Fort Worth mayoral candidates for May 1 election

April 13,2021


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

BRIAN BYRD

Age: 50

Occupation: Entrepreneur, Physician

Education: Bachelor’s: University of Texas at Austin; Medical School: University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? brian@vote4byrd.org

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

Yes – I was elected to Fort Worth City Council District 3 in 2017

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

MedStar Board of Directors, Chair; Tarrant Net, Board of Directors; Angel Tree Ministry, Area Director; Prison Fellowship Ministries, Board of Directors. Since being elected to City Council, I’ve led efforts to revitalize the Las Vegas Trail area, successfully advocating for over $11 million for the Como Neighborhood, and raised funds to open Fort Worth’s first drop-in center for human trafficking victims.

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?

My wife and I have invested in our campaign and we are very blessed to have a true grassroots effort that consists of hundreds of campaign contributors from all across our city.

Why are you seeking this office?

It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to serve the city I love and grew up in as a member of our City Council. Throughout my life, I have seen and experienced a variety of opinions and needs of people from every background imaginable. In my career as a physician, a successful entrepreneur and now as an elected leader in the City of Fort Worth, people rely on me to find solutions to their greatest challenges. The next Mayor must be someone with a clear vision for our city; someone ingrained in the business community but who has also successfully implemented significant initiatives to better our great city. With my background in business, as a doctor and frontline healthcare worker, as well as in city government, I’m fully prepared to provide unwavering leadership to this wonderful city - that includes making decisions on the toughest issues, and ensuring that every voice in every part of our city will be heard.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

Our children deserve an education which prepares them to prosper in our ever-evolving and rapid-growing economy. The next Mayor must continue to shine a light on this issue, work collaboratively with administrators and parents alike, while simultaneously promoting new ideas and innovative initiatives. We must encourage our talented teachers and principals to launch bold and creative initiatives to meet the needs of every student in their schools. The City of Fort Worth’s property tax base has shifted too much of the tax burden onto homeowners. Residential growth is outpacing commercial development. Fort Worth ranks low on new investment into start-up companies. Our entrepreneurial community generates the new ideas, products, companies and jobs that grow our economy. I support the incubator model at UNTHSC, the recruitment of an accelerator program to Fort Worth, and the involvement of our education institutions to train and inspire young African-American and Latinx entrepreneurs.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

My priorities are simple: keep our community safe, create more high-paying, quality jobs and provide more educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.We should all want to make sure our city is a place where we are safe, where we love our neighborhoods, to go out to eat, where we play, raise our families, enjoy our friendships, build business, pursue dreams, and create jobs. In Fort Worth, we love our colorful western heritage and we’re always looking ahead to embrace what is dynamic and growing. My desire is for this vision to become a tangible reality for every Fort Worth citizen. This means supporting our police to keep our families safe, strengthening our business community to create high-paying, quality jobs and drive down our property tax rates. We must do all these while shining a bright light on our education challenges so we can see improvements in 3rd grade test scores, 9th grade math, vocational training, associate degree attainment, and college graduation.

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

A Mayor must lead toward a vision which will leave our city better than we found it. It is critically important for our next Mayor be someone who has been successful as an entrepreneur and knows the struggle of the small business owner. I have lived what it is like to have a business idea, take a substantial risk to see it through, to lose sleep during the difficult startup years, and see it through to success. We need a Mayor who can encourage our entrepreneurial community as someone who has been there. Since 2017, I’ve knocked on over 8,000 doors. I know the issues people care about because I have spoken with thousands of Fort Worth citizens personally at their doorsteps. Most importantly, I love our city. It is where I grew up, got married, raised our kids, built business, worshipped, and served. I love our heritage, our culture and art, our restaurants, and our friendliness. Our neighborhoods are so incredible and valuable to us, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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

As a physician, I took the threat of loss of life due to the virus very seriously. COVID-19 emerged very quickly and presented myriad variables for our city and the entire world. I commend our leaders for doing their best to address and handle what was such an unknown element at the time. We attempted to balance hospital capacity breaching, individual liberties, and the livelihoods of our citizens. It would be easy for me (and many others) now, in hindsight, to say I would’ve acted more or less quickly or encouraged mask-wearing or social distancing differently, but I think the very best thing for the next Mayor of our city to do would be to look toward rebuilding our city and our business community. We must all work together to continue making Fort Worth a safe, healthy, and economically prosperous place to live.

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?

Our real hope for economic development is in our young, talented entrepreneurs. We must do more to connect our young entrepreneurs with experienced entrepreneurs, mentors, and capital, and we should highlight the kind of startup genius that created Linear Labs. Since we are a minority-majority city, we have to do a better job highlighting our top businesses founded and operated by leaders of color and ensure we are providing our best effort by connecting and welcoming all into the business community. We should continue to work with and support our chambers and encourage our economic development department, although we must be more creative and take more calculated risks. We have to shift toward proactive rather than reactive efforts making specific opportunities known to the businesses we want to recruit to Fort Worth. The next Mayor, in coordination with the chambers and economic development, should be ready to travel and make friends with the businesses we want in Fort Worth.

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?

Just the same as I directly addressed challenges and needs in the Las Vegas Trail area by supporting jobs and expanding transportation options with the addition of bus routes, I will be attentive to the needs of areas across our city like 76104. As a physician, I am very concerned that we must continue to find ways to address community food deserts and areas that lack quality healthcare providers. We can also help to mitigate these issues by recruiting as well as encouraging business owners to invest in the economy of such areas. We should support churches and other non-profits that are setting up community gardens. Just something as simple as having a COVID-19 vaccine drive in these areas where it can be more accessible, like I hosted along with LVT Rise, is critically important for the viability and success of these underserved areas. We have to continue to be willing to address these glaring needs head-on and work hard to invest in and improve our city in places that need it most.

