Fort Worth City Council District 9 candidates

April 13,2021


See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Luke Ranker here.

RICARDO AVITIA

ricardoavitiaforcitycouncil.com

 This story is a subscriber exclusive

Age: 41

Occupation: Higher Education

Education: R.L. Paschal High School

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? ricardoavitiaforcitycouncil on IG and FB

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

no

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

Youth Sports Coach (Football, baseball, boxing), USMC Infantry Team Leader, Hemphill No Se Vende

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

Yes. Placed on probation. Not convicted.

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

Yes. Unable to comment on pending litigation.

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

By which form? Moral support, volunteering, or financially? Forgive me for not understanding the question please.

Why are you seeking this office?

Seek to represent the majority mis/underrepresented working class community

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

Lack of Accountability in information dissemination, budgeting, and equity within city leadership which affects safety, taxes, positive economic development, and the quality of life of Fort Worthians.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Education, safety, economic development.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

I am a life-long resident deeply imbedded in my community and have personally seen Fort Worth’s changes and challenges over the last 40 years. I am also bilingual with English being my second language. Due to this, I believe i am the most relatable candidate to Fort Worthians.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

I would have done a better job of ensuring our residents were informed during the pandemic. Informed communities make more informed decisions. We live in an era where we see disaster happening all around us. We need to also be having conversations about emergency planning and disaster situations. Apart from the pandemic, we had a winter storm and our leadership did little nothing to provide emergency services for all.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

The city’s comprehensive plan focuses on this. However, it speaks little on Single family residential housing and primarily on growing corporate and high density living spaces. None of which would benefits our long term residents in residential areas. Our Downtown district is the most viable space for commerce and are in dire need of high rise buildings. This in itself would assist with the living space situation as well as add another building to our skyline.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

Start building. This space has been ready for development for over 10 years, however, we saw development happen first in Stop Six and other areas. Our leadership must be intentional about development and not cherry pick areas for personal gain and profit.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

It is imperative to re-visit our strategic plan for the future and make the necessary changes to fit the new plan cause by the pandemic.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

I’d work on reducing property taxes and review the process in which figures are determined to implement rates. Our residents need to be informed on the process. Only this way may they also participate in the decision making process.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

Yes. Public transportation is a key element to economic growth. We need better routes and safety at bus stops. Lighting is a huge concern for areas with the most routes. Benches and shelters need to be at every stop as well. We are in dire need of a trolley system as well along our major corridors.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

Better planning and more ideas. The city has continuously brought in the same contractors and developers to develop our city. It’s time for new ideas and strategies to ensure our newly developed residential areas are vibrant and safe.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

The reluctance of the CFW city council to implement this is a clear message our city council does not care what it’s constituents think or feel and another example of the Fort Worth way.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

Accountability is on my priority list.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

The city of Fort Worth is composed of over 50% people of color, but not reflected as such on city council. By being intentional, the city make assist in developing community leaders which in turn would create a more diverse city council.

ELIZABETH BECK

elizabethforfortworth.com

Age: 38

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: University of Texas at Arlington--BA in Sociology, cum laude (2007) University of Texas at Arlington, Masters of City and Regional Planning (2011) Texas A&M School of Law, Juris Doctor, Notes and Comments Editor, Texas A&M Journal of Real Property Law (2015)

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Email at info@elizabethforfortworth.com

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

Yes. State Representative, House District 97

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

I served as the president of my children’s parents club, vice-president of my homeowners association, and have served on committees and as chair for multiple organizations. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Congregation Beth-El and the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Fort Worth Community Board. I devote my spare time to getting women elected across the state through organizations like Annie’s List, and served as their Tarrant County Steering Committee Chair.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No.

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No.

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Fort Worth Firefighters Committee for Responsible Government, Joe Drago, Hilary Weinstien

Why are you seeking this office?

An effective city government starts from a place of fairness, equality, and thoughtful deliberation. Fort Worth deserves leadership that is deeply invested in the betterment of our city, and I am that leader. I grew up under very tough circumstances, but was able to find my American Dream because of the opportunities this city and its people provided me. I’m running to give back to the place and the people that gave everything to me. I’m running to be part of a new, bold generation of Fort Worth leadership. I’m running to ensure that Fort Worth is a place of prosperity for all residents, regardless of their zip code, so that our future generations can thrive here.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

The looming housing crisis from lack of affordable housing. Lack of infrastructure to support our growing city, including transit, diverse housing options, and city services. Fort Worth’s shrinking commercial tax base and the need to diversify economic development efforts which should go beyond a focus of attracting large employers and also include investing and supporting local talent.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Investing in infrastructure to support and attract businesses and residents.Ensuring the city has a diverse and affordable housing stock.Cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship to foster opportunities for Fort Worth so that business can start here, thrive here, and give back here.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

As a planner, I have the ability to analyze how the city should operate from a high-level policy perspective. As a lawyer I have the ability to dig into the details and critically analyze the situation. My time in the Army taught me that leaders lead from the front, and how to work and live with people who do not look, think or act like you to accomplish a mission. I firmly believe that my education, life, and professional experience make me uniquely qualified to be a highly effective member of the city council. I have the ability to think broadly at the policy level, the experience applying that policy framework to on-the-ground applications, the courage to lead from the front on the toughest issues facing our city, the wisdom to know when it’s best to stop and listen, and the ability to work with others to accomplish the goal. This is why I am the best choice for District 9 and Fort Worth.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

I would have listened to science early and began preparing the city to respond to the pandemic, proactively as opposed to the reactive response by our city. I also would have led by example by not just encouraging mask wearing, but actually wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings and taking other precautions we asked of our residents.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

Fort Worth is often passed over for major corporate relocations because it does not have sufficient affordable housing, lack of a robust public transportation system, our public school options, and a lack of diversity in leadership in both government and business in the city. Fort Worth must start with changing the outside perception that we are not a welcoming city, that requires more than an ad campaign, it requires having tough conversations as a community to find the political will to invest in our city for the future. However, Fort Worth should also focus on building the economic base from within by supporting local talent.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

