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KBRA is a global full-service rating agency established in 2010. In this episode of KBRA's ESG Talks, Karen Daly, Senior Managing Director and head of KBRA’s Public Finance Team interviews Kim Bizor Tolbert, Deputy City Manager of Dallas and Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Assistant City Manager. Karen, Kim, and Liz discuss city initiatives aimed at improving equity and inclusion for Dallas’ diverse population.
Follow the link to listen to the City Series: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Dallas episode or visit KBRA's media page to view all of the ESG Talks series.
The City of Dallas received recognition from FEMA Region 6 for its Class 4 Rating in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program. FEMA’s Region 6 Mitigation Division Director, Mr. Gary Zimmerer presented the award to Mr. Steve Parker, the City of Dallas Floodplain Administrator.
The rating recognizes the City’s floodplain management practices.
Dallas is the first community to reach a Level 4 in Texas and is the highest ranked community in Texas. Per the preliminary list of communities published by FEMA in April of 2022, there are only six other communities in the United States with a Class 4 ranking in the CRS program.
The City has participated in the Community Rating System Program since 1991; over 1,500 communities participate nationwide. The CRS program is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The Class 4 Rating allows Dallas residents residing within the Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year floodplain) to receive a 30% discount on their flood insurance costs, and residents who live outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year floodplain) to receive a 10% discount on their flood insurance costs.
In CRS communities, the rating and flood insurance premium discounts reflect the reduced flood risk from the community’s efforts that address the three goals of the program:
Dallas residents are encouraged to consider purchasing flood insurance for their properties at a discounted rate. To learn more, visit National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
For questions regarding Dallas Water Utilities’ Floodplain and Drainage Management Program call 214-948-4690 or FloodplainManagement@dallascityhall.com.
The City of Dallas is changing its domain in 2022 from DallasCityHall.com to Dallas.gov.
Here are a few fundamental reasons why.
“There are several reasons why the switch from .com to .gov is necessary. The biggest reason is that .gov is controlled by federal government domains that are more secure and harder to spoof.,” says Chief Information Security Officer, Brian Gardner Ph.D.
DallasCityHall.com emails will forward to Dallas.gov addresses until the migration is complete. DallasCityNews.net will eventually forward to Dallas.gov.
Join the Dallas Planning & Urban Design (PUD) Department for ForwardDallasLive!
This virtual event will take place on Jan. 27 from noon to 1:15 p.m. and will highlight the ForwardDallas Land Use Plan update and explain how and why Dallas will reevaluate existing land use policies and adopt new, more equitable, and sustainable strategies.
Land is a critical and limited resource in Dallas, and how the City plans for and uses this resource has a profound impact on our quality of life.
In August 2021, the City of Dallas launched the ForwardDallas Comprehensive Land Use Update, an inclusive process to update our citywide future land use vision as adopted in the 2006 ForwardDallas Comprehensive Plan.
ForwardDallasLive! will allow residents and stakeholders to hear from three panelists who are well-informed about equity in land use.
The panel will include Dr. Lorin Carter, Founder & CEO, C-Suite Consulting – Dallas; Suzan Kedron, Partner, Jackson & Walker – Dallas; and Theresa O’Donnell, Director of Planning & General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability – Vancouver, Canada. The panel will explore the significance of equity in community planning and land development.
All residents are invited to participate in this informative and educational dialogue on how Dallas can use policy to advance and grow a better Dallas, together. To register visit fdlive2022.eventbrite.com.
To learn more about ForwardDallas Land Use Plan Update visit www.dallascityhall.com/ForwardDallas.
For questions about this event or PUD contact email@example.com.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), held the 2022 Equity Indicators Symposium on Friday, Jan. 14, in alignment with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration week. The City continues to move the needle on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities highlighted in the 2019 Equity Indicators Report.
For the third annual symposium, the Office of Equity and Inclusion focused on the key roles that actions, measurements and accountability play in addressing historic and existing disparities. The three-and-a-half-hour virtual event focused on advancing racial equity through the development of policies, strong-clear measures, and explicit accountability.
With over 310 attendees, the virtual event opened with welcoming remarks from Chief of Equity & Inclusion, Liz Cedillo-Pereira, and a brief overview of the 2021 Equity Indicators update from Interim Director of Research & Data, Eva De Luna Castro with Every Texan.
A roundtable discussion with Policymakers and two diverse panels set the stage for the sense of urgency around equity measurements. Panelists included private, public, and non-profit perspectives from 12 prominent and diverse local leaders and community organizers including: President of Paul Quinn College, Michael Sorrell, Deputy Superintendent for Leading and Learning Susana Cordova, Councilmember Jaynie Schultz – District 11 and Chair of Workforce, Education and Equity, and more.