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?

Fully funding public safety—our police and first responders--is one of the priorities that we should maintain for the safety of our families, especially after the horrific injuries and fatalities we saw during the February ice storm. I would also prioritize funding for the improvement of our transit services and the addition and expansion of new services like ZipZone microtransit initiatives that will allow for more on-demand mobility throughout the city. These are valuable contributions to the economic development of the city that result in the creation of more high-paying, quality jobs for our citizens.

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?

On City Council, I worked very hard to lower the property tax rate for homeowners, and I think it’s important that we continue to do that when I’m elected Mayor. I don’t believe we need to burden our businesses with piled-on taxes either. We must find a way to strike that balance to make Fort Worth a friendly place to do business so we attract more companies and create new jobs. That’s where a strong and healthy tax base comes from in a growing city like ours.

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 applaud Trinity Metro’s ZipZones expansion and I believe we need more innovation as well as the involvement of the private sector. Arlington is achieving tremendous success with rideshare solutions and there is no reason why we can’t do the same here in our city. We were able to increase bus stop frequency in the Las Vegas Trail area because we saw a demand there and working with our friends at Trinity Metro we met that need. As we continue to grow, it is imperative for us to apply the same data-driven decision-making to the rest of the city. I support the Lancaster BRT project so long as it continues to involve input from the East Fort Worth Business Association and our citizens in East 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?

Our citizens who live north of 820 consistently tell me that road infrastructure has not kept up with housing development and new neighbors moving into the community. One person mentioned that it takes 45 minutes every morning to drive just a mile and half to drop their kids off at school. The city management has prioritized this area in the prospective 2022 bond and I think this is the right thing to do. There are more than 230,000 Fort Worthians who live north of 820. That is astonishing growth for an area that had only a fraction of that population less than two decades ago. City Council members will need to spend the time to get to know the folks from all parts of our city who will be impacted by new development and listen to their stories before approving zoning changes. At the same time, we must work with developers on creative solutions as they attempt to keep up with our ever-growing housing demand. We want to keep our housing prices affordable and don’t want to see an overheated housing market.

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 supported the creation of the Police Monitor position and believe Kim Neal is doing an excellent job. She has worked well with the department leadership in analyzing and re-writing some of the policies that needed updating and refreshing, and she is receiving and following up well with citizen concerns. We should continue to support her in this role and, given the positive results she and the department are achieving, we should hold off for now on the creation of a citizen review board.

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?

Our police officers have a uniquely difficult and dangerous job, and I truly appreciate their work every single day. We are able to enjoy our excellent neighborhoods and commercial activity only because of their efforts to keep us safe. I DO NOT support defunding our police. I supported Chief Kraus’ efforts to make improvements such as better de-escalation training. I believe in our Neighborhood Patrol Officers and we are making that program more effective by recruiting, training and deploying officers in the neighborhoods they grew up in. I supported our police chief’s decisions to expand our HOPE (homelessness) teams and CIT (mental health) efforts. I have also supported the creation of a civilian response team.

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

I started a mentoring program for African-American and Latinx entrepreneurs and business leaders. Tia Cole, who is the CEO of The Cole Lab, is now leading the effort and it is going great! We signed up our first cohort in February of this year and connected each mentee with a mentor in the business community. The mentors are providing powerful contacts and business expansion know-how. We need more of these kinds of initiatives that will make a difference in peoples’ lives and send a message that we want everyone to participate and be successful in our economy.

DANIEL “DC” CALDWELL, I

danieljcaldwell.webs.com

Age: 36

Occupation: Educator

Education: Evans High School, Diploma; Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering; Texas Teachers ACP, SBEC Teacher Certification; Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Juris Doctor; Additional courses taken at University of Utah, Henry Ford Community College, Austin Community College, Parker University, El Centro College, and Tarrant County College.

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? fb.com/dcdanielcaldwell

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

Candidate in 2018 for Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 7; in 2017 for Houston Community College Trustee District 4; in 2015 for Dallas City Council District 6; and in 2012 for Austin Community College District Trustee

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

Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM Southside Lodge 1114.TMSL Student Activities: Pro Bono College; Certificate of Excellence in Providing Legal Information Meetings; Moot Court, Competitor; Law Journal on Gender Race and Justice, Staff; Office of Student Affairs, Ambassador; Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, President; and delegate elected from my Senate Districts to attend both the state conventions of the Texas Democratic and Republican parties in 2018 (and again in 2020).

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

In 2010, I was charged with running a red light (dismissed), speeding (dismissed), and running a stop sign (guilty). In 2015, I was charged with fare evasion (dismissed). In 2016, I was charged with running a red light (dismissed). In 2021, I was charged with speeding (dismissal pending).

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

2010-2013, my ex-wife divorced me, committing aggravated perjury five times under direct examination from her lawyer.After two CPS investigations that both ruled-out her false allegations of child abuse or neglect, the now-recused judge permanently and unlawfully terminated my parental rights (not the legal relationship, but the rights) while refusing to follow Texas Family Code sections 153.193, 153.258, and 261.305(c), and US Supreme Court precedents.I sued in 2017-2018 to be allowed to see my son for the first time since 2013, but the courts ordered me to pay more than $30,000 in my ex’s attorney fees *because I am unable to afford to hire a lawyer.*I am suing the Texas Board of Law Examiners for denying a law license because “communication skills are extremely limited by your autism” (BLE Decision June 21, 2019) in violation of the ADA at 42 US Code section 12132, and the judge contradicted, inter alia, Board Rule 15(k) required by Tex. Gov. Code Sec. 82.022(b).

