City News Roundup

Dallas' city council districts are getting redrawn and more city news

Dallas' city council districts are getting redrawn and more city news

Carpenter Park
Carpenter Park in downtown Dallas. Courtesy rendering

This roundup of city news around Dallas includes a benchmark on the redistricting process, plus info about trees, parks, and an arrest made in the crime-laden fake paper license tag realm.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Redistricting time
Redistricting — the process of redrawing the city council districts from which council members are elected which takes place every 10 years after the Census releases its data — has reached its next benchmark and the public is invited to weigh in.

The Redistricting Commission has two plans for review. In both plans, the outer suburbs stay pretty much as they are, but the more populated inner-city districts have been reworked. This is because of population shifts. Each district must meet a target of around 93,000 residents, but since the last census, District 14 — which has hipster areas including downtown, Uptown, Oak Lawn, Greenville Avenue — has grown to 106,927 residents, while District 1, which is North Oak Cliff, has 77,916 residents.

  • The COD – 017 plan (MAP HERE) takes Greenville Avenue away from District 14 and gives it to District 9 (AKA, Lakewood's district). In exchange, District 14 gets North Oak Cliff, but minus Bishop Arts, which stays in its current district, District 1.
  • The COD – 041 plan (MAP HERE) lets District 14 keep Greenville Avenue.

District 2 (AKA, Deep Ellum's district) gets the most altered. It's currently clustered in the center of the city, wrapped around District 14. In both new maps, it becomes a skinny, elongated district stretching from Love Field on the west to the very eastern edge of Dallas, picking up the Casa View neighborhood out next to Mesquite, which used to be in District 9 (AKA, Lakewood).

They're hosting a public hearing at City Hall – Council Chambers on Saturday, May 7 at 3 pm to get more public input. To offer feedback, register at bit.ly/2021RDCTH by 10 am that day.

Commissioners will select a final map during a meeting on May 9. The plan will be implemented at the next general election of Dallas City Council members conducted at least 90 days following the date the final districting plan becomes effective for the City, currently projected for May 6, 2023. For more information visit DallasRedistricting.com.

Abortion mania
Texas abortion rights organizations held rallies at federal courthouses across Texas on May 3, including a rally in downtown Dallas, to protest a pending decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that could knock down Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court's decision will come out this summer, but a draft was leaked to Politico, big mystery on who did the leaking.

If they do overturn Roe v. Wade, at least 26 states are teeing up to ban abortion entirely. Crazy wacky Louisiana is already crafting laws that would make abortion a homicide and grant constitutional rights to "all unborn children from the moment of fertilization."

Paper tags
The Dallas Police Department Auto Theft Task Force arrested Wayland Wayne Wright, 43, on the charge of Tampering with a Governmental Record with Intent to Defraud, a State Jail Felony. Detectives received a tip provided by a citizen, and conducted an undercover buy of a fake paper tag. Additional fake paper tags were recovered as well as $3,000 in cash. Wright admitted to printing multiple fake and fraudulent paper tags.

Rehab project
A neighborhood revitalization project is coming to West Dallas on Friday, May 6 when more than 25 volunteers from Republic Services will help on the construction of a new Women Build 2022 home. A release says that the team will move from a slab of concrete to constructing all the walls of the home. The project is funded by a $125,000 National Neighborhood Promise grant from the Republic Services Charitable Foundation.

Dallas ISD trees
The Texas Trees Foundation will celebrate the opening of seven new Cool Schools Neighborhood Parks at Dallas ISD campuses on Monday May 9. The celebration will spotlight the transformations of Dallas ISD school campuses that recently completed the installation of outdoor enhancements as part of the Texas Trees Foundation Cool Schools Program to encourage outdoor learning. All seven new Neighborhood Parks were funded by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, that includes playground equipment, a loop trail, new trees, outdoor learning area, and other outdoor resources. Neighborhood Parks being celebrated include Leila P. Cowart Elementary, Anson Jones Elementary,  Esperanza "Hope" Medrano Elementary, Mockingbird Elementary, Anne Frank  Elementary, Harold W. Lang Sr. Middle School, and Alex W. Spence Middle  School and TAG Academy. The event begins at 9 am with speakers, refreshments, and a walk-through of the transformation at Alex W. Spence Middle School, 4001 Capital Ave.

Downtown park
Carpenter Park, a new park in downtown Dallas is now open. It's located at 2201 Pacific Ave., on the eastern side of downtown Dallas near Deep Ellum. Changes to the surrounding roads allowed for the development of what was a hit-or-miss series of grassy patches into a contiguous 5.75-acre park with new features such as an outdoor basketball court, dog run, interactive fountain, environmental play elements, gardens, walking paths, and two pieces of public sculpture: Robert Berks' statue of John W. Carpenter has been refurbished and reinstalled at the park entrance at Live Oak and Pearl Street. Robert Irwin's Portal Park Piece (Slice), which looks like a big rusty wall with a cut-out door, has been reconceptualized and retitled by the artist for the new environment the new title is Portal Park Slice.