The roundtable discussion with Policymakers also highlighted: the importance of racial equity being institutionalized, how data from the equity indicators is used to inform policies, and the role of policy in the sustainability of racial equity.
“The City of Dallas is committed to Racial Equity, and we want our business, philanthropic, and faith-based community to walk in lockstep with us in this work.” said District 3 Councilmember and Vice Chair of Workforce, Education and Equity Committee, Casey Thomas II.
The first panel, Establishing Equity Driven Performance Measures, explored the importance of data in developing equity measures with critical components, such as: naming specific communities, having baseline data, and community friendly goals. Additionally, the panel discussed how large institutions such as school districts and municipalities must have an internal and external push.
“It is important to keep the conversation around institutional and structural change,” said City of Dallas Equity Officer, Dr. Lindsey Wilson. “When we are talking about establishing equity driven measures, we are actually talking about what we (government) need to change internally so that we can close the disparities,” said Wilson.
The last panel, Accountability as a Key Cornerstone to Racial Equity, addressed what the city can do to be accountable for equity measures, build community partners, and the role of leadership and investments.
“We cannot love our way to equity, we have to hold people accountable” said Dallas College Trustee of District 6, Diana Flores. “We have to put programs and initiatives in place to build a cultural climate for racial and ethnic equity to thrive,” said Flores.
To conclude the third Annual Equity Indicators Symposium, Dr. Lindsey Wilson and Managing Partner of CoSpero Consulting, Harold Hogue, discussed the City’s current work in developing the first citywide Racial Equity Plan.
To add your voice and be involved throughout the development of the Racial Equity Plan that is led by the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with CoSpero Consulting, visit WeAreOneDallas.org.
To learn more about the panelists and their contributions, view the attached pamphlet. To view more on equity measurements and accountability, watch the recorded Equity Symposium panels below:
For more information or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Dallas invites the public to attend a series of town hall meetings to offer input on the City’s redistricting process, which happens every 10 years after the U.S. Census releases its data. The redistricting process is the redrawing of City Council districts from which Council Members are elected.
“Community involvement and participation is critical to the success of the redistricting process, and we’ve made it very easy for everyone to offer public input at one of our public town halls,” said Jesse Oliver, 2021 Redistricting Commission Chair. “Ultimately, we want to make a redistricting map that represents our residents and their communities.”
Earlier this year, the City Council appointed a 15-member Redistricting Commission to develop the districting plan based on the latest decennial counts in compliance with the Dallas City Charter and federal law. The Commission will host a series of eight meetings throughout the City to allow residents the option for in-person attendance. Two of those town halls, the first and last, will be held at City Hall, allowing for virtual or in-person attendance. A complete schedule of town halls and regular Redistricting Commission meetings, contact information for all redistricting commissioners, and a tool allowing Dallas residents to draw and submit their own maps is at DallasRedistricting.com. Residents may also provide feedback for redistricting commissioners any time by calling the Dallas Redistricting hotline at 214-671-5197.
The first meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at Dallas City Hall in Council Chambers (6EN) and will be accessible virtually via Cisco webex. Individuals who wish to speak during these scheduled town halls must register at bit.ly/2021RDCTH, by 10 a.m. the day of the meeting. All speakers will have three minutes to speak about the redistricting process. Virtual speakers are required to show their video when addressing the commission.
“We are committed to making this process as fair and equitable as possible, so we’re allowing for both virtual and in-person town hall formats,” said Oliver. “Residents will have opportunity to join us from the comfort of their own homes or in person at city-wide meetings; town halls at City Hall will also provide American Sign Language interpreters to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Oral interpretation for other languages is available upon request.”
The Redistricting Commission plans to file its recommended districting plan for City Council consideration in May 2022. The Council has 45 days after the districting plan is submitted to adopt, or modify and adopt, a new districting plan. Any modification requires approval by three-fourths of the City Council. If final action is not taken by the City Council within 45 days, the Redistricting Commission’s recommended plan becomes final.
The new districting plan will be implemented at the next general election of Dallas City Council members conducted at least 90 days following the date the final districting plan becomes effective for the City, currently projected for May 6, 2023.
For more information visit DallasRedistricting.com and download educational resources here:
A series of budget town hall meetings are scheduled throughout the month of August as Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax presents the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget. These meetings are designed for Dallas residents to weigh in on how their tax dollars are spent and provide valuable guidance for the City Manager and City Council.