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

(1) Myself, (2) Mike White, and (3) anyone else

Why are you seeking this office?

I have several sources of inspiration, and the one that feels most important today is the drive to continually improve and do better.I was taught the importance of citizenship and service as an Eagle Scout almost twenty years ago, and, seeing some of the divisions and tensions in our society today, I just can’t in good conscience stand by and do nothing.Irritation with government waste, overreach, and gerrymandering are a few of the more specific things that further prompted me to apply for office.I am volunteering to serve as Mayor not for my ownbenefit but as a public servant.I am sincere in my desires to protect, improve, and passon a high quality of life for residents of Fort Worth, tofaithfully steward taxpayer dollars by voting againstspending which would be excessive or wasteful, and to beresponsive to suggestions and concerns raised by membersof the community.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

There are tensions in race relations.Our public education system struggles with high school graduation rates and student performance.Local businesses have been hard hit by federal, state, and local austerity measures in the name of reducing the spread of viral pneumonia.Our infrastructure barely keeps up with the population growth, with high demand for housing, new roads and bridges, water lines, and transient social services.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

My first priority is to collaborate with the outgoing Mayor,other members of the City Council, and city staff in orderto provide uninterrupted continuity of services to fulfillthe city’s mission “working together to build a strongcommunity” full-time to improve our quality of life as arepresentative of the city’s residents.My second priority is to balance the city budget so that weare paying our debts and our bills just like any household isresponsible to do.My third priority is to amend or repeal unnecessarilyrestrictive city ordinances which get in the way offundamental liberty or “Fort Worth [being] the most livableand best managed city in the country.”The responsibilities of public servants include:(1) faithful stewardship to protect community resources and trust;(2) improving on the condition and quality of life of residents in their community; and(3) leaving their legacy in good hands for the next generation.

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

The voters I hear from tell me that my world-class education, experiences, and knowledge of issues are not what matters to them.They tell me that the struggles I have endured and grown from, my back story that we don’t really have time for in the forums, is what impresses them the most about me because those trying times, tough stories, and challenges to overcome are what gives them a real perspective into my heart of hearts.Nobody cares what I know until they know I care.I believe that selflessness as a motivation is among the best of my qualifications.Beyond that, my professional resume stands on par with other candidates who have served as city staff, on the city council, or as chair of the local Democratic party.

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

In a normal given year, almost 3 million Americans will die, with the average life expectancy of 78 years holding steady.With that in mind, I would not have shut everything down and cost millions of jobs that are essential to surviving and thriving for tens of millions of Americans young and old.I would have opposed the censorship of doctors that disagree with Fauci.I did and do oppose the unconstitutional mandates restricting speech, assembly, religion, travel, work, shopping, and other activities.Rather than catering to the panic of the new normal, I would have allowed 99% of people to continue their lives as normal, knowing that ~1% of the population will unavoidably die any given year just as a matter of mortal life span.

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?

Parts of the city remain undeveloped because they are isolated.The northeast and southeast parts of town are separated by the Trinity River, and we can encourage commerce by building bridges across it between Beach Street and Handley-Ederville (and between Northside and Carver).The south side of I-30 presents opportunity by putting in a service road that would attract commercial development between Beach and Oakland Blvd.Similarly, there are dead-ends that don’t make sense, like the failure of Heritage Trace Parkway to connect to the Hwy-81 service road on either side of Hwy-287.I am also open to other suggestions.

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 thought that comes to mind is that zoning restrictions make access to jobs and groceries difficult.I also find the lack of health care assertion to be disingenuous because 76104 literally has four hospitals as major medical centers.The deficit is money to pay for services or lack of insurance, not availability of services.And while Trinity Metro does not have numerous bus routes in that area, it is covered by a “ZipZone” that provides reduced-cost ride sharing, so there is transportation.The only challenge is attracting businesses and employers, and they have basically been zone-out.

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?

The city’s emergency responders are the single largest chunks of the budget, and the easiest places to find room to avoid raising expenses from the general fund. To save millions, I would stop automatic pay increases for city employees earning more than the city employee average over $62,000. By doing so, we could fund other programs which use employees with much lower starting salaries.

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 would oppose new appraisals which raise the tax value of homes which have not been structurally improved.I would

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?

No.I support using smaller buses or vans for fixed routes and operating smaller shuttles more like a rideshare service than on fixed routes.

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?

Developers of new subdivisions should include their own arterial thru streets in their plans, rather than building isolated neighborhoods with one way in and one way out.Many subdivisions object to building thru streets which will increase traffic in their neighborhoods, and the balance of equities leans toward putting in the thru-streets to have more arterials, and wider ones.

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 would ask council members to appoint members to the board from each of their districts to serve in advisory roles.

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?

The campaign against the police sales tax proved unpopular.As mentioned above, I recognize that police officers are paid substantially more than other city employees and residents, so I would phase out tenure pay increases for officers whose salary is already above the average for city employees, making them rely on promotions or other merit increases.The saved money will enable funding other positions.

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

We need to stop gerrymandering, throwing money at boondoggle projects, and reform indigent services.I propose a multi-faceted approach to increasing capacity and thereby decreasing the number that are unhoused.I want to legalize camping and designate campsites at certain parks that can be rented on a daily basis for a nominal fee to cover the costs of administration and cleanup.As someone who has been homeless and visited different shelters, I want our city shelters to run more like the Haven for Hope in San Antonio, where they do not assign bed spaces, but sleeping pads which are sanitized on a daily basis because it increases shelter capacity while reducing costs and pest infestations while actually providing a far more pleasant experience for the transient individuals who arrive seeking help.I want to legalize being an AirBNB host again, increasing the available supply of lodging.I want to identify zoning areas which do not currently permit residential use and amend the zoning to allow affordable residing in those areas to increase the supply, reducing cost of housing.