When allocating development and improvement resources around the city, the focus should be on equitable investment, not equal investment so that all neighborhoods across the city have access to vital services.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

Invest in modern, more resilient infrastructure.Prioritize in affordable housing to accommodate our workforce. Improving city services to promote economic development and ensure neighborhoods have adequate services.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

We should collaborate with the Tarrant Appraisal District to ensure that valuations of properties are fair and equitable so that homeowners and commercial property owners share a fair burden of funding our city services. Fort Worth has lost approximately 60% of its commercial tax base, and until that imbalance is corrected homeowners will continue to bear a disparate impact. Fort Worth must focus a robust economic development plan to bring the tax base back so that the tax burden of Fort Worth residents is in alignment with other cities of similar size.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

A robust transit system is an economic generator, as it attracts businesses and allows our workforce to access those jobs and educational opportunities. Investing in transit will bring Fort Worth inline with other major cities, which will boost economic development, help bring our region into air quality attainment, and provide opportunities for residents to access good paying jobs and education opportunities. Fort Worth has two options to implement the recommendations in Transit Moves Fort Worth--the general fund, and a half-cent sales tax. Recent polling data from a Real Estate Council poll showed that 56% of respondents would support a half-cent sales tax to fund transit. For every $1 invested in public transit, the city will realize an $4 economic return. City leadership should be responsive to the desires of the residents and make the bold decision to invest in a robust public transportation system.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

Fort Worth needs development and growth to accommodate our current population and attract new economic opportunities. Growth for the sake of growth does more harm to our city than good; which is why the City must focus on ensuring that development is smart and measured and that the city infrastructure surrounding can support it, and also invest in public transportation to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

There should be an emphasis placed on implementing the recommendations for the Race and Culture Task Force immediately. The board should be a representation of the city, both geographically and racially. Members should be required to attend training on best practices in policing methods from a source outside of the Fort Worth PD, the FWPD’s policies and procedures and spend a predetermined number of hours observing FWPD’s officers so that they can make informed and measured decisions.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

Fort Worth’s diversity is its strength, and that the city must protect all its citizens. That’s why we should focus on community policing, and will work with the Fort Worth Police to end systemic racism that results in unequal treatment for people of color in our community.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

Fort Worth is long overdue for tough conversations about how our city operates and the disparate growth and opportunities across the city. A great first step would be to implement the recommendations from the Race & Culture Taskforce, and not allow it to become another study on a shelf. Fort Worth should take an equity over equality approach to investment across the city to ensure that no community is left behind as our city grows and thrives. Additionally, there should be a priority placed on promoting representation by diligently working to give communities of color a voice on council and in city leadership.

DOYLE C. FINE II

finefor9.com

Age: 67

Occupation: Independent Contractor

Education: 2 years college plus Naval School

What’s best way for voters to reach you? finefor9.com or 817-841-5574

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

Yes. Elected Democratic Precinct Chair.

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

Organizied for C.O.S.T.to defeat turning our Trinity River into a canal. The Bond proposal was soundly defeated by voters. Served as a Tarrant County election judge for many years. Worked as a community organizer in South Dallas for A.C.O.R.N.in the late eighties to fight Bank Redling. I was a community organizer for Clean Water Action shining the light on the toxic pollution emitted by the burning of hazardous waste as a fuel to make cement at the TXI cement kilns in Midlothian.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

At this point just me, myself and I. i just got my campaign website up yesterday. i believe I have atleast one $50 contribution so far.

Why are you seeking this office?

To raise awareness of the importance for our City to take the Covid19 pandemic seriously and to help encourge the good folks of Fort worth to rise to the occassion and pull together to overcome the virus by wearing a mask. Avoiding large gatherings and working to get more folks vaccinated as soon as possible.I believe Fort Worth has the wherewithall to do the right thing. We just need the political will to get er done.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

Public Health and Safty, Genderfication/lack of affordable housing, Need for better Public transportaion.A living wage for service workers in the the district. improved access to healthcare. Food deserts. Zipcode 76104 where I live in the district has the lowest life expectancy of any zipcode in Texas. 67, My age. Even less for Black men.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Protecting public health ( by heeding the advice of public health and medical experts.) Expanding economic opportunity which includes affordable housing and a living wage, A First clas Public transportation system/light Rail

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

On the issues. i offer specific common sense proposals for some of the challenges our City faces today. I also represent no monied special interest. As my public financial statement shows. My interest is in serving the common good and building consensus to solve problems.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

I actually addressed the Mayor and City Council about the need to get more proactive about confronting the Covid virus and flattening the curve here in Fort Worth on November 17th 2020 when our Local ICU units were at 93% capacity. Not long after that they decided to host the NFR rodeo related events in downtown Fort Worth. Which drew 130,000 out of town visitors. Many of whom refused to wear a mask.Soon after that the Rose Bowl then another rodeo event just recently.We should follow the advice of the puublic health and medical professionals and avoid hosting major events until the pandemic is under control. Public health should take priority over a short term profit for the few.I believe KN95 Mask should be made available and didtributed to anyone who needs one in the city.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

FYI...The industry that employs more people than any other in Fort Worth is no longer the Defense industry. It is now the Medical workers. Investing in MEDICAL, technical and vocational education programs can help create opportumities with good paying jobs. We should promote clean sustainable green companies to locate to Fort Worth and have a well eduated workforce. A first class public transportation system would also make Fort Worth more attractive to businesses looking to locate here. A good well funded public school system don’t hurt.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

To help vunderable populations with transportation needs the Trinity Metro should reinstate making bus passes free for non-profits and Social Service agencies again. A large swarth of 76104 is a food desert. We can create incentives for chain stores and small business that offer healthy food options i.e. friuts and vegetables at a reasonable cost into the area. Partner with the Texas Employment Commission for vocational job training programs and job placement with transportation provided. Expand access to preventive healthcare programs. Give landlords and Realtors incentives to accept more housing vouchers so low income working families have an affordable place to live in zipcode 76104. Improved and expand Mental Health and addiction services.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