This year, residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinion virtually, some in English and Spanish. Find your council district using this map: bit.ly/DallasCouncilDistricts
ayor Eric Johnson, the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability, and the Texas Trees Foundation are pleased to announce the adoption of the first Dallas Urban Forest Master Plan.
The City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve the plan.
“Dallas must strive to be a top city for families and a global leader in managing and mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Mayor Johnson, who created the first-ever standalone Dallas City Council committee devoted to environment and sustainability issues. “This plan, which recognizes the importance of trees and green space to our vibrant city, can help us achieve both and will ensure that all of our communities can thrive in healthy, sustainable environments for years to come.”
Dallas trees are a natural resource valued at over $9 billion in benefits to the ecosystem and replacement cost, according to the “State of the Dallas Urban Forest” report published by the Texas Trees Foundation in 2015.
After revisions to the City’s Article X Tree ordinance in 2018, the City needed a plan for the strategic management of the tree canopy and urban forest. The Texas Trees Foundation and the City began working to create the first plan of this type with funding provided by the Lyda Hill Philanthropies® and Oncor.
The City Council called for an urban forest master plan as part of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP), which passed unanimously last year.
“The Urban Forest Master Plan is critical to meeting the goals of the CECAP so we can effectively work towards implementing more green spaces,” said City Councilmember Omar Narvaéz, who chairs the Environment and Sustainability Committee. “We know how important it is to have trees for shade, for cooling, for improved air quality, flood control and public health — this plan sets a good path forward.”
In addition, the City of Dallas, under the direction of Mayor Johnson, has joined the World Economic Forum’s 1 Trillion Trees initiative. This plan will contribute to the worldwide effort.
The plan was a collaboration between the Texas Trees Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Oncor, and multiple City departments such as Park and Recreation, Aviation, Dallas Water Utilities, Sustainable Development and Construction, Planning and Urban Design, and the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability.
“I am truly excited about the adoption of this plan because it brings trees to the forefront as an environmental priority at City Hall and throughout Dallas,” said President and CEO of Texas Trees Foundation Janette Monear. “A healthy and well-managed tree canopy will make Dallas greener, cleaner, cooler and healthier.”
The Dallas City Council passed its new Economic Development Policy on Wednesday, May 26. The Policy will begin with a one-year transition period by which the City of Dallas will put in place processes and infrastructure to support the decade-long Policy implementation.
“This is a historic moment for the City of Dallas and its residents as this Policy creates equitable access to economic prosperity for all,” said City Council Member Tennell Atkins, District 8. “For too long, residents south of I-30 have not benefitted from the economic boom that has rippled throughout the region. Passing this Policy sends a strong signal to these communities, we hear you, we support you, and we want you to not only succeed but thrive.”
The Policy is a powerful and proactive mechanism that supports hyper-local investments, new job creation, corporate relocation, the tool needed to foster resilient and prosperous communities.
“This is the beginning of a new journey for the City of Dallas. We are excited about the work that lies ahead, eager to begin, and look forward to continuing engaging and incorporating feedback from all stakeholders. This Policy envelops community development into the fold of our economic development toolkit,” said Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services Dr. Eric A. Johnson. “It brings the city one step closer toward fostering an equitable economic landscape and socially progressive Dallas. I want to thank the City Council for its support and City staff for their tireless work in putting together this strategy.”
Every year U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)publishes a report on their Green Power Partnership (GPP) program ranking 700 partner organizations in terms of annual green power usage. In the latest report, published on April 26, 2021, the City of Dallas is again ranked No.2 in annual green power use of EPA’s Top 30 Local Governments and ranked No. 22 in annual green power use of EPA’s Top 100 National Organizations (including local, state, and federal agencies, Fortune 500® companies, and others).
The EPA established the GPP program in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing the development of renewable electricity sources. GPP is a free, voluntary program, helping to increase the use of green power among organizations in the United States to reduce negative health and environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
The City of Dallas has been a Green Power Partner since 2007 and continues to make strides in environmental leadership and our Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) goals. Dallas remains one of the most populous cities in the country purchasing green power and associated renewable energy credits for 100% of the electricity used by City facilities.
The City of Dallas uses over 720 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for its facilities and using wind power prevents over 560,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air.
See the full rankings at www.epa.gov/greenpower. Click or tap if you trust this link.">https://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
The public is invited to participate in a virtual public open house at 6 p.m. on April 15 to learn more about the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD) Master Plan and share input with the project team.