MYLENE GEORGE

Did not respond

MIKE HAYNES

Mikehaynes.mh@gmail.com

Website: N/A

Age: 32

Occupation: CEO

Education: BA in Business

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Email or in Person im in the city

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

Mayor

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

VP of Project Management

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?

God, Jesus, and Mike Haynes

Why are you seeking this office?

To make the changes that are very much needed by residents and not corporations and new vision that can create a whole new Fort Worth through residential involvement

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

The lack of great leadership and that is why I stepped up

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

To raise pay , make a huge impact on the homeless and youth, to create background friendly opportunities to decrease the criminal statistics

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

I have their best interest at heart, I am a resident a day 1 fort worthian, I’m reachable and this is for a change that can be seen throughout our nation

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

N/A

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 promote our city more making great and influential decisions will bring media which will bring large corporations

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?

create opportunities it almost seems like the city wants this to be the worst area but for me its Southside 4ever

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?

the create more tourism and small businesses

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?

by lowering property tax

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?

by creating more jobs so that individuals can have a reason to utilize theses resources no one wants to ride the bus for fun but our residents will ride the bus for a bag lets make this happen

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?

create more short cuts and better freeways

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 MAKE THIS HAPPEN YESTERDAY! FACTS

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?

YES and to FT WORTH AS A WHOLE

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

THIS SHOULDNT EVEN BE A QUESTIONS LETS GIVE THE PEOPLE MORE MONEY!

CEDRIC KANYINDA

cedric4mayor.com

Age: 35

Occupation: Father, IT Professional, Entrepreneur

Education: Master of Business Administration ( Texas Woman’s University). Bachelor of Science in Biology ( Texas Woman’s University). High School Diploma ( MacArthur High School)

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

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):

Volunteer : Nursing homes, and churches

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

yes, traffic violation

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

No

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

God, Myself, my children

Why are you seeking this office?

To leave for Fort Worth better than I found it for the next generation.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

housing development, and quality education

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Transparency, Public Infrastructure, and Education

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

We are all running to make Fort Worth a better a place. I am passionate about working with everyone, and addressing the needs of our city.

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

We are facing a crisis that we haven’t seen before but the response from our elected officials caused more harm than good. And I pray for the day life return back to normal. I would have kept our economy running with individual safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

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 create an environment that foster innovation, an environment that breathe ingenuity. We need to provide a quality education to our resident by bringing more Universities in our city. a better transportation system is also key to our growth.

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 have to prioritize investment in those area affected by offering incentives.

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?

Recovery. A safe city will always attracts investors and tourists.

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 have to find a different formula to address this situation. We must work together to find a better way to run our city, minimize our expenses, and reduce the size of our government.

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 should work to improve our 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?

A better study to come up with the best solution to address this problem

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 board should reflect the diversity of our city and include all the stakeholders in order to properly address complaints.

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?

Hiring only from within our city limit, and promoting from within the department.

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

Transparency, and equal access to city services and development initiatives.

MATTIE PARKER

mattieformayor.com

Age: 37

Occupation: CEO, Fort Worth Cradle to Career and Tarrant To and Through Partnership (T3)

Education: University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law)

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? email at info@mattieformayor.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):

Board of Directors for: The Gatehouse’s Legacy Early Learning Academy T3 Partnership Read Fort Worth Operation Progress – Fort Worth ACH Child and Family Services Recovery Resource Council Arts Council - Young Patrons Committee

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?

Good Government Fund PSEL PAC Gary Blake

Why are you seeking this office?

Fort Worth is a remarkable city that I am proud to call home. I’m running for Fort Worth Mayor because I am prepared to lead with principle, bring our community together and tackle the tough issues head on. Fort Worth is soon to be the 12th largest city in the US, our leaders must be prepared to take our city forward while also maintaining the integrity of what makes Fort Worth the community, we all want to raise our families. I will lead with a listening ear and a united voice that speaks for neighborhoods in every part of Fort Worth. I know it takes principled leaders, not politicians, to provide a safer and stronger Fort Worth. I have spent my entire career solving problems and finding solutions. Whether as a CEO of an educational non-profit, Chief of Staff for Mayor Price and City Council, or as a mother of three children, I know that solutions can only result from bringing people together to improve our city.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

A Strong and Smart Recovery from COVID-19The city’s primary responsibilities includes business recovery assistance, close evaluation of our public health system and partnering with our schools and families to reverse significant learning loss.Planning for the future of Fort Worth: economic development, public infrastructure and Understanding how to attract and retain top talent and high-caliber companies while also supporting all our local businesses. An Education Pipeline that Prepares our Students for the Workforce of Tomorrow: Our emphasis and success at putting our students on a pathway to success in college, career and life across Fort Worth must improve. Supporting our Police Department to Fight Violent CrimeIn Fort Worth, we have seen our homicide rate double in the past year. As Mayor, I will fully support our department in all efforts to fight violent crime and restore safety in the areas of our city hit hardest by crime.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

City Hall EfficiencyThis requires focusing our city budget on the basic services that have the biggest impact on our lives. We have some amazingly talented people working for the City of Fort Worth and we must empower them to be problem solvers and create a “get to yes” attitude. FStrong Neighborhoods with emphasis on public safety and city infrastructureOur neighborhoods are the heartbeat of Fort Worth and protecting and supporting them will be a top priority. This starts with public safety, and I will always be a voice for strong police and fire services and push back against any efforts to defund our police force. Growing our economy through innovationWe must focus our economic development efforts on competing in a global economy, aggressively pursuing the next corporate relocation opportunity for Fort Worth. Simultaneously, we must embrace and support entrepreneurs to help grow our economy and develop new, high-paying job.

