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Dallas City Council Is Choosing Next Year’s ‘Priority’ Initiatives. Which Would You Pick?

City Council members met last month at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum to discuss strategy.
City Council members met last month at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum to discuss strategy.
McGuire Boles

Each year, the Dallas City Council meets to plan strategy. At last year's session in June, council members contemplated "2020 Priorities" scrawled in Sharpie on rolls of butcher paper. They placed stickers next to their favorites, creating a conspicuous cluster.

"I think what emerged from this — clearly — is, public safety is something that's important for everyone," newly elected Mayor Eric Johnson told WFAA, taking the opportunity to note that the police department was on pace to meet its hiring goals. We know how that turned out.

This year, the city is stepping up its game. Last month, council members met for a daylong retreat at the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum downtown, where "breakout teams identified 'big, hairy, audacious goals'" and "completed a free-form exercise to add new initiatives to be considered for 2020-2022," the city manager reported. Ideas ranged from "stick to the basics" (Councilman Lee Kleinman) to "City Funded Pre-K for all" (Councilman Adam Bazaldua).

In total, the council produced more than 100 ideas. Now, with the help of "preloaded iPads" provided by the city, they spent Monday whittling down that list "to gather consensus and momentum around those items which will serve as the collective body’s priorities for the upcoming budget biennium."

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The council must choose six initiatives per category, but we'll give you more leeway. Pick your favorite or pick them all. We'll report the top vote-getters later this week.

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