Turns out there's nothing at all random about the day the city chose to debut its Seeds of Change website devoted to Southern Dallas. It comes just three days before Mayor Mike Rawlings unveils his so-called Southern Dallas Economic Growth Plan at Jack Matthews's movie studio on S. Lamar, which was funded with Your Tax Dollars. Then two days after that the full council will be briefed on "A Plan for Growth in Southern Dallas: Leveraging Assets and Focusing Resources."
Leverage -- second time we've heard that word this week coming out of City Hall. And that too is no coincidence: On Monday the council's Quality of Life Committee will discuss ways to get people back to Fair Park. And, no, they aren't listening to Schutze. Here's that provocatively underwhelming PowerPoint, "Fair Park: A Great Public Space For Special Events and Programs."
But the Southern Dallas sneak peek's on the other side -- a 63-page, four-part strategy for getting the south side to rise again. Actually, insists the briefing, things are actually pretty good in that part of town -- or, at least, better than the perception, which is why the city and the adman cometh intend to "develop an ambitious and effective marketing communications plan" for Southern Dallas. (And, no, it doesn't say who's paying for it or how.) Among the stats offered as proof: "Crime is Lower in North Oak Cliff than in Northern Dallas." Well, then.
Back to that four-part strategy for revitalization:
1. Encourage an Environment for Growth
2. Change Perceptions about Southern Dallas
3. Target Investments in Successfully Growing Areas
4. Drive Performance and Accountability with Goals and Measures for Each Priority
The doc below fleshes out each, to a point, using as positive examples, oh, Bishop Arts (which the city wants to expand from Bishop Ave. to Jefferson in the hopes of turning the latter into "a 'model Main Street' for Southern Dallas"), the Inland Port (which "will provide quality jobs to attract residents"), Pinnacle Park ("Build on traction generated by City and private investors by leveraging business recruitment and redevelopment success") and the Cedars (which needs "more housing choices and [to] enhance the live-work-play environment").
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The doc's below, and it ends with the reminder: "Key investments and plans must be put in place today or new development will not be orderly and sustainable in the coming decades and overall growth will be lower and slower than it could be." So go, read it. Just make sure to leave your 15 percent first.