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

Experience, leadership, and authenticity. Experience: For 17 years I have developed the skills and knowledge necessary to lead Fort Worth into the future. As chief of staff to Mayor and Council I served as the go to problem solver. The issues facing Fort Worth area vast and I have a deep understanding and experience in every issue the Mayor is required to lead and create solutions. Leadership: Governing as Mayor is unlike any other elected position. I possess the executive level experience and presence to ensure this community has leadership that can connect with every resident in Fort Worth, lead the council through complex problems and pivot quickly with a focused strategy for Fort Worth. Authenticity: My candidacy is not a steppingstone to seek higher office. It’s about focusing on Fort Worth and making sure future generations are proud of the community they live in. I want to make Fort Worth even stronger and better across all communities in our city.

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

1. Business Recovery – Business recovery must continue, including the successful work Fort Worth has done distributing PPE loans, but we cannot stop there. We need to support our small business and entrepreneurs in new and innovative ways, cutting any unnecessary regulatory red tape and connecting as many resources as possible across multiple sectors to help businesses recovery and our residents pivot into new businesses post-COVID. 2. Public Health – City leaders must coordinate with every partner who has worked together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic - Tarrant County, UNT Health Science Center, first responders, hospital systems – and do a full evaluation of the impact of this pandemic and understand what public health changes must be met to better meet the needs of our residents. 3. Learning Loss – Fort Worth students and families need every available resource and support to help students get back on track. Multiple city departments have already stepped up to support students, from neighborhood services, libraries, the police department and others, and as public gathering becomes possible again, fully activating our city facilities and employees to support students in after school and summer programming must remain a priority.

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 at the center of Texas where economically we continue to compete with other Texas cities to attract large corporations leaving other states for the business-friendly environment we have here. We are not showcasing the city like we need to, and we cannot continue to take a back seat approach to economic development, relocations and job creation. The mayor must champion these efforts but it in order to be successful we must lean on our successful business leaders to be the true advocates to attract companies. With advancements in technology, we are competing in a global economy and we need to act that way. We must also support our entrepreneurs and businesses in Fort Worth that often go unrecognized. As these companies successfully grow, we need to focus on making sure they feel supported and stay in Fort Worth. We will scale and multiply efforts like Tech Fort Worth and additionally create the right environment for entrepreneurial growth.

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?

Solving the complex issues facing the residents of 76104 will not be solved by city government alone. City leaders have a responsibility to partner with nonprofits, our health care system, neighborhood leaders and residents to create focus on what changes need to occur and prioritize city investment. Let me be clear, the realities facing our community in 76104 are not confined to one zipcode. Creating true transformation in other areas including our infant and maternal mortality rate and teenage pregnancy are also examples of where Fort Worth needs to step up and change outcomes for our community. Quite simply, our reinvestment and focus on 76104 will require less talk and more action. Our long-term success and vitality as a city hinges upon our ability to emphasize the opportunity and revitalization of the area, and the only successful approach will require a heavy emphasis on private public partnership that takes a boots on the ground approach.

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?

Three priorities: Prioritizing efforts to promote economic recovery for our businesses and families and our students. We must align our city budget to ensure we are support our community in recovery and long-term success economically. This includes how to distribute all federal stimulus money. Streamlining city services and departments that cuts down on regulation and burdens to business and residents to encourage more investment and development. City Infrastructure: as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, our public infrastructure is strained, and critical investment is needed in many areas across our city. I A continued investment through the Neighborhood Improvement Strategy should continue as a priority. Public Safety, Public Health and Safe Neighborhoods: Our city’s foundation is in our neighborhoods and without strong public safety. Emerging from COVID, we also know our needs for public health investment and coordination is critical for residents.

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?

As mentioned in my response to the question about economic development, we must continue attract new businesses and help grow our established businesses here in Fort Worth. Currently our tax base is approximately 40% commercial and 60% residential. We will never be able to lessen the tax burden on residents until we flip this. Economic Development efforts that focus on corporate relocation and true commercial growth is the only way to rebalance our tax base in Fort Worth to take the burdens off of individual homeowners. Maintaining a fiscally responsible approach to spending and keeping our tax rate as low as possible coupled with a lessened tax burden will allow us to do our part toward stabilizing property tax burden on our Fort Worth families.

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?

Trinity Metro is a standalone organization outside of the City of Fort Worth and city departments. Future consideration of allocated money from the general fund must go through the same budget approval process of city departments with approval and recommendation from city management and ultimately with the city council. These are major decisions that require a thoughtful partnership between everyone involved and ultimately better communication and carefully vetting these opportunities will lead to better success of any future funding opportunities. Rather than coming from a place of frustration about our current funding structure, I am choosing to be optimistic about our ability to pivot and be ready for the quickly evolving transportation options that are emerging because of technology. Let’s use our current growth and opportunity as a reset to look at how to do transit exceedingly well and meet the growing demands of our residents today and tomorrow. Refocus specific projects, pilot smaller quick efforts like more ZipZones, Think Regional and explore a partnership with DART and DCTA and optimize communication and join advocacy efforts.

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?