Public Health . Investing in Public transportation and maintaining City Services such as a reliable water /sewer and waste collection. Street repairs. Neighborhood Fire/ Police, Libraries etc. should be the major prioirities in the City Budget. Now that we have a fuctioning Federal government again and the American Recue Act is now law. the City of Fort Worth should qualify for Federal funds to help with its budget shortfalls due to the pandemic.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

Raise local corporate and business taxes to give home owner a break on property taxes.Stop giving huge tax abatements to companies that locate here but often don’t fullfill their end of the bargain in job creation and enhancement to the community.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

I fully support increased funding for the Trinity Metro. I believe a Light Rail sytem in Fort Worth is long overdue. We are about 25 years behind Dallas. I also think we need a more regional approach to improving public transportation in the DFW area.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

New developments should have sensible traffic flow plans before they are allowed to build. As well plans that allow for pedestrian friendly access, bike paths and aesthetic green spaces etc.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

We should establish an Independent Citizen Police Oversight Board with Subpeona power. Every other major City in Texas has a Ctizen Police Oversight board. No good reason Fort Worth should not as well. I have been advocating for one to the Mayor and City Council for the last two years to no avail.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

More emphasis on deescalation training. The creation of teams of mental health professionals to answer Mental health wellness calls. A social worker with a degree is more effective and less lethal dealing with people with mental health issues than a cop with a gun. Fort Worth should put a prioirity on hiring police officers who actually live in Fort Worth and are familiar with the neighborhoods they patrol. We are a minority majority city. about 35% Hispanic 20% Black and about 4% to 5% Asian-American. We should have a police department that reflects that in its composition.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

By getting out of their comfort zones. I would advise every candidate for Mayor or City Council to spend at least one day riding the city bus.if they want a clue what life is like for the Working poor in Fort. They should also spend a night or two in one of the homeless sheltors to get a taste of what homelessness is like. I have done both. Expanding educational and economic opportunities for all folks in our City is the key.to greater equity. In my opinion. Raising the minimum wage in Fort Worth to at least $10 an hour would help to close the gap in wage disparity in Fort Worth

DARIEN GEORGE

www.GeorgeForFortWorth.com

Age: 43

Occupation: Executive Search and Talent Consultant

Education: University of Texas at Arlington- BBA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Talent Management Institute University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Leading with Purpose UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School- Corporate & Business Strategy Howard University- Sherpa Executive Coaching London Business School- EO Growth Forum Executive Course- Entreprenurial Studies Harvard University HES- Master of Liberal Arts (ALM), Industrial & Organizational Psychology- Expected Graduation 2023

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? darien@georgeforfortworth.com

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

Optimist Club of Fort WorthFounding President, Optimist Club of Fort Worth 501c3 Sports Advisory CouncilY TexasUTA Deans Leadership CouncilBerkeley Place Neighborhood Association PresidentLibrary Foundation BoardRead Fort Worth Executive Council. Former Chair, Board of Adjustment ResidentialLeadership Fort WorthTransforming Lives CenterLeg Up Homeless program

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

Yes, 21 years ago, I was arrested and charged with unlawful carrying of firearm in 2000. I was extremely young and took responsibility for my actions.

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

Yes, I was part of a lawsuit against a former employer around 2004 for refusing to pay bonuses due to employees. I have been involved in a lawsuit against someone that assaulted me in order to recover costs from the assault.

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Lori & Ken Schaefer Kevin Buehler Darien & Laurie George

Why are you seeking this office?

I deeply care about and love Fort Worth, but my wife was the one that suggested I run for office. As she said, you love your job, but your heart is always working to make Fort Worth better. I am running because I believe in finding solutions to the problems that Fort Worth faces for the future. I have a unique background having grown up and lived across the City from the east side, Stop Six, North Side, South Hills to Berkeley to be able to see various viewpoints and make the choice that is the best for everyone. I think we need more innovative ideas, and having started and run a successful business, I understand innovation and the financials lever in running a business.Finally, I have experience working across the United States with a variety of cities and experts to understand best practices that we can bring back to the City of Fort Worth in recycling, waste management, water, infrastructure, police, transit, and homelessness.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

District 9 is large and different neighborhoods are dealing with a variety of issues from Infrastructure, revitalization versus gentrification, stealth dorms, property taxes, zoning issues, to safety. Each neighborhood in District 9 is unique and has their own needs. We need a council person that can listen to each neighborhood, support the neighborhoods, and determine the best decision for everyone.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

We must focus on building a bigger business tax base, so that we can lower the tax rate for our homeowners. Companies are choosing to locate elsewhere, and we have lost numerous corporate headquarters here in Fort Wort over the last decade. Education- We must focus our energy and resources where we can make the most impact; and that is Early Childhood- birth to age 4. I have ideas for a state-of-the-art Early Childhood Daycare through a public/private partnership. Additionally, we must focus on bringing in more higher education institution’s into Fort Worth. As the 13th largest City, we should have several major Universities within our city for local students to choose from. Safe & Vibrant Neighborhoods- We must ensure that people feel safe in their neighborhoods. Vibrant neighborhoods means we must have equity in neighborhoods through walkable sidewalks and streets, parks, libraries, and access to healthy food and quality affordable housing.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

I have the most experience, having been involved in Fort Worth from a neighborhood level to a City level. I have been involved on boards, in the neighborhoods, and in the City for the last twenty years. As a business owner, I have worked across the City with the business community- from developers, to non-profits, to Fortune 100 companies. I am intimately familiar with the economic levers that the City controls, has sway over, and how to work with the neighborhoods and business community to provide a strong economic engine for the City. I have experience working with experts across the country in municipalities and learning about best practices from Police, Mental Health, Homelessness, Recycling and Waste, Infrastructure, Transit, Economic Development, and Convention & Visitors to name a few. I also think its important that we elect someone that cares about local and is not looking to use this seat as a stepping stone to higher office.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

