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Message from the Dallas Mayor

Carolyn Jordan with Mayor Eric Johnson
Carolyn Jordan with Mayor Eric Johnson

Soon, I will deliver the annual State of the City Address for the fourth time since taking office.

This year’s address comes as the city’s violent crime rate continues to decline, as tax rates hit their lowest level since 2007, as major ethics reforms are being implemented, and as numerous economic development and parks projects are in progress.

Dallas is the place to be right now. There is a reason the U.S. Travel Association called Dallas the “Comeback City” after the pandemic.

The State of the City address is required by the City Charter, but it’s also a great opportunity to discuss accomplishments, challenges, and how to continue to build on this city’s Big Dallas Energy.

Last year’s address touched on the collaborative efforts to reduce violent crime; advocated for historic ethics reforms; pushed for policies to help Dallas families; and called for the city to assert itself more aggressively as it competes regionally, nationally, and internationally for business relocations, tourism, and increased economic activity.

Numerous plans and initiatives discussed in that speech became reality in the last year. Among them:

  • The City Council approved the largest single-year tax-rate decrease in four decades.
  • The City Council passed the historic ethics reform proposal and fully funded the new Office of Inspector General.
  • The City Council continued its commitment to hiring more police officers and to implementing public safety programs recommended by the Task Force on Safe Communities.
  • The Summer of Safety campaign launched and promoted successful summer programs that helped keep kids safe while they were out of school.
  • The City Council approved the formation of an Economic Development Corporation and continued to implement a new economic development policy.
  • The City Council approved a new convention center master plan and voted to put a measure on the ballot to expand the Kay Bailey Hutchi-son Convention Center and improve certain Fair Park facilities — the Automobile Building; Centennial Building; Band Shell; Music Hall; Cotton Bowl; and the Coliseum — and to increase the hotel occupancy tax by 2% to assist with financing these projects.
  • I named a new Workforce Development Czar to oversee new efforts to improve the city’s workforce.
  • The City Council approved numerous economic development projects to increase density and development in southern Dallas and downtown Dallas.
  • The City Council voted to ease regulations on food trucks.
  • The City Council began a sunset review process of city departments, programs, and regulations.
  • The City Council voted to restart a micro-mobility (electric scooter) program.
  • Dallas won its bid to become a host city for the 2026 World Cup.

This year’s address will be delivered from the Briscoe-Carpenter building at Fair Park. Looking forward to it, and hopefully you are, too!

Five Mile Creek Greenbelt

The Trust for Public Land announced last week that it has secured $5.7 million in philanthropic dollars to help fund the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt, a trail system that will extend across Oak Cliff and southwest Dallas.

This is a high-priority infrastructure project that will capitalize on the momentum in this city. This planned trail can improve the environment and the health, quality of life, and mobility of residents in historically underserved and overlooked communities.

These donations from the Boone Family Foundation and Lyda Hill Philanthropies get the city closer to this major win for southern Dallas.

This is a great partnership, and the push for city funding for this project is still ongoing. Stay tuned for more updates!

Honoring a local legend

Last week, I had the chance to honor Carolyn Jordan.

If you haven’t heard of her, Carolyn is one of those everyday heroes who make Dallas special. She dedicated 40 years of service to what is now called the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas — the organization that gave me a scholarship to attend Greenhill School as a kid growing up in West Dallas.

Hundreds of children in this city’s historically undeserved and overlooked communities were able to take advantage of opportunities and reach their full potential over the years with Carolyn’s help and guidance. They are better people for knowing her.

It was a true honor to host a special ceremony at City Hall to recognize her work and to express gratitude for everything she has done for me and for the children in Dallas.

Thank you again, Carolyn. And thank you to everyone who came out to recognize her out-sized impact on this city.

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