This roundup of Dallas city news includes important information about redistricting, plus items about Deep Ellum and its holiday observations, DART and its new bus service, South Dallas and a new anti-poverty program, and a dog park coming to Old East Dallas.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
The city of Dallas is hosting a series of town hall meetings to offer input on the redistricting process, which happens every 10 years after the U.S. Census releases its data. Redistricting determines City Council districts. Jesse Oliver, 2021 Redistricting Commission Chair, says in a release that they want to make a redistricting map that represents residents and their communities. The Commission will host eight meetings, including two at City Hall which will allow not only in-person attendance but also virtual. A complete schedule, plus contact info for redistricting commissioners and a tool that allows you to draw and submit your own map, is at DallasRedistricting.com, and the Redistricting hotline is 214-671-5197.
The first meeting will be Saturday December 11 at 3:30 pm, at Dallas City Hall in Council Chambers (6EN), and will be accessible virtually via Cisco webex. If you wish to speak during a Redistricting Town Hall, register at bit.ly/2021RDCTH by 10 am the day of the meeting. Speakers get three minutes. Virtual speakers are required to show their video when addressing the commission.
The new districting plan will be implemented at the next general election of Dallas City Council members, currently projected for May 6, 2023.
Deep Ellum festivities
The Deep Ellum Foundation has unveiled a new round of streetlight pole banners to celebrate holidays from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Eight local artists created designs that reflected their take on the holidays and the neighborhood, as follows: William "Bubba" Flint, Dani Waldorf, Will Heron, Madison Gowins, Taylor Peterson, Nick Anderson, Hunter Moehring, and Janie McGuffee.
The Deep Ellum Foundation has also launched a competition called the Deck Deep Ellum Campaign, in which participating businesses decorate a bright pink Christmas tree in their own unique way. The tree that gets the most votes on social media wins a cash prize; one patron wins as well. Visitors are encouraged to selfie with their favorite and tag #DeckDeepEllum and the business. Participating businesses include Deep Ellum Brewing, Deep Ellum Art Company, Jade & Clover, Dot’s Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard, and more.
DART's new bus service
To prepare riders for the launch of the DARTzoom new bus network, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will begin operating all GoLink zones beginning December 6 while simultaneously maintaining existing routes.
An essential part of DART's new bus network is the expansion of GoLink, DART’s on-demand, curb-to-curb microtransit service solution that operates in zones across the DART service area. GoLink offers service with connections to DART transit facilities as well as anywhere within each specified zone. GoLink is available with a valid DART fare.
The new bus service starts on January 24, 2022, when 13 new GoLink zones will be added to replace traditional fixed-route service, bringing the total to 30. They're adding weekend hours to many GoLink zones, with 13 zones offering Saturday service and 6 zones offering Sunday service. All bus routes will run from 5 am-12 am, with a focus on riders who work non-traditional hours; 22 core/frequent bus routes will operate from 4 am-1 am.
Core Frequent Network service will provide bus frequency matching or better than light rail service – 15-minute peak and 20-minute midday. Light rail service will also return to pre-pandemic levels, providing 15-minute peak service and more frequent evening service.
24HourDallas, an organization focused on Dallas nightlife, will host a media roundtable session to unveil its new Good Neighbor Initiative, to foster better relationships between Dallas' nighttime businesses and their neighbors.
The Good Neighbor Initiative's bullet points include building collaboration between nighttime businesses and municipal departments to improve safety; educating business owners on how to avoid discrimination, both in employees and customers; and mobilizing faith leaders to quell potential conflict.
The roundtable is on December 7 from 4:30-5:30 pm at the Omni Dallas Hotel and will include Dimitrios Mastoras, co-founder of Safe Night, Phillip G. Honoré, executive director of The West End Association, and the Reverend Christopher Blake Thomas, rector, The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle.
The State Fair of Texas and Comerica Bank have partnered with anti-poverty organization Trusted World to assist the South Dallas community. Trusted World is a Garland-based group that provides clothing, food, and other necessities to nonprofits and local schools. Trusted World has worked with more than 530 North Texas organizations, but this will be the first time their work will be brought to South Dallas. The program will roll out in early 2022 and is expected to begin with a yearlong commitment.
East Dallas dog park
The city's newest dog park is about to debut: Crockett Dog Park is a 1.8-acre space at 501 N. Carroll Ave. in Old East Dallas. It's been a park since 1988, but now it will include a fenced-in area for large and small dogs. They'll hold a ribbon-cutting on Saturday December 11 at 10 am.