Our responsibilities to fund major infrastructure as one of the fastest growing cities in the country is difficult and we are often outpaced by our population. It is critical for our city leaders to take a very proactive and involved approach to growth and development. A smarter strategy that involves input from private sector partners is true long-term planning and will put Fort Worth in the right direction. There must also be close collaboration with the North Central Texas Council of Governments, TxDOT and city planners to ensure we are prepared for the future. Lastly, with an upcoming bond election, city leaders must have a specific focus on development and infrastructure investment and coordination.

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 for current and perspective elected leadership to project and politicize their ideas on what the civilian review board should look like before recommendations have been made is irresponsible. The City Council took an important step to ensure there is accountability among police offers when they created the Office of Police Oversight, which is headed by Kim Neal, an expert on police reform. Neal is working thoughtfully to understand how to make the Race and Culture Task Force’s call for a citizen review board successful and effective. She is also using the independent review conducted by law enforcement experts along with current efforts to improve the Fort Worth Police Department led by Chief Noakes in her study to determine the best next steps for Fort Worth. For myself, or any candidate, to outline what this review board should look like defeats the purpose of Neal’s process and expertise.

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?

Let me start by saying, I know we have one of the best police departments and police officers in the country. We ask our officers to be all things, to all people, all of the time. Any candidate for mayor must acknowledge, that no efforts to reform or improve our police department is possible without the right leadership in FWPD. Noakes and his command staff have the talent, the experience and the focus to make improvements from recruiting, training, discipline, enhanced multi-disciplinary teams, transparency and community building. Additionally, we have the City of Fort Worth’s Office of Police Oversight Monitor led by Kim Neal, which as I mentioned in my previous answer, was established as a mechanism with which to provide oversight and accountability of the police department. Laying these out is critical to answer this question because any lasting policing reforms and community work will require the full cooperation of both these leaders. This cooperation is already occurring, and I would champion the collaboration that will also include the Mayor and Council. Plan number one is working to first understand all progress plans and future implementation that is prioritized by the OPOM office and Chief Noakes.

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

It is my firm belief that we have stopped listening in this country. We have taken our political corners and stopped trying to come together, understand our differences and find consensus where possible. This is directly applicable to any work surrounding racial or true healing and change. 1. Develop listening roundtables across every area of our city to hear from residents in a real and less intimidating fashion. Allowing more time, in smaller groups and in settings and formats that feel safe and accepting. Leaders like Estrus Tucker would be ideal to help us achieve these forums. 2. Sit down in one-on-one or larger groups with every mayoral candidate that ran for mayor. It is important we hear their perspective and what they learned on the campaign trail. Those of us running are talking to thousands of people, and that experience is important and valuable to our entire community. 3. Develop an initiative with or local school districts to work with students, listen to students to understand what they feel, worry about and want to see in their community. 4. Partner with Cristina Brooks and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to develop/implement her goals and community objectives. 5. Scale our Neighborhood Improvement initiative to ensure we are reaching more neighborhoods as quickly as possible. We must keep our focus in investing in neighborhoods that have been long ignored like Rosemont and Stop-Six. 6. Continue supporting police budget funded community and grassroots efforts that partner in community through paid civilian positions and the citizen’s response unit.

STEVE PENATE

stevepenateformayor.com

Age: 37

Occupation: Real Estate Broker

Education: Bachelors degree from ASU

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Please email

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 a local pastor and I serve on the board of The Justice Reform - a nonprofit that saves women from sex-trafficking and provides them with long-term housing.

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?

Myself,

Why are you seeking this office?

I want to bring integrity and transparency to the mayoral seat. My desire is to use the position of mayor to build a culture of respect and honor in this city, and to bring back conservative values and individual liberty.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

Wasteful government spending, poor educational structure, government over-reach of individual liberty.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Lower taxes/incentivizing business development - Improve schools through cooperation - cut unnecessary spending in the budget

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

I have a passion for people, a passion for business, and a passion for Fort Worth. I will lead with a backbone to ensure transparency in the mayor’s seat. I will not, and can not be bought. I will never bow my knee to degenerative ideologies that compromise my conservative values. I will always lead form the front, and I believe it is time for a leader that has a strong voice.

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

I would have ensured individual liberty to all citizens and allowed them to make their own choices regarding their personal health. I would have left it up individual businesses what precautions they put in place and whether they shut down or not. People can assess their own risk and make decisions for themselves regarding their health. That should never be the job of government.

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 must lower the corporate tax rate and incentivize businesses to move into Fort Worth. We must grow strategically with a business-friendly mindset and make sure there is room for healthy business development and expansion.

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?

Business brings life to communities. To bring business to communities we have to have the infrastructure for business to thrive. We need to reduce funds that are poured into unnecessary government projects and put our money where it really makes a difference - into our underfunded and marginalized communities and neighborhoods. We can improve infrastructure in these areas and promote business growth to allow the communities to flourish.

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?

My budget will be a no-nonsense budget. I will cut unnecessary spending and promote healthy business development to stimulate our economy in the coming years. While in office, I will fight to keep businesses open so that people’s livelihoods remain in tact. This will also keep sales tax revenue flowing.

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?

The property tx in Fort Worth is abysmal. The city sets the tax rate, and as mayor, I will ensure that as property value increases, the marginal tax rate will decrease as to offset higher taxes, and make living in Fort Worth more affordable for all families.

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?

Transportation is important. There are so many line items in the budget that have unnecessary funds allocated to them. I will cut unnecessary spending and make sure our funds are allocated to the right things - i.e. transportation and infrastructure.

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 inevitable. As we grow, we must do so with wisdom and preparation. I am not an expert on the trends of suburban population movement and growth, but I will surround myself with people that are experts in theses fields to give me wise counsel on how to expand our city with intention.