The KBHCCD Master Plan aims to transform the convention center district into the top convention center and convention center urban district in the United States. The goal of the master plan is to ensure the convention center and the district are:
The City of Dallas Office of Equity and Inclusion, Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs Division (WCIA) and Office of Business and Workforce Inclusion (BWI) have been selected for the Welcoming Economies Grant through Welcoming America. This competitive grant is open to local leaders to advance immigrant inclusion in the implementation of local economic development (or economic inclusion) plans and strategies that focus on entrepreneurship.
As an awardee, WCIA and BWI will receive support from industry leaders to advance local policies, programs, partnerships, and practices that include immigrants as part of their local or regional economic strategy. City employees in these departments will receive training and coaching from subject area experts on immigrant economic inclusion strategies, four virtual peer learning opportunities.
Additionally, the offices will be awarded $5,000 to support initiatives aimed at economically improving the lives of Dallas’ immigrant population. “This grant will help the City of Dallas foster innovation and growth of immigrant-owned and operated businesses,” said Chief of Equity and Inclusion Liz Cedillo-Pereira. “Despite making up 24% of the population, immigrants represented 32.2% of entrepreneurs in Dallas. This initiative aims to build a more resilient and inclusive economy by making City resources and programs more accessible to immigrant entrepreneurs who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri.”
The City of Dallas will join four communities selected for the program. The participants were selected based on their demonstrated readiness and ability to spark meaningful change locally. Additional information may be found on Welcoming America’s website.
The Dallas City Council unanimously voted on Wednesday, March 24 to approve the City’s first Racial Equity Resolution.
The resolution reaffirms the City of Dallas’ commitment to promote equity through all policies of the city and enhance efforts aimed at understanding, addressing, and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development, and public safety.
“This is a historic day for the City of Dallas,” said City Councilmember Casey Thomas, II of District 3, who chairs the Workforce, Education, and Equity Committee and has long been a proponent of racial equity in all city policies and spending. “Specifically, when we discuss racial equity, we mean the development of policies, practices, and investment in the community to reverse racial disparities and dismantling institutional racism,” said Thomas.
The City of Dallas Equity Indicators report shows that, historically, policies and practices have disparately impacted education, job attainment, housing, and many quality of life indicators for people of color in Dallas.
SCREENSHOT OF RESULTS FROM DALLAS’ EQUITY SCORE.
To address these issues, the City will work with the community to find innovative solutions, resources and leverage partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism. The resolution also directs the city manager to begin working with external stakeholders to prepare a racial equity plan.
“What’s good for the underserved in certain areas of this community is good for the entire community because it brings a balance to the tax base as well as allocation of resources,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “This resolution will provide guidance and support for City staff to keep equity at the forefront,” he said.
“Equity is a core value for the City of Dallas and this resolution not only reaffirms the City’s commitment to equity, but it also calls for the development of the first-ever comprehensive racial equity plan building on the efforts accomplished to date,” said Chief of Equity and Inclusion Liz Cedillo-Pereira. “We look forward to working alongside our internal departments, policymakers, community, and civic stakeholders to envision a city where we all thrive, and race and ethnicity no longer are predictors of outcomes.”
This resolution further proves how the City of Dallas is committed to making equity a priority for its residents of all racial, ethnic, and national origins, and will make equity a focal point through all its policies, initiatives, and programs.
**View the resolution here. **
Historic and current institutionalized policies and practices have created disparities in social, health and economic outcomes for many communities of color. The interconnectedness of the complex inequities Dallas faces requires a sustained commitment by multiple local, state, and national entities to address the pervasive disparities.
The City of Dallas’ Office of Equity & Inclusion-Equity Division in partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) are working to move the needle on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities highlighted in the Equity Indicators report.
The Equity Division and CFT held the second annual Equity Indicators Symposium on Friday, January 22, from 8:30 a.m. – noon. Pivoting with the current state of times, the virtual event outlined intentional strategies for building an equitable and inclusive economic bounce back. Amplifying tools and resources that promote progress toward advancing equity across communities of color, the event propelled fundamental pillars of an inclusive bounce back.
The symposium was welcomed by Chief of Equity & Inclusion, Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Chair of the Workforce, Education, and Equity Committee – Honorable Council Member, Casey Thomas II, Vice Chair of the Workforce, Education, and Equity Committee – Honorable Council Member Jaime Resendez, and Chief Philanthropy Officer – Communities Foundation of Texas, Sarah Cotton Nelson.