One thing our City did well was getting as much money into the hands of small businesses to help them during Covid. One thing our City could be better at is communication, whether that is through Covid or the recent snowstorm.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

As a native of Fort Worth, I don’t want to see our great town be a bedroom community to Dallas. Our business tax base must catch up with our residential growth. We are losing corporate relocations to Grand Prairie and much smaller towns. We think it’s because of our school system, lack of transit, or our high property taxes; however, many corporate relocations we are losing to cities with similar issues. We must find out why we are losing to these cities and fix it. We must bring in more of our local CEO’s to help on the front lines to recruit companies around the country. We need to invest more in our economic development department and the Chamber. We must do everything we can to lower the tax rate, otherwise relocations will continue to go to West Lake, Frisco, Grand Prairie and other cities.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

The first thing we must do is acknowledge the problem, then focus all the resources available from the City, private, and non-profit in these areas. It is not acceptable that we have a zip code in Fort Worth with a life expectancy 12 years less than the average. We must look at where the City can implement solutions in economic development, transportation, zoning, planning, and healthcare. If the City needs to offer economic incentives, for example, to bring a grocery store to the area then that is what we should do. Often times, the best way to fix a problem is to shine a light on it and then lead to bring the necessary resources to make a significant change.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

Tourism will be down for the next year, possibly two; however, we must be ready for it when it returns because most experts agree it will come back strong. Economic Development would be a priority. As the economy is recovering, we need to continue to build a larger business tax base here. Infrastructure & Public Safety/Emergency Management should also be a priority.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

1.\u0009Let’s focus on the industries that we are strong at here in Fort Worth: Defense/Aerospace, Medical, and Oil & Gas to name a few. We have four of the largest companies in the world for Defense/Aerospace in Bell, Lockheed, Elbit, and Raytheon. We need to work with those CEO’s to develop a concentrated list of suppliers and companies that work with them and recruit them here to Fort Worth.2.\u0009Build innovation districts. We have the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art Medical Innovation District here in Fort Worth. We have the research institution in HSC, the medical companies in Alcon, Galderma, and Smith & Nephew, and JPS. Innovation Districts have shown to produce businesses and economic output consistently and be a driver of well-paying jobs. 3.\u0009Focus on Local- We must invest in local business through purchasing, incubators, and entrepreneurial mentoring like Tech Fort Worth. We need to develop more of these ventures so anyone can get help in starting a small business.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

One thing clear from door-knocking: people either love transit or hate it. I think we all realize that every great city has a good transit system, although in the USA, some cities are severely lacking here -- with Fort Worth often on that list. Transit is needed to help reduce emissions and congestion, while moving people around that don’t have the means or preference for a car. Companies that are looking to relocate look at transit as one of their criteria. Here’s the problem(s) right now: Fort Worth is a sprawling metropolis, so conventional compact-city transit approaches don’t work as well here. That’s (A). Then you have (B) as COVID, and a shift to white-collar remote work. So, is it time to move AWAY from transit?Absolutely not. But -- we are so far behind on transit presently, and the current plan calls for $2.8 billion in funding. To cover half of that, the city would have to raise taxes 15 cents on top of our already high .75 cent tax rate. The reality is that no City Council person will vote to raise taxes that much. Something you’ll hear me repeat about every problem: What is the solution?On transit, it’s the same way you eat an elephant: a little at a time. Having worked with other municipalities on transit and seen their best practices, we must adapt our approach. (1) Focus on a few corridors that need it the most and make it efficient and convenient. People only use transit if it is close to where they live and they can get there faster than walking or riding a bike.(2) Bring the trolley to Fort Worth. It helps with economic development, and people love to use it. We could use it to connect downtown to convenient areas that both visitors and locals want to go to: Downtown to the Stockyards and Downtown to the Near Southside, and Downtown to the Museum District and even Downtown to Race Street for example.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

We must plan better. Planning and Zoning must do a better job of determining growth and work with Infrastructure to plan and build for the growth. It is much cheaper to build once for the growth than have to rebuild. Planning must also work hand in hand with transit to better prepare where transit can be built in as part of growth for the future.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

The current Police Monitor, Kim Neal, is a doing a great job of working with the community and the police to oversee complaints and investigations. I have looked at multiple different forms of civilian oversight across the country and spoken with experts from around the country. For Fort Worth, I think the best form would be a board where the Police Monitor is the Executive Director. The board would review all complaints and work under the direction of the Police Monitor. Without the ability for the board to subpoena, this model allows the Police Monitor to work closely with the police chief then review all complaints and actions by the police. The review boards findings would be public and transparent.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

I think the Police have an extremely difficult job and deserve our support. As I have said before, I don’t think supporting the police and wanting to improve the police are mutually exclusive. As a father to a biracial daughter and after digging into the research, we must work to continue to improve our department and improve the relationship with the community and the police. From door knocking I can tell you that the two biggest issues that come up, if we’re grouping in buckets, are “economic safety” - will we have jobs where you can provide for your family -- and “neighborhood/location safety,” i.e. safe communities. Police are a huge part of both, because police officers and deputies are a big part of our community and are good jobs in this community -- and because they provide that safety. After George Floyd’s death last May, I spent the past summer using my background in consulting to do as much research as possible on police, police reform, use of force, minority targeting, and more. Obviously, in Fort Worth we were directly affected by the shooting and loss of Atatiana Jefferson and it became national news. Through my research I determined that we could fundamentally change our communities by hiring the right people geared to be a police officer. My research determined that there are two types of people that are drawn to being a police officer- to be a public servant and those that want the power and authority. By eliminating those geared to it for the power and authority, we can quickly change the dynamic with our communities. Additionally, statistical research shows that by doing this, it improves diversity in hiring significantly.We also need to look at best practices on how we can approach responding to mental health issues in a better way. Many cities are revamping how to adjust how they respond to mental health crisis, but we need to look at what would be best for Fort Worth.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

The first thing leadership needs to do is focusing on building our next generation of leaders. In the private sector, we always focus on developing the next level of leadership, a succession plan. We must start to develop our next leaders from all communities, appointing them to boards and bringing them to learn about how the city runs. We also must reach out and actively engage with every neighborhood and community better. Fort Worth is diverse and there are lots of different views, and we need to listen to all of them and all ideas so we can determine the best path for Fort Worth. We also must focus on building safe and vibrant neighborhoods. Walking in District 9, there are neighborhoods where there are no sidewalks, sidewalks just end, or sidewalks are in disrepair. We need parks for every neighborhood. We need to have mini libraries that are easily accessible to our neighborhoods. All of these things have been proven to build vibrant and safe neighborhoods and would improve equity within our city.

