September 9, 2019 E-News
Hello District 12!
We recently concluded our series of three District 12 Budget Town Hall meetings. Thank you to all who came to hear the City Manager's proposed budget and gave input on specific sections. The council has met several times about the budget and will be finalizing the tax rate in the next week and a half. If you have any input, my contact information is below, and I welcome your thoughts. Below is information about events and opportunities in the district or affecting people living in the district. There are lots of exciting things happening and I hope to see you at one or more events!
Regards, Cara Mendelsohn
COFFEE WITH CARA
Our next event is Tuesday, September 24th, 6:30-8pm at Levine Academy, and we'll be joined by special guests Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall and Robert Perez from the Transportation Department. This is a casual time to hear an update on what is happening at city hall, ask questions, and give input. Levine Academy is located on the corner of Frankford and Hillcrest.
The official groundbreaking for Hillcrest Village Green park is this Saturday at 10 am. A few inspirational words, a couple of shovels full of dirt, and some cool treats for all. Renderings of the park and updated lists of companies that have signed leases will be available. Hillcrest Village is located on the corner of Hillcrest and Arapaho.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
Does your neighborhood host a National Night Out? If yes, please call or email our office to let us know. If not, maybe you'd like to consider starting an event to help get to know your neighbors. It's a great way to lower crime in your area and make new friends. Ps-top tips to lower crime: lock your car doors, keep your garage doors closed, get to know your neighbors.
COTTON BELT RAIL
To stay up to date on what is happening, please check dart-rider.org. DART is changing plans and neighbors to the train may find large walls or no walls, changes to the hike/bike path, and other items they wish to stay in the loop about. There is an event planned on 9/22 to get DART's attention about the lack of communication with the neighborhoods and urgent safety considerations.
DISTRICT DROP-IN HOURS
City Hall is too far away! To make it easier for you, we're open for drop-in office hours on the first and third Thursdays of the month, from 2 – 5 pm, at the North Central Police Station. Stop by to get help with a city problem or meet with Council member Cara Mendelsohn. Upcoming dates are 9/19, 10/3, 10/17, 11/7, 11/21. The North Central Police Station is located on the corner of Hillcrest and McCallum.
PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
Help support the Spread the Hope peanut butter drive to support the efforts of The North Texas Food Bank to end hunger in North Texas. Collection boxes are located at the lobby of the North Central Police Station, Renner Frankford Library, and Timberglen Library through the end of the month.
TWO SENIOR EVENTS WITH LOTS OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE!
The Age-Friendly Dallas Expo is hosted by the City of Dallas Office of Community Care and Senior Affairs Commission. It will be at the Dallas Convention Center Ballroom A on September 10th, from 10 am – 2 pm. The Age Well Live Well Symposium is hosted by the University of North Texas at Dallas and will have many resources available for seniors. It's located at 7400 University Hills Blvd. Friday, September 20th, 8 am – 4 pm.
BRANCH OUT DALLAS/FREE 5 GALLON TREE
Many people sustained the loss of trees with the summer storm. If you'd like to get a free, 5-gallon tree for your yard, sign up with the City of Dallas by September 30th and you can pick up your tree on November 2nd at Shelton School. The link to register is www.dallascityhall.com/branchoutdallas. If you would like a tree but will need help planting it, please call the office (214-670-4067) and we'll work to find a volunteer group to assist with the planting. This program is funded by the Texas Tree Foundation.
DONATIONS & VOLUNTEERING
The City of Dallas Community Courts are always looking for donations of professional clothing and shoes, toiletries (soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, etc..), blankets, scarves, gloves, hats, non-perishable food, and household items (flashlights, toilet paper, paper towels, etc…). They also need help from volunteers to assist with mock interviews, resume building, financial education, financial coaching, mentoring, ESL & GED classes, and homebuying seminars. If you have something to donate or would like to volunteer, please call 214-670-7129.
The Census is coming! If you would like to be involved in encouraging people to participate in the Census by serving on the census committee, please send an email. Also, if you're looking for employment, the census is hiring 1-855-JOB-2020.
YARD DEBRIS IN THE STREET OR STORM DRAIN
Did you know that using a leaf blower to direct yard waste into the street or storm drain may result in a citation fine of up to $2,000? Homeowners and businesses may be held responsible for violations made by commercial landscapers they employ. Each year, the city spends over $920,000 to clean grass, leaves, sediment, and debris out of the storm drain inlets! If you hire someone to cut your lawn, please have a chat with them about where the grass clippings are ending up.
Cara Mendelsohn, Dallas City Council Member, District 12
Cara.Mendelsohn@DallasCityHall.com | (214) 670-4064/office | (214) 490-1036/text
August 27, 2019 E-News
Hello District 12!