Three diverse panels garnered over 150 attendees, focusing on strategies to promote inclusive business practices and ways to improve racial equity. Panelists included private, public and non-profit perspectives from 14 prominent and diverse local leaders and community organizers including: Moderator, CEO, Dallas Mavericks – Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, Senior Vice President of Dallas Federal Reserve, Alfreda Norman, City of Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson and more.
The opening panel, Business Strategies that Promote Equity , highlighted specific techniques, actions, strategies, and plans that businesses should consider to move racial equity efforts forward.
Senior Vice President of Dallas Federal Reserve, Alfreda Norman voiced, “This conversation has to happen at the top. Everyone has to work to understand what we’re talking about. First, we have to seek to understand, listen before we can take action, and this action has to be accountable. This conversation has to be with individuals that can make decisions and have the authority to make changes to policy, processes, and procedures.”
Panel two, Current State of Racial Equity in Dallas , explored systemic barriers such as lack of access to quality health care, internet services, and education in African American, Latinx and other communities of color.
“Racism is a problem for all of us,” declared President and CEO of The Concilio, Florencia Velasco Fortner. “The Black Lives Matter movement this past year has forced all of us to accept the problem, create opportunities to discuss, and work to find better solutions.”
To conclude the 2nd annual Equity Indicators Symposium, panelists focused on creation of A Blueprint for an Equitable Bounce Back that centers equity and inclusion in the plans for economic recovery amongst those most impacted by the dual pandemic.
“The systems begin with the policies and administrative actions that are embedded in the system that is causing the inequities”, said Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson. “I don’t know how we do this without stripping away the embedded systems in these policies, because I have the perspective that in order to get to where we need to go, we need to start to reexamine everything from housing to land-use across the board. If we want to be this inclusive community, it begins there, otherwise we’re dancing around the issue. So, I believe those systems need to be adjusted.”
Follow along with the City of Dallas’ next steps on a commitment to timely and measurable change in advancing equity, by viewing the Equity Indicators report here.
To learn more about the panelists and their contributions, view the pamphlet attached. To view more of the plans for building an equitable and inclusive bounce back, watch the recorded Equity Symposium panels below:
For more information or questions, email email@example.com
A series of budget town hall meetings are scheduled throughout the month of August as Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax presents the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. These meetings are designed for Dallas residents to weigh in on how their tax dollars are spent and provide valuable guidance for the City Manager and City Council.
This year, residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinion virtually. Find your council district using this map: bit.ly/DallasCouncilDistricts
The Dallas City Council unanimously approved the City’s first Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) on May 27.
The CECAP was developed with a robust and inclusive community outreach and engagement effort. It included two rounds of formal community meetings,over 180 individual meetings with community groups and the review of over 9,000 unique comments from surveys and other public response mechanisms.
This plan outlines specific actions the city can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality in every zip code within the city.
The plan’s goals include:
Download the approved plan and view ninety-seven actions to guide the City’s implementation efforts forward at the newly refreshed dallasclimateaction.com website.
The Dallas City Council unanimously voted to adopt a $3.8 billion FY 2019-20 budget. For the fourth year in a row there will be a property tax rate reduction, 77.66 cents per $100 valuation.
“A lot of hard work went into getting here,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “I am so proud that for the time since 2014, we had a 15-0 vote on a budget. The unanimous support shows that this budget truly invests in every neighborhood and demonstrates our commitment to strong fiscal stewardship and public safety.”
The adopted budget aligns with the City’s six strategic priorities: Public Safety, Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, Economic and Neighborhood Vitality, Human and Social Needs, Quality of Life and Government Performance and Financial Management. A large portion of the City’s General Fund, which totals $1.4 billion of the overall budget, supports core services such as police, fire, parks and libraries.
“This budget allocates much needed funding to address many ongoing issues in our communities such as homelessness, affordable housing, and revitalizing our underserved neighborhoods,” said Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “We developed this budget through an equity lens and identified necessary reductions that will allow the City to continue delivering services that all residents depend on each day.
The budget invests heavily in public safety and first responders, and includes the adoption of a three-year Meet and Confer Agreement which will transition salaries for first responders to a market-based pay structure. The budget also contributes $162 million to the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, $5.2 million more than last year.
“Recruiting and retaining first responders is vital to ensuring our residents are safe,” said Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune. “Adopting the Meet and Confer agreement that implements a new market-based pay structure, in addition to the establishment of the Office of Community Police Oversight, demonstrates that public safety remains a top priority for the City.”
Throughout the month of August, Dallas residents gave feedback on the proposed budget at several town hall meetings.
The City’s fiscal year begins October 1, 2019.