DALLAS — City leaders in Dallas officially adopted a new Racial Equity Plan. The plan is designed to help level the playing field in communities across the city.
City Council members voted to approve the initiative during their meeting on Wednesday. While some residents believe the plan is long overdue, there are some who believe the city and community need more time to include perspective from more residents, especially those who have experienced racial inequities.
Many neighbors in Dallas have long talked about perceptions of the haves and the have-nots, and the north-south racial and economic divide.
That’s been the case for long-time West Dallas residents like Dewonald Moffit and Rayella Boyd.
“If you drive around our neighborhood, you can tell that some things haven’t been done in a long time,” Boyd said.
The neighbors have been residents in West Dallas’ primarily Black and Hispanic Homestead community for more than six decades. They’re among residents who said the area has fought the City of Dallas for issues including better streets and sidewalks, affordable housing and environmental justice matters among other things.
“We need where we can be on the same page as North Dallas, Garland, or Richardson or Cedar Hill. You know, we need to be on the same page,” Boyd said.
A Racial Equity Plan is something some Dallas leaders have been pushing to adopt for more than a year. Some say it would address disparities that have negatively and historically impacted lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
“Today we have an opportunity to take the first step to re-establish trust with communities of color,” said Councilman Casey Thomas.
Dallas City Council voted on its Racial Equity Plan during a meeting that became controversial, at times, on Wednesday. After a record vote of its 15 members, the only person voting against approving the Racial Equity Plan was North Dallas Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn.
“Most of the items that are talked about in this plan are actually basic city functions that we should be already providing. That we have these deficiencies is a deficiency of City Hall,” Mendelsohn told her colleagues before the vote.
Some community members also shared comments before the vote. Several of them shared they would like to see more inclusion of the city’s Spanish-speaking residents, if equity is truly the city’s goal.
The City of Dallas is expected to host public meetings about the Racial Equity Plan on September 8 and September 10. To learn more about the City of Dallas Racial Equity Plan, click here.