JORDAN MIMS

mimsforcitycouncil.com

Age: 25

Occupation: Server / Yoga Teacher

Education: Associate’s Degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Instagram: @mimsforcitycouncil

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

I have planned an active role in the Black Lives Matter movement through donations, marching, protesting, and contacting local officials. In 2018, I canvassed, phone banked, and donated during the midterm election for Beto’s senate campaign.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Liberty Lounge, donations from constituents, and self. We are grassroots led.

Why are you seeking this office?

I am a Fort Worth native who was born and raised here. I am a yoga instructor and a service industry worker. After four years of Trump’s administration, I felt compelled to run. In the wake of the pandemic and a racial justice movement in response to police brutality against the Black community, I knew it was time to run. Fort Worth has become more racially and ethnically diverse. It is time we had a city council that reflects the diversity of its community.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

The biggest challenges facing the city and District 9 are homelessness, gentrification, and lack of public transportation.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

1. Addressing the homelessness in our city, advocating for transitional homes, and permanent and affordable housing for our residents2. Investing in a robust and functional transportation system by adding more bus stops while also investing in a light rail system that is fit for the 13th largest city in the U.S. 3. Implementing a city ordinance raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for big corporations, and then including small businesses by offering incentives and grants for those included

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

The status quo no longer serves us. This city needs leaders who look like them and understand the daily struggles of what it means to be a Fort Worthian.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

We should continue to uphold a citywide mandate on masks, increase accessibility to COVID rapid testing sites and vaccine locations, and increase pandemic relief assistance.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

We should implement tax cuts for businesses and individuals to produce job growth. This will increase jobs, reduce prices, and increase employee wages. We also need to focus on improving job quality on top of job quantity.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

The city needs to improve accessibility to public transportation and invest in building a grocery store in 76104. The closest grocery stores are Tom Thumb next to Montgomery Plaza and Kroger near TCU. This is unacceptable. Residents do not have viable options for transportation to travel for fresh foods. This zip code falls within the medical district; yet, 76104 has the worst life expectancy in Texas. We need to invest in expansion of public assistance programs for low-income residents who are disproportionately Black and Brown to enable access to health care insurance and services.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

In 2019, Fort Worth had over 24,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in direct and indirect spending due to the impact of tourism. Due to job losses and decreased spending, the city should produce tax cuts for businesses and residents to create jobs. Tax saving will also allow for a reduction in prices which may increase consumer spending and an increase employee wages.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

I will change the tax assessment of commercial and industry properties by requiring commercial and industry properties be taxed based on current market value. Exemptions in tax changes could include residential properties, agricultural land, and commercial and industry properties. There also could be tax exemptions for small businesses.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

Yes, I support in giving additional funding to Trinity Metro to improve the bus network and expand routes throughout the city. Fort Worth should improve its public transportation by investing in a light rail transit and other viable alternatives (e.g., electric scooters). Our population is growing, and Dallas-Fort Worth ranks among the bottom 10 for car-free large metros. Traffic congestion on highways also has increased with Dallas-Fort Worth containing 33 of the 100 most congested roads in Texas. We need to alleviate congestion and create more accessibility for public transportation for marginalized communities.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

We need to partner with roadway and highway construction contractors and set aside funding for street development in these subdivisions. We should also invest in environmental contractors to get their advice and input on green solutions to prevent environmental dangers for wildlife, residents, etc.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

The civilian review board should include the responsibilities of reviewing police misconduct and brainstorming ideas for transparency and policy proposals.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

I would like to see a divestment in FWPD funding. This year alone FWPD will accumulate over $80 million from the special police sales tax. They have used this funding to add 63 cameras to high crime areas. We need more transparency from FWPD to know where these cameras are located and how CCPD is being spent. This accumulation of funding could be spent elsewhere like eradicating homelessness, investing in affordable housing, and developing viable options for public transportation.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

The city’s leadership should improve equity by having a city council that reflects their communities and its people (e.g., progressiveness, culture, ideas).

FERNANDO PERALTA

www.fernandoperalta.com

Age: 28

Occupation: Logistics Specialist, Texas Army National Guard

Education: University of Texas in Arlington, Bachelors in Business Administration (in progress)

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? By emailing info@fernandoperalta.com

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

I am currently the president of Las Familias De Rosemont, the neighborhood association for the Rosemont Neighborhood in Fort Worth’s Southside. I also serve on the Hemphill Corridor Task Force as representation from Las Familias De Rosemont, and am on the Site Based Decision Making Committee for Rosemont Elementary, Rosemont 6th Grade Center, and Richard J. Wilson Elementary. Most recently I served on the city committee that provided feedback on the finalist candidates for FWPD Chief.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

NO

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Ramon Romero- Personal Friend, Michael Duffy- Father in Law, John Avila

Why are you seeking this office?

