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Dallas to consider adopting citywide racial equity plan

The proposed plan could help address disparities that have negatively and historically impacted lower income neighborhoods and communities of color.

DALLAS — Some plans are in the works to address racial equity concerns and realities in the City of Dallas. 

A proposed citywide racial equity plan was discussed during the Dallas City Council’s Workforce, Education, and Equity committee meeting on Monday.

Dallas is a large city. Yet, it’s a place with a long and recognized history of racial challenges.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Councilmember Jaynie Schultz.

There are longtime tales of Dallas’ North-South divide. Redlining and environmental concerns continue to cripple some communities South of Interstate 30. 

"This is racial equity week,” said Councilman Casey Thomas.

Conversations about equity are, once again, taking center stage at Dallas City Hall.

“This is arguably one of the most important things we are doing in the city,” said Schultz.

The proposed plan is described as a framework to help city administrators and departments understand and address disparities across Dallas. It could tackle socio-economic, quality of life, and other issues that have, unfortunately, left some neighbors and neighborhoods looked upon as the have-nots versus the have-a-lots.

Following the deaths of George Floyd and others, and days of community protests in 2019, Dallas City Council adopted a racial equity resolution. Since that time, consultants have been meeting with community leaders and city staff.

The group’s been seeking input to build key strategies that could close disparities that historically impact some of Dallas’ lower income neighborhoods and communities of color.

"In the past, the way that we’ve done things have been harmful to individuals who live in communities of color. And this plan is the first step in righting wrongs, historically, that have happened here in the City of Dallas for half a century,” explained Thomas.

City staff said the goal of the plan is to move the needle in advancing equity. That means audits and honest conversations.

A report on equity and affordable housing in Dallas will be revealed during a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

“I think that where we are heading as a city, is one that rises all boats, and does it in an honest and open way,” said Schultz. 

The committee said its goal is to approve a citywide racial equity plan for Dallas sometime in 2022.

    

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