Aubrey“I moved from Southern California to Oklahoma City to marry my fiancé. Before moving here, I was not familiar with Oklahoma City, but I soon came to realize that Oklahoma City has a wonderful, wide array of experiences and opportunities. From downtown large events to creative restaurants, arts and entertainment, and outdoor recreational activities, there is a lot to explore and experience. Yet, one of the greatest aspects of all is the family-friendly conservative values. We are grateful for the opportunity to raise our family here!” – Kara Aubrey, Content Creator


Brandi 1“OKC has an amazingly productive economy that my small business has flourished in. We moved here after living all over, but most recently Hawaii. You can see and FEEL that it’s thriving. There’s the perfect mix of city living and small town vibes. And so much to do! Amazing culture, music, and food, not to mention it’s stunningly beautiful. Oh, and the sunsets here never disappoint. I’m never leaving. This place has my heart!” – Brandi Wilkinson, Interior Designer


Talia“After living in L.A. for 20 years, I was ready for a change. The growing film industry here in Oklahoma allowed me to not only fulfill my dreams of starting my own production company, but to also start a family. The move to OKC is something I consider a turning point for me, both professionally and personally.” – Talia Bella, Film Producer



We moved to Oklahoma from the Chicagoland area because of the warmer weather, cost of living and outdoor activities available. The kind people and big smiles are what will keep us here.” – David Trowbridge, Financial Planner