As president of Las Familias De Rosemont I have seen the impact that strong and inclusive leadership can have on a community like mine. Ann Zadeh often makes us feel like we are the only neighborhood in her district, and has fought for us in ways that no other council member has in many years. I understand the challenges and concerns of my community personally, and can easily carry the torch that Councilwoman Zadeh has bore for the many neighborhoods within District 9. I hear assumptions that many people make about the values of my community based on the fact that we are a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Rosemont is not a monolithic community, which anyone who has spent any amount of time here knows. We want investments in infrastructure, public safety improvements, and a high quality of life just like the rest of the district. I bring much needed representation from our southside communities to the City Council, and I do so with the heart of a servant leader.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

District 9, especially our Hispanic community, has been hit especially hard by COVID-19. Small businesses need support, and our residents need access to good jobs. Recovery is going to take a multi-faceted approach. The city must step up to be innovative and inclusive as we seek solutions. Public safety is also something that needs to be addressed in a holistic manner. Everyone in our city should feel safe when calling the police. It is the job of our city leaders to foster positive relationships with our police and our communities, by ensuring that there is accountability in place that protects our good public servants and the public that they are sworn to protect.I have spent several years working with the homeless community in Fort Worth, and expect to see an increase in our homeless population due to the pandemic. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed collaboratively with partner agencies and a focus on permanent affordable housing.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Economic recovery for businesses and jobs from the COVID-19 Pandemic;Addressing racial disparities by eliminating policies that create barriers for communities of color including homelessness and public safety; And creating community based development policies that preserve existing neighborhoods and communities.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

I am the only candidate that has been actively working in the areas with the highest need, and achieving progress for these communities in District 9. For example I successfully advocated for my Rosemont Neighborhood to receive 3.1 million in neighborhood improvement funding and to be part of the city’s free public Wi-Fi pilot program. I am also the only candidate who is a fluent Spanish speaker and understands the culture and values of the the district’s largest population.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

I believe that the city opened up too soon last spring after the first shut down. It was disappointing to go through the efforts of putting our lives on hold to only have the city open back up before seeing any real impact. We need to pick the strategies that best fit our community and stick with them until we see the outcomes that we want.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

We have to value the communities that exist here now by supporting local development and supporting small businesses. We also must look at amenities that are going to attract larger developments such as investment in multi-modal transit and development agreements that will support those investments and the existing communities. Also, Fort Worth has to truly be a city where everyone in welcome and valued. We have significant racial division that has to be addressed head on if we expect businesses to relocate to our city and invest in job creation. Racial equity should not be a divisive or combative issue, like all conflict there is a space where discussions create growth and progress for all involved. I know that the Fort Worth residents are there, but leadership has to show courage to make it happen.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

The city is going to have to incentivize development that supports sustainability and improved quality of life in divested areas such as those located in the 76104 zip code. This development is going to have to be intentional and equity focused to ensure that improvements actually benefit the communities they are going into, and not pushing out neighborhoods and the rich culture that exist there now. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, we city leaders have to be courageous in addressing the systemic issues that create these disparities in the first place.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

Again, investment in transit and city amenities is necessary to improve tourism is a must. The city of Fort Wort has to be aggressive with highlighting the richness of culture that different communities bring to the table. Fort Worth is so much more than “cowboys and culture” which is what we often see promoted by the tourism office. There are so many incredible artisans and entrepreneurs that are bringing incredible innovations to our city every day, but you might not ever know about them because they aren’t part of the right crowd. We should of course continue to attract tourism, but we also should amplify opportunities for those who are already here.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

Many commercial properties are drastically undervalued on the tax rolls, but there isn’t much that the city can do about that. What the city council can do is work to attract more businesses that will build our business tax base that can divert the tax burden from residential homeowners. The city of Fort Worth has been very generous with tax breaks to large corporations in the past, perhaps to a fault. When businesses receive incentives on their property taxes there has to be a worthy return in the form of community benefits and workers who live in the Fort Worth city limits.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

Fort Worth’s transit infrastructure is improving with the addition of rapid busses and better rail efficiency with the TRE, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I support increased funding for public transportation and the development of a strategic plan for multi-modal transit in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. I would specifically like to see efficiencies be made on routes that serve high need communities and the addition of light rail which would be a vast improvement for the area overall.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

The city has to pace infrastructure investments in alignment with development, but we also can’t continue to rely solely on personal vehicles for transportation in and around the city. Fort Worth is growing out because there isn’t much space for infill. However, there are steps that can be taken to address the congestion that does exist with more efficient timing of stoplight patterns and improvements to lane striping. There has to be accountability in TPW for the completion of street projects and efficiency of traffic in high congestion areas.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

I believe that an independent review board should be well balanced with people from diverse backgrounds. This doesn’t just include racially diverse, but also generational and economic diversity. The review commission should be completely autonomous from the city government, and should be established with guidelines that support accountability and transparency for the public. It should also be said that the goal of an independent review board should not be to blindly penalize all police who are involved in incidents, but to root out instances of wrongdoing, abuse of power, and failure to follow procedure. A successful citizen’s review board will serve to protect the credibility of the police force and the confidence from the community.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

As a case worker for the homeless community I received specialized de-escalation training for handling mental health situations and learned how to properly work with the homeless community with compassion. I believe that citizens for the most part don’t want to see their police force lose funding, because there is a fear of the alternative. I know that we often ask too much of our police force. I would like to see some of the services that are currently provided by police be diverted to community services like MHMR of Tarrant County, Catholic Charities, and All Church Home. Police aren’t social workers or mental health professionals, but this city is full of people who are experts at those jobs. We should let them do them. At the same time, I am a member of the Texas Army National Guard. I am trained to provide military response to public safety emergencies. This is almost always matters of public health concern, but from time to time includes matters of public safety. The police do not receive the level of training that our military does, so expecting them to do the job of our military places them in unreasonable harm. We cannot continue to put unreasonable burdens on our police, and expect them to have the capacity to also focus on developing relationships with the community. This is not a matter of punishing or defunding police, this is a matter of setting them up for success.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

The city can start by bringing more diverse perspectives and ideas to the table as these decisions are made.

SABRINA RENTERIA

Did not respond.

