May 12, 2023 - Politics

Assessing Dallas mayor's original campaign promises

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, looking out from a podium with child-like wonder.

"I see only opportunities to position our city to win the future," Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tells Axios. Photo: Omar Vega/Getty Images

Mayor Eric Johnson has kept most of the promises he made while campaigning for the office in 2019.

Driving the news: Johnson ran unopposed for a second term this year, receiving 93% of the vote in the May 6 election.

The big picture: Johnson was unopposed partially because he had amassed a large campaign coffer early in the election cycle — and partially because he's delivered on his biggest campaign promises.

Catch up quick: When he entered the mayoral race in January 2019, Johnson told voters he wanted city leaders to "move beyond the old divisions at City Hall and work together toward real solutions."

  • He also said Dallas would be "a city of strong, safe neighborhoods where families thrive and where every child has the opportunities to succeed."
  • In the wake of several corruption scandals, he also promised to eradicate corruption at City Hall.

How he's done: For better or worse, the City Council is much more unified than it was when Johnson took office.

Yes, but: Some city leaders are concerned that the billions spent on the new convention center amount to a "land grab" that would mostly benefit the wealthy developers who own the land around the convention center.

Plus: Dallas is the largest of several North Texas cities dealing with what experts have called a school system crisis. Class sizes are swelling, education costs are rising and teachers are quitting in record numbers.

  • DISD superintendent Stephanie Elizalde recently called it an emergency.

What they're saying: "I am focused on the future. I will finish the work I started in my first term and more," Johnson tells Axios.

  • "Because public safety remains my top priority, I will continue to leverage every available tool to achieve our goal of making Dallas the safest large city in America."

What's next: Johnson says that going forward he'll focus on property-tax relief and stabilizing the first responders' pension.


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