Policy Goals

Homelessness Solutions—Miramar Hotel Project

In December 2020, the City of Dallas used federal CARE Act funds to purchase a number of “problem” hotels throughout the city. The funds were required to be used for housing for homeless individuals impacted by COVID-19 – failure to use the funds would mean that the funds would go back to Washington DC for likely disbursement to other cities. The City saw the opportunity to take the Miramar Hotel, one of our district’s worst drains public safety resources due to the number of 911 calls, and turn it into something better for the community.

After the purchase of the hotel, city staff began helping longer term residents of the Miramar find new homes throughout the city.  That process continues. Homeless individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19 are now sequestered in the hotel and then transported back to the Bridge and other shelters after recovery. Long term plans, which are being discussed by staff and a work group composed of neighbors and led by Commissioner Jennifer Snow (a resident of Stevens Park), include selecting a vendor such as VNA or Catholic Charities to run a transitional housing facility and putting a permit process in place so the community continues to have a voice on facility operations well into the future.

As a politician, the easy choice would’ve been to quietly say “no” to staff’s suggestion of purchasing this facility. As a leader, I knew this was the right thing to do. For homeless neighbors, these 75 units will offer a chance for a new life, and for our community, the chance to help others while also transforming a crime-ridden property into something redeeming.

We had a one-time opportunity to take a problem property and turn it into something better with greater community input. There were fears about an unsavory element being present at this property. The hard data tells a different story. 9-1-1 calls have fallen by 50 percent from Jan-Feb 2020 to Jan-Feb 2021. I believe we will continue to reduce crime by having social work staff on site 24/7 as we provide wraparound services.

The City needs 4000+ additional transitional housing units, and all Council districts are being asked to accept a share of the units we need. By being proactive instead of reactive, District 1 had the chance to have more of a say in exactly who this facility houses, such as veterans or senior citizens. Waiting until projects have been identified in other districts would mean less neighborhood direction for this project.

Every person I’ve spoken with agrees that we have to do more for Dallas residents experiencing homelessness. The shelters are full, namely because people don’t have anywhere to go for that next step, the transitional home where they live while they work, save money, and have managed care to help them get back on their feet. DART operates bus service in this area which provides access to the greater DART system, including light rail, to access jobs. Transitional housing is our most sorely needed housing type to bring people out of homelessness permanently.

Public Safety

Dallas’ biggest public safety challenge is the retention of quality talent coupled with ongoing violent crime. But we also face the added challenge of creating cohesive and collaborative relationships between officers and the communities they serve. As urban police departments learn and apply 21st century police tactics, we must support evidence-based strategies to engage community members and ensure quality outcomes of resident interactions with police.

I supported officer starting pay raises during my first term, but those pay increases did not bring DPD in line with suburban departments. We must do better. We can work to provide other inducements that allow officers and fire fighters to live in the city they serve. Furthermore, we must provide visionary leadership and training that helps improve sensitivity to diverse groups.


  • Offer affordable housing opportunities to our police officers and firefighters
  • Identify wasteful spending in our city’s budget and redirect funds to public safety salaries
  • Increase starting salaries and improve health benefits to retain quality talent
  • Leverage the city’s land bank as a strategy to provide affordable housing for public safety staff
  • Increase staff numbers of community police officers to improve relationships between communities and law enforcement

Housing Affordability and Supply

I served for the first 18 months of my Council term as Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Solutions Committee. Rising housing costs in Dallas are driven primarily by a lack of supply. We need more workforce housing to meet the demand as new residents continue to move to North Texas in droves. That’s why I issued the 1,000 unit housing challenge during my term as Chair of HHS.

I am also a strong supporter of the Comprehensive Housing Policy (2018) and helped draft key sections. I support continued implementation and adjusting when appropriate to meet our goals. In my time on Council, I’ve seen numerous “exceptions” to the policy brought forward by staff and have pushed back against disregarding our own City policies. If the policies don’t work, I believe we need to change them, but we need a clear and transparent approach that applies equally to everyone who seeks to build homes in Dallas. Developers shouldn’t get a pass on following policy just because they have good relationships with staff members.