ERIK RICHERSON

Erikricherson@yahoo.com

Age: 39

Occupation: Business owner

Education: GED and College

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Through the website

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

On the leadership team of The Justice Reform A local nonprofit burst out of Mercy culture Church that restores and houses women that have come out of sex trafficking. I am also a Worship leader at Mercy Culture Church, as well as my wife and I being on pastoral care. I regularly attend neighborhood cleanups, and serve the community through Our Mercy Culture food bank.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

Yes At 17 years old I was arrested and spent jail time for robbing a drug dealer.

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Friends from the community that want to help

Why are you seeking this office?

I am seeking this office to help preserve the integrity of the conservative values that the majority of the citizens want to stay here in Fort Worth Texas.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

One of the challenges is the large push for rezoning by the city, and how that impacts the communities involved. Also there is a growing homeless camp population pushing to the edge of our neighborhoods. Streets need to be upgraded and there is also a big need for safe pathways to school which would include sidewalks and crosswalks.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

My first priority is to protect the children of the city from less leaning ideologies that are trying to make their way into our schools. My second priority is to Protect our conservative values that have made Fort Worth such an amazing place to live, hence why so many people across the country are moving here in record numbers. Thirdly to bring transparency and integrity to all facets of our city budget, zoning, and spending. After all it’s the Citizens money and they should be included in the conversation of how it will be spent.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

When you think of why you should vote for Erik Richerson, just know that everything that I do and every decision that I make is filtered through the Bible, the word of God. That goes for spending, that goes for zoning, that goes for civil issues, that goes for how people are treated, and that is my promise to the citizens of Fort Worth. If I operate in integrity and righteousness, everything else that I do will be in the best interest of this community. I’m not going to hi 5 a politician for saying that they are going to lower property taxes, fix streets, etc. I wanna know what is the content and character of your heart. If that’s in the right place everything else will benefit the community. I will fight to lower property taxes, I will fight to ensure we have safe and clean streets, I will fight for school choice and help to raise the bar in Fort Worth ISD. That’s my promise.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

Fort Worth should’ve never shut down. I believe in peoples opportunity to have their freedoms and make their own safe choices and decisions. COVID-19 mandates and restrictions have destroyed businesses across this country. There should be no mandates or restrictions. Fort Worth and the rest of the country needs to be open.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

I believe that the growth is coming whether we want it to or not. Dallas has out price itself and housing has become unaffordable. Jobs are coming to Fort Worth, and corporate relocation’s are coming to Fort Worth. We need to be prepared and not surprised.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

The city needs to make sure that it distributes funds to those areas. Opportunity zones are an amazing reality that was made possible by President Donald Trump‘s urban revitalization Coalition. I will take the lead to bring those funds to the communities that are experiencing disparity.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

As far as this question goes I really would need to take a look at where our cities budget is sitting at and make an educated decision from there. I think that one of the first things that we need to champion is no more lockdowns or mandates. They have been destroying our businesses and families here in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

It’s simple hold corporations coming to Fort Worth accountable and have them pay their fair share of taxes, and stop putting the burden on hard-working citizens.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

We are not Dallas, and we cannot try to pretend that we are. I would like to see Trinity metro do something fun with a trolley system that fits the theme, character, and culture of our city.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

We have to pay attention to the traffic affects of urban density. We cannot just take money from contractors that want to build in our city without first planning our street infrastructure’s to ensure that they do not bring more congestion to our neighborhoods. The railroad tracks already create enough traffic as it is. On West seventh one of the most popular districts in Fort Worth the traffic has become horrendous. We really need to focus on how that and other areas will be built as far as street infrastructure and urban growth goes.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

Why do we need another board? The city has a consulting board. Why is the current city Council not engaging with the Fort Worth PD? There doesn’t need to be another board, the city Council needs to step up and do their job and talk to Fort Worth finest Police Department.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

We need to keep the Fort Worth Police Department fully funded. The CCPD fund is vitally important to the positive growth of our city. It funds after school extracurricular activities that help to keep troubled youth out of prisons and morgues. The CCPF fund provides boxing, football, soccer, and so many other amazing programs to help our kids stay the course and be successful in life. Furthermore the CCPD fund funds multiple other nonprofit organizations in Fort Worth and without it those organizations would be struggling. I like the direction that our Police Department is going in. Hands-down the best department in the country.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

Everyone in Fort Worth has been given equality. There are already policies and laws in place that protect the people of Fort Worth no matter what color you are or where you come from.

JARED SLOANE

Email: jared@jaredsloane.com

Website: www.jaredsloane.com

Age: 36

Occupation: Partner/Operations Director

Education: MBA, University of Texas at Arlington, B.S. Business Public Policy, Indiana University Bloomington

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? info@jaredsloane.com

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement (for example, service on boards/commissions or leadership positions held):

Current board chair, Arts Council of Fort Worth. Past chair, Fort Worth Building Standards Commission. President, Alamo Heights Neighborhood Association. Alumni, Leadership Fort Worth. Keyholder, SteerFW. Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, Bloomington Township VFD.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or otherwise been part of a criminal proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Have you been involved in a civil lawsuit or bankruptcy proceeding? If yes, please explain:

No

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Roxanne & Jim Laney, Scott Wheatley, and Arnold Gachman.

Why are you seeking this office?

I’m running for Fort Worth City Council District 9 to champion our urban core. We’re Fort Worth’s front porch. Working together, above the national political fray, we can grow a city where residents feel safe and welcome, repair aging streets and pipes, create effective public transportation, fix property taxes, and advocate for our kids and schools. I’m a business owner, volunteer, former firefighter, husband, and dad who sets goals and seeks solutions.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

The greatest challenges facing District 9 are aging infrastructure and streets, inadequate education outcomes, affordable housing, rising property taxes, and business development.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

We need a new, clear vision for our district’s and out city’s future. We also have to repair aging infrastructure, fix property taxes, and advocate for our kids and our schools. We have to set that vision for Fort Worth’s future, where everyone is welcome, and our city celebrates the hard work, creativity, and diversity of our district.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s)?

