City News

New city council swears in, sidewalks are crumbling, and more Dallas news

New city council swears in, crumbling sidewalks, and more Dallas news

Dallas city Council
New Dallas City Council 2021. Courtesy photo

This week's roundup of Dallas city news includes good news about the Dallas City Council, but not good news about sidewalks. Some mental health groups got grant money, and there's a golf event this weekend.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

New city council
The new Dallas City Council was sworn in on Monday June 14, filling residents with optimism about a bright future. The new council includes new members Jesse Moreno, Jaynie Schultz, Gay Donnell Willis, and Paul Ridley, joining Chad West, Casey Thomas, Carolyn King Arnold, Jamie Resendez, Omar Narvaez, Adam Bazaldua, Tennell Atkins, and Cara Mendelsohn.

Following their swearing in, they held a quick meeting to determine where they'd sit during council meetings and where their offices would be at City Hall, with the most senior members picking first. It's a tradition and can seem like a laughably big deal about nothing, especially in regards to the seating at city council meetings, where it feels a little like jockeying in the high school cafeteria. But some offices at City Hall have window views; those get snapped up first. 

City sidewalks
A new Sidewalk Master Plan was presented to the Dallas City Council which had bad news: Dallas sidewalks are a mess and will cost $1.984 billion to repair and install missing segments over the next 40 years.

Having decent sidewalks has become a rallying point for advocates of bicycling and walkability, such as new council member Paul Ridley, who said, "If we want to be a truly walkable city, we must make major strides to improving our pedestrian accommodations."

Election challenge denied
The Texas Supreme Court denied a request from a Dallas City Council candidate who tried to contest the June 5 election.

Donald Parish Jr. ran for District 7, won handily by Adam Bazaldua. Parish didn't even qualify for the runoff; in the May 1 election, he came in third, after Bazaldua and Kevin Felder, missing by 28 votes.

Ann Richards banners
An exhibit with 60 banners honoring former Texas Governor Ann Richards has been installed in downtown Dallas, marking the 30th anniversary of her inauguration.

The banners are 3X7 feet and can be seen on Main Street, from Harwood to Griffin; Young Street, from Griffin to Akard; and Akard Street, from Young to Canton. They feature 12 designs with famous quotes such as "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, she just did it backwards and in high heels."

The images are photographs taken of Governor Richards throughout her lifetime by notable Texas photographers such as Jana Birchum, Ave Bonar, Alan Pouge, and Kirk Tuck.

Private contributions are being raised to fund the project through the Ann Richards Legacy Project, an Austin nonprofit who previously exhibited the banners in Austin, and plans to display them in other Texas cities.

Lone Star Prize $$$
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is the recipient of the $10 million Lone Star Prize, a Texas-based competition launched in 2020. The Meadows Institute's "Lone Star Depression Challenge" will improve quality of life and mental health care access for communities across the state.

The Prize, sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies and managed by Lever for Change, was designed to find and fund bold solutions focused on building healthier, stronger communities.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is planning to award $2 million in additional grants among four projects proposed by other finalists – JUST, Merit America, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, and Texas Water Trade.

More than 172 proposals were submitted.

2021 Juneteenth Golf Classic
The 2021 Juneteenth Golf Classic presented by the Dallas Mavericks will be held on Saturday, June 19, at the Golf Club of Dallas, the only Black-owned golf course in Texas, located in Oak Cliff.

This year’s benefitting sponsor is the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (DBCC). The goal of this event is to raise awareness and funds to support Black-owned businesses.

The DBCC has made a commitment to supporting Black businesses in the Dallas area. In the last year, they have raised over $5 million for Black-owned businesses.

The Golf Club of Dallas was purchased in 2019 by Dr. Tony Evans and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.