• Simon Rook

Dallas City Council Voting Begins

TLDR:

Dallas City Council early voting started today.

Most of the candidates did not respond to our questions about CECAP.

Click here to read the responses from the six candidates that responded.

Click here to read Sierra Club’s candidate endorsements.

Go vote for government officials who support green policies!



Dallas city council early voting begins today, 19 April! Residents of Dallas (and members of this chapter) have worked extremely hard to push green initiatives across municipalities. One of the most potentially impactful initiatives currently in play is Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP).


As activists, our work on CECAP did not end when the city council voted to pass it last May. We have to continue our activism as constituents, supporting CECAP and other green efforts by electing representatives that will follow through on the promises made in CECAP’s charter. That depends on all of us electing government officials who:


Care about pro-environmental policies


- and -


Take action to implement and follow that policy

Our chapter members reached out to every candidate on the docket and asked them to give their stance on the environmental policy that will invest Dallas' future in green spaces, sustainable development and environmental justice (CECAP).

We did not hear back from most of the candidates, which leads me to stress this point:


Silence is an answer.



Here are the candidates we heard from


District 6


Wendi Macon

CECAP is in my top 5 priorities and will remain on the front of my mind. Just because we passed our first ever plan does not mean there is not work to be done. As someone who tries to be as environmentally conscious as possible, it is not as easy to do so in Dallas as in other areas that I have lived. Prior to moving to Dallas proper my husband and I carpooled to work and when I had my own business I rode into Dallas with him and then would take the DART to my warehouse in Irving. Unfortunately since moving to Dallas we are no longer able to be a one car family, even though we live less than 3 miles from our job it would take us almost two hours to get there by bus, if the bus shows up on time and we would have to walk half of the way there. As much as I love the bicycle lanes, they are not as safe as I would like them to be. I am an avid bike rider and have attempted to ride my bike to and from West Dallas to Downtown, which is only about 2 or 3 miles and am shocked I was not hit by a car, it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I am also a firm believer in more energy efficient construction and would love to explore the idea of something other than concrete for our parking lots. We need to get away from being a sea of concrete, creating our very own heat island.

As someone who prefers to be proactive rather than reactive, a plan for extreme weather and the city's response should have been prepared as part of CECAP. As a proactive leader I will make it my goal to have a plan for the worst case scenarios because we seem to be having so many of those and we are failing our constituents each time they occur.


Omar Narvaez Incumbent

Reply by staff member:

CM Narvaez is the Chair of the Environmental Committee and passed the first ever CECAP for the City of Dallas along with his colleagues on the Environmental committee. He has spent significant time working on CECAP


District 9


Paula Blackmon Incumbent. Actively supports CECAP

I feel as a city we should lead the effort to be good stewards of our environment and implement policies that reflects this. In addition we should hold companies and industries accountable that are not good stewards of a clean and healthy environment.

I wholeheartedly support the implementation of CECAP and will do what I can to make sure it is not placed on a shelf.

While I was working with Mayor Leppert there was an effort to undue the green cement initiative but we defeated that possibility. In addition we implemented the Green Building Ordinance that determined new buildings within our city should have green standards. As a member of the council I serve on the Environmental Committee and work towards having a healthier environment especially around WRL. We are using organic pesticides around our playgrounds and planting more natives around the lake. After the clearing of the OFH, we created a program where natives will be planted and maintained in the area to ensure birding and butterflies habitat.


District 11


Jaynie Schultz

I am a total supporter of CECAP and plan on making sure it is enforced.

As a plan commissioner I was well known for enhanced landscaping, removing heat islands, etc.

Susan Alvarez is a good friend and will be happy to vouch for my support of CECAP.

My personal life reflects these values as well.

I actually have the largest home solar array in Dallas (126 panels), my landscaping is organic, I raise chickens and bees.


Hosanna Yemiru

I think that climate change is the single biggest threat of our generation, and I'm excited to see climate leaders fighting to bring climate justice to the forefront here in Dallas. I would like to see our city take this opportunity to truly bring green infrastructure to Dallas and make a robust investment into public transportation, walkability and housing. I'll be working hard to be a climate champion on the City Council, and recently earned the Dallas Sunrise Movement endorsement as well.

I think that CECAP was a great first step towards addressing climate change in our city, but I am disappointed that it does not meet the goals that it outlines. Thus, I think that it is important that we update CECAP to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to hit our metrics and move towards a truly green future.

As mentioned above, I believe that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that CECAP meets its intended goals. As such, I think that we need to immediately start investing into robust improvements into our building infrastructure, public transportation, and urban green spaces. I also believe that we need to begin investing into affordability and density in our city, ensuring that Dallasites can afford to live where they work, cut down on car emissions, allow walkability, and work with the state to pass climate justice legislation that will mobilize our state to become a leader in green energy production.

I am working to learn more about climate justice everyday, and hope to work with groups like yours and Sunrise to learn more and be an ally on Council. So far, I've worked to organize around candidates on the federal, state and local level who are trying to bring climate legislation to the table. I have not been very active in climate justice organizing, but am glad that folks have been doing this work for all of us here in Dallas.


District 12


Elva Curl

The worsening climate crisis is of grave concern to me. I have two daughters and I worry constantly about the possibility of them living in a world that is so ravaged by our own mismanagement, that they can no longer breathe the air or drink the water.

My personal stance on climate action is that more must be done, by governments, businesses, and individuals. I believe that re-joining the Paris Agreement is a good first step.

I support CECAP.

In my opinion, involving non-profit organizations and the business community to make long-term changes in behavior gives this plan a higher probability of being successful. With the municipal government, businesses, and other organizations all on board, convincing the majority of households to adopt behaviors that help the environment should be a priority.

Unfortunately, CECAP was enacted in 2019 and it is not something that my neighbors and I frequently discuss. There should be more outreach to residents to show them how individuals can be more involved in stopping climate change.

My family has always engaged in protecting the environment. When I was growing up in the 80s, I remember that my father would tote around a stainless steel thermos for water, which at that time was pretty radical. He taught us to respect the environment, and take care of it.

Now that I manage my own household, we recycle and use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. My husband's job briefly moved us to Seattle. When we returned, we made sure that we lived within walking distance to my children's elementary and middle schools. We can go days without driving anywhere, which is a small point of pride for me. I make sure that our electricity is generated from mostly renewable resources, and the next vehicle we purchase will be electric. When I worked for the City of Dallas, I was a member of the Storm Water Management section. I conducted outreach to schools and other organizations to talk to them about storm water pollution. I know that my Storm Water Management training has become ingrained, because when I take my five year old on a walk, she insists on bringing along a bag to pick up any litter that we encounter. We all have to do our part, no matter how small we are.


Closing thoughts


Climate action is important and requires immediate and sustained support. Environmentally conscious municipalities are critical to realizing a green future, yet most citizens only vote in national elections. Know your district, know your candidates, voice your concerns: go vote.


Lastly, Here is an additional resources to help you make an informed, environmentally conscious decision at the polls: The Sierra Club’s candidate endorsements.


46 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Trillion Tree Act

To win the future we need to embrace bold ideas and innovative, long-term climate solutions. As we chart solutions to address climate concerns, we must remember that we owe it to future generations to