Our city council needs to set clear goals for our future. As a business owner, a community leader, and a former firefighter, I know what it takes to set a vision and navigate through a crisis. I direct teams to achieve success, but also navigate economic crises and political turmoil. I set realistic goals to achieve a common vision, and I craft solutions by listening to those I serve. I have been in service to my community since I was 18. I’ve protected communities, built homes, served constituents, and created jobs. I know how to deliver on my goals and promises. What we need is to rise above our political divisions to establish a new 10 year plan for our city and district. We need to work together to find actionable solutions to boost our commercial property tax base, advocate for our kids’ education, fix our aging infrastructure, and enhance public transit.

COVID-19 has radically changed our country and city. What would have done differently than current leaders to navigate the pandemic?

Leaders need to be consistent and willing to take responsibility for their actions. As a business owner, I experienced first hand the chaos of forced closures and the confusion of executive orders. Preparation is the first tool to navigate a disaster, and our city leaders were not prepared for a change to the status quo. As city leaders, we must constantly evaluate the risks to our community and prepare for those scenarios with our city departments and public safety teams.

Though Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a 2018 economic development study noted we risk becoming a bedroom community to Dallas County, where job growth is strong. What should the city do to attract jobs, corporate relocations and other economic development?

Entrepreneurs and business leaders have to want to grow in Fort Worth. We have to deliver a quality of life we all value. That’s streamlining permitting, supporting small businesses, great education, strong neighborhoods, updated infrastructure, effective public transit, and a vibrant arts community. District 9 is the perfect location for new business development. We have to leverage our downtown spaces to attract more higher education investment, expand collaboration to foster innovation in our medical community, and encourage business development within our minority communities to solve food and education insecurities. We need to deliver superb education outcomes so that kids stay and work here in Fort Worth. Investing in our infrastructure and public transit system is key providing basic services that connect businesses with workers and customers. And by championing our arts community, we showcase our creative and welcoming culture that’s open to all residents.

Last year the Star-Telegram highlighted disparities in the 76104 ZIP code that led to the area having the worst life expectancy in Texas. The investigation revealed a lack of access to jobs, transportation, groceries and health care. What should the city do to improve circumstances in the area?

We need to invest thoughtfully in our low-income communities to protect and serve current residents while encouraging the development of businesses that address food and health insecurities. In 76104 and similar areas, the city can remove barriers and promote business development by local entrepreneurs.

The city’s budget will take a hit from COVID-19 in the coming years, particularly in the form of lost sales and tourism revenue. What priorities would be in your city budget?

First, we have to focus on core city services, like infrastructure and public safety, delivered equitably. We also need to plan for what’s next. That requires vision and a plan for investment in future services that advance the quality of life we all seek in Fort Worth. It’s the responsibility of city council members to lead our city toward great public education, public transit, strong neighborhoods, and a booming commercial sector.

Fort Worth’s property taxes are out of balance, with the vast majority of revenue coming from homeowners rather than commercial property taxes. How would you correct this?

I will first focus on customer service outcomes at City Hall. To attract commercial development, we need to enhance our planning and permitting capabilities to deliver consistent and expedient outcomes. We’re fortunate to have an incredible city staff - let’s empower them to work seamlessly and effectively. I’ll focus on championing great schools and improving education outcomes by engaging community partners on reading, language, and math skills. I’ll focus on enhancing our public transit system to provide the infrastructure that corporate leaders seek when relocating. And I’ll champion our arts community that underpins our subtle sophistication by seeking out new funding and economic opportunities.

Fort Worth’s public transportation lags behind other major cities in Texas both in the scope of the system and the amount of public money spent on transit. Trinity Metro is in the process of redesigning the bus network and has requested additional funding from the city. Do you support boosting the city’s allocation to Trinity Metro? How should Fort Worth improve its public transportation?

According to the recently released Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth survey, 56% of respondents supported funding expanded and improved transit services, up 4% from the previous survey. I support enhancing our public transit outcomes. For me, its about enhancing consumer choice for transportation and boosting the economic returns from the investment. For every $1 invested in public transportation, we’ll see $4 returning in economic impact. That’s a smart investment in our city’s growth and a practical solution to attracting young professionals, entrepreneurs, and business relocations to Fort Worth.

A chief complaint from residents in Fort Worth’s suburban neighborhoods are congested arterial streets. Often new subdivisions outpace street capacities. What can be done to improved this?

Growth is coming and we have to engage it actively at the city council level. With a clear vision for our city’s and district’s future, we can better steer growth and manage its impacts, like congested streets. That vision should include urban density, mixed use developments and effective public transit.

The current City Council accepted the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation for a civilian review board for the police department, but the board has not been established. What form do you think this review board should take?

The City Council made a commitment to addressing racial inequality through the Race and Culture Task Force. It’s imperative to building trust with minority communities that the city also follow through with the task force’s recommendations. The board should be established as part of that follow through with residents appointed by the city council, as in other city commissions.

There has been an ongoing cry to improve equity in Fort Worth, including a campaign last year to end the special police sales tax and devote that money to transportation or social services. Are there changes you’d like to see to the police department?

Public safety is a priority. Fort Worth voters approved the Crime Prevention District tax to support a police force that truly serves and protects the residents of our city. The police department has to build new trust within the communities it serves. That’s done with clear communication, public accountability, transparency. Chief Noakes’ recent actions to discipline officers is an early indicator that he’s taking the responsibility of public trust seriously. It’s the duty of public leaders, like city council members and police chiefs, to hold public servants accountable for their actions and to create cultures of trust.

As Fort Worth grows and diversifies, how should the city’s leadership improve equity?

City leaders must recognize that the disparities between racial groups are meaningful and backed by data. We have to seek out, rather than wait for, emerging leaders within minority communities, and find solutions to the root causes of inequity. We need to foster a culture of inclusive growth for all residents. City leaders can do more to engage residents as active partners in business development, zoning issues, and public safety enhancements. By working with minority communities as equal partners, with a focus on building trust and accountability, city leaders can move the needle on equity in Fort Worth.