To reduce and hopefully eliminate displacement, we must bring more rooftops to Oak Cliff and provide more economic opportunities (jobs and entrepreneur resources). While on the City Plan Commission, I played key roles in drafting the live-work and incentive zoning ordinances, both of which are tools recommended by the Comprehensive Housing Policy to increase the number of affordable units available.

The heart of Dallas is comprised of our single-family neighborhoods, and we must cherish them at all costs. I have never and will never support a project that involves tearing down single-family homes and upzoning the lots. To protect our beautiful commercial/retail structures that exist along our former streetcar lines and stops, we must give property owners incentives to keep them intact.


  • Supports inclusionary zoning to induce developers to add affordable housing stock to new construction projects
  • Supports utilizing the city’s land bank to increase affordable housing stock (already underway, introduced by former CM Griggs in 2018)
  • Fought for tax stabilization overlays for areas sensitive to over-development and will work for a commercial tax stabilization overlay to protect local businesses.
  • Favors tweaking language of Comprehensive Housing Policy to remove the requirement that neighborhoods must “opt in” to allow accessory dwelling units. Favors a way for neighborhoods to opt out if desired.


We must work to make our streets safer and more accessible for more users, including pedestrians and cyclists AT THE SAME TIME as making much-needed basic street improvements. Dallas’ dated infrastructure has more consequences than just potholes. Our enormous roads and minimal sidewalks just seem to open the flood gates for street racers and speeding. As we update our aging infrastructure, we also need a vision for complete streets that prioritize walkability and pedestrian safety, especially in underserved neighborhoods. Infrastructure updates should include strategies to reduce speeding on major thoroughfares.


  • Fight for prompt attention in areas where repairs are needed to streets and sidewalks.
  • Will fight for funding to add sidewalks and pedestrian connectivity where there are no pedestrian routes, prioritizing those that would extend safe routes to schools.
  • Change the bidding process for public works contractors from lowest cost to best value.
  • Increase fines for contractors who use streets and sidewalks for storage

Government Accessibility and Transparency

I am a big believer in direct outreach and accessibility to improve citizen involvement and outcomes for residents and businesses that live and work in our City. This term, I voted against moving our once monthly evening Dallas City Council meeting to the daytime. Though I sympathized with staff and my colleagues who don’t want to be at City Hall until midnight, I also believe that working people deserve opportunities to have their concerns heard in the public forum of our government process.


I’ve fought tooth and nail to reduce the delays at the building permit office and improve efficiencies. After personally experiencing the delays in permitting for new businesses, I have firsthand knowledge of how these delays impact everyone from developers to fence-builders and tradesmen. Lost time at work directly impacts how individuals are able to care for their families and costs the City money.


  • Renew the process of applying for building permits to be completely online and to utilize a system that actually works.
  • Revitalize the City Hall Annex on Jefferson to be more user-friendly and accessible to local business owners.

New Urbanism

Dallas’ history as a city is fraught with instances where highways and development plowed through minority neighborhoods, cutting them in half to allow suburban workers to reach downtown and disregarding strength of neighborhood economies. In particular, the construction of I-345 and Central Expressway cut the historic African American Deep Ellum neighborhood completely off from downtown. Our automobile focused development led to the removal of resources we now wish we had – like street car lines and local rail – and destroyed the fabric of those unique neighborhoods. Coupled with a policy of redlining at all levels, minority neighborhoods have suffered the most because of auto-focused development.


I support a careful strategy of urban renewal that includes prioritizing Dallas’ neighborhoods over suburbs.


  • Supports the creation of designated bike lanes where appropriate
  • Supports the use of smart urban design strategies to improve access to small businesses as a way to bolster our local mom and pop shops and to improve access to local schools
  • Supports removal of I-345 and replacing it with a boulevard that can provide opportunities for transit-oriented development and workforce housing

Mobility in Dallas | Curb Extensions

Mobility in Dallas | Woonerfs

Creating Little Villages

Mobility in Dallas | Bioswales

Coombs Creek Trail Expansion