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 it is good to have transparency in all areas of life and government. However, this review board can not restrict the duties or resources of or Fort Worth police officers. This review board should only be in place to promote transparency and accountability between our law enforcement AND our citizens.

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 have yet to review these issues, but when I look at the budget fully, I will have more insight into what funds are being used for. However, the police will have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to ensure that they get the funding they need to be successful.

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

As a mayor, I will lead from the front, as part of the community. I believe that there are communities in our city that have been largely overlooked. I will be an advocate for ALL the people of Fort Worth. With the help of wise counsel, and the input of our citizens, we can make Fort Worth a city that people from all walks of life can proudly call home.

DEBORAH PEOPLES

DeborahPeoplesForMayor.com

Age: 68 years young!

Occupation: Retired AT&T Vice President, Chair of Tarrant County Democratic Party

Education: BS Texas Woman’s University 1973, MBA Texas Woman’s University 2005

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Message through Facebook (@PeoplesForMayor) or email @deborahpeoplesformayor.com

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

Mayor of Fort Worth 2019, Chair Tarrant County Democratic Party

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

Chair Tarrant County Democratic Party, Sister Cities Board, Red Cross Board, Sickle Cell North Texas

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?

Vertex Asset Partners, LP, Bernard Charbonnet, Tree of Life Funeral Home

Why are you seeking this office?

I wish to use my experience as a business leader, mother, and progressive change maker to lead our city out of crisis and unite us into one Fort Worth.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

The glaring issues our city faces - stark public health disparities, overlooked economic potential in under-resourced neighborhoods, growth outpacing infrastructure- are all rooted in the longstanding divisions within our city. From day one, this campaign has been focused on united us in to One Fort Worth.The pandemic has proven that we are only as healthy as our sickest neighborhoods. Shamefully, Fort Worth is home to the zip code with the lowest life expectancy in all of Texas. Our historic growth can be a great asset, but we must assure that all of our communities benefit from that growth. Moreover, our city cannot continue to be a place where residents feel unsafe and are fearful of being targeted by senseless violence.My background as a business leader, mother, and progressive change-maker makes me uniquely qualified to heal these longstanding divisions and unite us into One Fort Worth.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

End the public health crisis; lead the recovery of our economy by ensuring the benefits from our growth go to all our neighborhoods; and ensuring our city is a safe and attractive place to work and start a family.

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

After thirty years at AT&at where I worked my way up to the level of Vice President over 22 states, I have the most experience of anyone in this race. As the only candidate with a MBA, I will use my business experience to attract new jobs and design smart incentives to ensure all of our neighborhoods benefit from our rapid growth.

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

Long before the president bloc health crisis, Fort Worth passed on simple, cost-effective solutions which would have dramatically improved the baseline health and wellness of our residents. Past leaders even eliminated the city’s health department. As a result, Fort Worth has long been his me to the zip code with the lowest life expectancy in Texas. That same zip code has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, which leads to increased rates all across our 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?

Our historic growth rate creates a wealth of opportunity that past leaders have failed to utilize. Leaning on three decades as a senior executive in the business world, I will look to proven tools for economic growth: targeted business incentives, investments in previously ignored communities, and economic relief based on need instead of insider connections.

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?

This is is a great question and something I often mention when discussing public health and the quality of life in our city. Too many parts of our city have suffered from intentional neglect and lack of investment from our city’s leaders, many of whom are my opponents in the race.Ending disparities in access to pharmacies, groceries, and broadband is the least we can do to help long-standing divisions and unite One Fort Worth. Efforts to end those disparities need to be a part of so many of endeavor from attracting new businesses to investing in public infrastructure.

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?

My priorities for the budget will be looking at what sectors provide the highest return on investment: chiefly infrastructure projects, efficient public health initiatives, and nuanced means of attracting businesses. These investments will not only pay the best dividends in the future but will also achieve the incalculable benefit of healing the longstanding divisions in our city. In an environment where the federal government is aggressive with investments for healthcare and public works initiatives, our city leaders must put Fort Worth on the map for federal funding.

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?

Fort Worth’s tax system is upside down, putting an undue burden on too many residents. To achieve my goal of making Fort Worth an attractive place to work and start a family, we must ease undue burdens and move towards a system where everyone pays a fair share. As Vice President at AT&T, I was tasked with growing revenue across nearly half of the country. My 30 years of business experience will inform the targeted changes I make in the service of balancing our tax system.

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?

Please allow me to answer the last question first. I am totally focused on promoting smart infrastructure in our city. We have witnessed Dallas and other cities add lane after lane and focusing too much on automotive transit which causes congestion, frustration and pollution. I will focus on a balanced approach to infrastructure investments including light rail to make it easier and more efficient to travel around all parts 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?

It is imperative that we work with developers when creating new subdivisions. As our city to grow, partnership is key to prevent gridlock.

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 task force should indeed be established because the city must keep our promises. Moreover, the board must focus on critical issues and not just be reactionary. My goal as mayor is to ensure that that the board is representative of our entire city.

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 must ensure improved training of new recruits. We also need more diversity on our police force which will reflect our majority minority city. We must ensure that our police have mandated training in mental health, domestic violence and diversity.

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

From reevaluating hiring practices to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants, Fort Worth must reflect our residents. By attracting diverse workers we only make our city even better!

CHRIS RECTOR

Did not respond

ANN ZADEH

www.annzadeh.com

Age: 54

Occupation: Fort Worth City Council Member Place 9. AICP Certified City and Regional Planner.

