DALLAS — The City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed Mayor Eric Johnson’s “Dallas First” procurement resolution.
The resolution directs the city manager to create a program aimed at maximizing economic return in the City’s procurement of goods and services. The program may include — but is not limited to — giving preference to prospective contractors for employing Dallas residents, for producing goods and services in the city, for having operations based in Dallas, or for participating in other activities that create an economic benefit for Dallas residents or increase the City’s tax revenues.
Mayor Johnson proposed the resolution in light of the economic effects of the COVID-19 economic restrictions.
“I proposed this program to help keep Dallas taxpayers’ money in Dallas and to stimulate our local economy, which has been hit hard by COVID-19,” Mayor Johnson said. “Dallas will bounce back from this pandemic, but it will take a concerted effort from the government and the private sector. Dallas First will help in that process and will provide a much-needed boost to our local businesses.”
Here are other updates from the mayor’s office:
We just unanimously approved the @CityOfDallas’s first ever Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan. This plan will ensure we are taking necessary steps to overcome our environmental challenges and to make Dallas a global leader in addressing environmental issues.
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) May 27, 2020
CECAP passes unanimously
The City Council on Wednesday also unanimously passed the city’s first ever Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP).
The CECAP was previously recommended by the Environment & Sustainability Committee, chaired by City Councilmember Omar Narvaez. When Mayor Johnson created the city’s first-ever standalone committee devoted to environmental issues, he made the creation and implementation of the CECAP its No. 1 priority.
“For decades, Dallas has faced numerous environmental challenges. We have contended with air pollution, water pollution, and toxic hazards throughout our city, but particularly in underserved areas,” Mayor Johnson said. “I grew up partially in the shadow of a lead smelter plant in West Dallas. That’s something none of us want for our children today. Now, I believe, we are taking steps to overcome such challenges and to make Dallas a global leader in addressing environmental issues.
“The CECAP takes a balanced and common-sense approach — one that sets ambitious goals, but also accounts for our economic needs. This plan was a tremendous undertaking and achievement, and I thank Chairman Narvaez for his leadership.”
The CECAP outlines 97 actions the city can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality in every ZIP code in the city.
Here are the plan’s eight overarching goals:
- Make buildings more efficient.
- Generate and encouraging renewable, reliable, and affordable energy.
- Ensure Dallas communities have access to sustainable, affordable, transportation options.
- Make Dallas a zero-waste community.
- Protect water resources and communities from flooding and drought.
- Protect and enhance the city’s ecosystems, trees, and green spaces that in turn improve public health.
- Provide all communities with access to healthy, locally grown, and sustainable food.
- Ensure all Dallas communities breathe clean air.
Read the CECAP here. And read letters of support here.
Council rejects tax proposal
The City Council on Wednesday rejected a proposal from the city manager’s office to allow the Dallas County tax assessor’s office to calculate an 8% tax increase for Dallas residents.
The Texas Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, commonly known as SB 2, capped growth in property tax revenue for local governments at 3.5 percent unless the government falls within a disaster area or unless voters approve a larger increase in a referendum election.
The City Council officially votes to set the tax rate in August and September.
Mayor Johnson questioned why the item needed to be on Wednesday’s agenda. He voted first for a motion to defer the item until June 24, which failed on a 7-7 vote, and then against the item.
“I will not consider adding to our residents’ economic woes until the city manager presents us with some alternative plans,” Mayor Johnson said. “Our residents and businesses in Dallas have faced enough uncertainty in the past two months. They don’t need or deserve to have the possibility of a city property tax hike looming over them this summer.”
Mayor’s Milk Initiative update
The Mayor’s Milk Initiative, a partnership with Borden Dairy and Dallas ISD, continues Thursday with a distribution at George W. Truett Elementary, located at 1811 Gross Rd., Dallas, TX 75228.
The distribution will begin at 10 a.m. and runs until noon.
“I am grateful that the Mayor’s Milk Initiative has already helped hundreds of families in need,” Mayor Johnson said. “This is yet another example of our communities coming together in times of crisis.”
Volunteers with the Skillman Church of Christ will distribute the milk on Thursday. Census fliers will also be provided to recipients.
Each household may have up to two gallons of milk for free. The program is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which is part of Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program.
Borden received the USDA’s largest award under the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and plans to distribute a total of 700 million servings of milk in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Home Depot has agreed to provide gloves and masks to the volunteers at all Mayor’s Milk Initiative sites.
More distributions are scheduled for the weekend.
Mayor’s statement on street racing ordinance
Mayor Johnson issued the following statement after Wednesday’s passage of item 52, an ordinance regarding street racing in Dallas.
“I am proud of the City Council for unanimously passing a new ordinance that gives law enforcement more tools to halt reckless and dangerous street racing in Dallas,” Mayor Johnson said. “This is an important step to improve public safety and to address a serious issue for our neighborhoods.”
Community Police Oversight Board statement
Multiple public speakers on Wednesday called on the city manager to reinstate Community Police Oversight Board meetings. Mayor Johnson issued the following statement:
“The city manager should absolutely allow the Community Police Oversight Board to meet virtually,” Mayor Johnson said. “It is vital to our city to have a healthy dialogue between our police and the community they protect, especially right now.”
New CVS COVID-19 testing sites
CVS Health announced Wednesday that it will offer self-swab COVID-19 tests at nine new sites in Dallas.
The new locations are part of the company’s plans to have up to 1,000 such testing sites across the country by the end of May, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month.
Testing will be scheduled online and will take place at select CVS Pharmacy locations through the drive-thru window. The sites will open Friday.
Here are the new CVS COVID-19 locations in Dallas:
9390 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75234
13033 Coit Road, Dallas, TX 75240
7102 Campbell Road Dallas TX 75248
7203 Skillman Street Dallas TX 75231
10014 Garland Road Dallas TX 75218
17410 Marsh Lane Dallas TX 75287
3030 Sylvan Avenue Dallas TX 75212
150 East Illinois Avenue Dallas TX 75216
7979 Beltline Road Dallas TX 75254