Dallas mayor wants to see more parks
All Dallas residents should live in safe neighborhoods and have access to green spaces, Mayor Eric Johnson said during his annual state of the city address on Tuesday.
Driving the news: Johnson delivered the address at Fair Park, where voters just approved a proposition to infuse up to $300 million into renovations. The mayor counted the passage as one of the city's successes during the past year.
What else has happened: In the past year, the city created an Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption at City Hall, and:
- Launched a workforce development initiative to reduce the skills gap between Black and Hispanic workers and white workers.
- Created an economic development corporation to attract more businesses.
- Adopted plans to build up an "international district" at the site of the defunct Valley View Mall.
Yes, but: The city still hasn't fixed the extensive delays in its building permit office, which developers say have prompted them to take their business to surrounding towns.
- It's an issue the mayor is still pushing to correct.
What he's saying: About a quarter of Dallas residents don't live within a 10-minute walk to a park, which the mayor said must be changed.
- "I believe that parks, trails, playgrounds and recreation centers are critical infrastructure in a modern city," Johnson said. "When I was growing up in Dallas, families like mine depended on our city parks."
What's next: City leaders will begin discussing priorities for a 2024 bond program, which the mayor said should focus on parks, potholes and public safety.
- He also plans to request an inventory of all unused and vacant city-owned land that could be strategically developed into more green space.
Of note: Johnson is running for a second term as mayor next year, and he has been endorsed by former mayors, including Ron Kirk and Tom Leppert.
- No other candidate has announced plans to run.
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