Education: BA - Environmentsl Studies, UC Santa Cruz. Master’s - City and Regional Planning. UT Arlington

What’s the best way for voters to reach you? Through the website, social media, or at my email address ann@annzadeh.com.

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

3.5 Terms Fort Worth City Council

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

Fort Worth Zoning Commision, Member (6 Years)Fort Worth Zoning Commision, Chair (1 Years)Fort Worth City Council member, District 9 (6 Years)Fort Worth Urban Design Commission, Member Tarrant Transit Alliance, Member

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?

Virginia Thresh, Peter Croninger, Rosa Navejar

Why are you seeking this office?

I feel my experience, educational and professional background make me the best qualified person to lead Fort Worth to its best possible future.

What are the biggest challenges facing your city/district?

INFRASTRUCTURE - The recent freeze demonstrated Fort Worth’s critical need to update our aging infrastructure. While infrastructure is not the most exciting issue, it is absolutely critical to our City and our residents. As Mayor, with my experience as a professional city planner, I will work to improve this essential aspect of our City.JOBS - We should encourage the relocation of new-economy companies to Fort Worth that will bring new, good paying jobs to residents, particularly our young people. To often, our younger residents move away to go to school and never come back. The availability of quality, good paying employment opportunities will encourage them to return home and contribute to our City.GROWTH - Our City is facing unprecedented growth - the type of growth that puts tremendous stress on our ability to provide the services our residents need. Again, as a professional city planner, I believe we need to be much more proactive. Thus far, we’ve been entirely too reactive.

What would your top 3 policy priorities be?

Upgrade and improve our infrastructure. Manage our growth responsibly and effectively.Increase transparency and ethics in local government.

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

No other candidate has the background, knowledge, and experience to make forward-looking decisions about how to most effectively and efficiently run the City of Fort Worth. This is an incredibly difficult and complicated period in our City’s history, and as Mayor, I will bring that knowledge and experience to the dais.

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

I would have based the City’s COVID-19 policy completely on the basis of the best medical and scientific advice without consideration of political posturing. There is no place for partisan or personal politics in decisions of public health.

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 needs to be more appealing to fast-growing, new-economy businesses. We must improve our City in ways that make Fort Worth more attractive to, not just these businesses, but the employees they need to thrive. We must improve our transportation and mass transit system to appeal to younger people who would rather utilize a multimodal system than a completely auto-based approach. We must provide alternative housing opportunities, including higher-density, walkable communities where services are all easily within reach of residents. We will always be a City that supports single-family housing, but we must recognize there is a huge demand, particularly amoung young professionals, for an alternative neighborhood structure. Also, as a City we must become a strong partner with our local schools and education providers to make Fort Worth a desirable place for new workers to stay and grow their families.

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 MUST invest in the improvement of and access to jobs, transportation, healthy food and medical services. It is imperative we understand the difference between equality and equity in our approach. All neighborhoods have unique needs - the answer to these issues is not a one-size-fits-all, but rather a collaboration with communities to determine how best to serve the residents. ASKING communities what they need, rather than dictating what we think or assume they need from the dias, is the approach I will take. I also think it’s important to partner with existing community organizations, such as non-profits, local businesses, and faith-based organization, to innovate and streamline the process. We should also be open to learning from other communities across the US who have met these challenges, for example, researching various way to attract grocery stores and quality food providers to underserved areas.

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?

Infrastructure, in particular sustainable infill development: utilizing existing infrastructure has a higher return on investment than new builds on the fringes of the city.Jobs and new businesses: we can grow our tax base and our economy by creating and bringing new businesses and jobs to 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?

Attract new businesses and good paying jobs to Fort Worth.

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, we should spend more on public transportation - it is a topic I am very passionate about. As I have stated above, the creation and expansion of a quality multimodal transporation system is an investment to make our City more attractive to the kinds of businesses and employees we want and need in Fort Worth. My city planning background and service to the Tarrant Transit Alliance have given me a deeper understanding of this issue. It is clear that we must think about transportation in a more comprehensive way than has been the case in the past.

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?

Perpetually continuing to expand roads is not a workable solution to this problem; growth will always overwhelm the capacity of our roadways over time. We must think of transportation in a more complete way. Improvements in both mass transit and multimodal transportation options, and innovative technology will help alleviate congestion on arterial street, but the solution is the sum total of many attempts to address the overall problem.

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 have hired a police monitor and a police expert panel who both bring expertise on this topic to the discussion. I strongly support the creation of a civilian police review board, particularly because this is a common piece of oversight. Fort Worth is one of only two or three of the largest cities in America that still does not have such a board. We need to take this step forward in police/citizen relations.

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?

The police serve an important role in our city and our communities. Police need to enforce the law, protect the residents of the city, and investigate and solve crimes. Over time, we have made the police a catchall for any problem an individual has. As a result, the police take time away form their important core job roles to find themselves dealing with mental health issues, disputes between neighbors, issues of code compliance and many other circumstances that are not central to their core responsibility. I would do everything in my power to get the police back to doing their very important job and figure out ways of handling the extra tasks that are currently their responsibility simply for lack of a better alternative.

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

Fort Worth must recognize that we have a history of inequitable treatment of People of Color and work to repair those relationships. We must continue to redress the inequities of the past and create a more inclusive city for ALL of our residents. We need to encourage more residents from all ethnic and racial backgrounds that make up Fort Worth to pursue careers in city service. We need more People of Color in our police and fire services. We must also make sure that as we continue to grow, we are providing and distributing resources more equitably, particulary those which create businesses and employment opportunities for Communities of Color. Every person and group should benefit as we grow and improve our city.