Just a quick update with important dates – including our next Budget Town Hall meeting tonight and Thursday evenings. See you there!
BUDGET and TAX SEASON ARE HERE- MORE PUBLIC MEETINGS THIS WEEK
The city manager has presented the council with a $3.8 billion budget that increases your tax rate .33 cents to 78 cents per 100 in valuation. Additionally, you probably had a property value increase. The city's budget office estimates that on a $303,000 home, you would pay $172 more in city taxes this year. Your input on the tax rate and spending priorities is welcome.
Please join me at one of the upcoming Budget Town Hall meetings to learn more and give your input. Here are the dates/times:
August 27, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Fretz Park Branch Library *City Manager expected to attend*
August 29, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Renner Frankford Library
If you're not able to attend one of these meetings, there are other meetings happening throughout the city (see city website) and you are welcome to view the budget on the city website (www.dallascityhall.com) and give me input by email at email@example.com.
NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK – PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
Donations requested! The goal is to raise 100,000 pounds of peanut butter and this effort is being led by Michele Mecca, a district 12 resident. If you can donate, please drop off your jar(s) of peanut butter in the collection boxes located at North Central Police Station, Renner Frankford Library, or Timberglen Library through September 30th. Thank you for your generosity!
HILLCREST VILLAGE GROUNDBREAKING
We're nearly ready to kick-off the construction of the park area at Hillcrest Village (the shopping center at Hillcrest and Arapaho). Join us for a fun groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, September 14, at 10 am.
COFFEE WITH CARA
Thank you to all the people that have taken the time to come to a Coffee with Cara event. We have run out of space at Renner Frankford Library and are seeking a different location that will have sufficient chairs and parking. While we get the location set, please mark the dates and times on your calendar. This is a great time to hear from some of the city department heads and get an update on what is happening at city hall.
September 24th, 6:30 pm, location TBD
October 30th, 10 am, location TBD
November 12, 6:30 pm, location TBD
Lots of petitions have been collected and our office has distributed them to all Council Members, the Mayor, City Manager, and DART board members. Some people who live in the area are also sending emails, which are very effective. If you'd like to say something about the Cotton Belt line to the people in the know, the list of who you should email along with additional information is located at www.dart-rider.org.
NEED HELP, HAVE A SUGGESTION, OR SOMETHING ELSE?
To better serve you, we'll be hosting walk-in office hours in the district twice a month – the first and third Thursday of the month from 2 pm – 5 pm. Stop by to say hello or let us put a service request in to help with a specific issue.
September 5th, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
September 19th, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
October 3rd, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
October 17th, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
November 7th, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
November 21st, 2 pm – 5 pm, North Central Police Stations, corner of Hillcrest & McCallum
You can reach the District 12 City Council office at:
July 22, 2019 E-News
Hello District 12!
The City Council and the Mayor's office are on "recess" for July. That means we are not holding public meetings, but we are reading reports, answering emails, learning about the ins and outs of different city departments, meeting with constituents, and talking with companies and non-profits who have ideas for how to move Dallas forward. As a new council member, it also means studying the 700-page budget. Here are some updates for you:
COFFEE WITH CARA – 7/29/19
Join the District 12 team for a casual time to hear City of Dallas updates, ask questions, get help, offer suggestions, and find out how to volunteer. Special guests: Dallas City Manager, Director of Office of Homeless Solutions, Director of 311, Director of Sanitation, Oncor Community Relations
Monday, July 29, 2 pm – 4 pm, Renner Frankford Library. Light refreshments served, Kosher certified.
When the storm hit, the city sanitation department had already completed bulky trash pick-up for the week 1 residents. If you live west of Hillcrest or north of McCallum, you are part of this group. The city decided to continue the rotation and start the storm debris pick up with week 2 residents (if you live east of Hillcrest or south of McCallum, you are part of this group), then week 3, then week 4, then back to week 1. The sanitation department has all trucks and staff on overtime, working 6 days a week. They've added in crews from the parks department and hired more than 30 contract landscape crews from all over the US. They have set up temporary chipping stations at LBJ and 75 so they don't have to haul the debris to the transfer station at Northwest Highway and Harry Hines. The city generally picks up 100k tons of bulk trash in a month. With the storm, the estimate is now 650k tons. At this point, weeks 2 and 3 are complete. Week 4 is in process and expected to be done by 7/24. Week 1 will begin as soon as week 4 is complete and is expected to be complete approximately August 3rd. The storm and the plan to address it were in place before I was in office. That said, the sanitation department is working as fast as they can in extreme heat to serve residents and clear the debris. It is clear the city has not invested in the infrastructure to handle emergencies, either in trucks or transfer stations closer to North Dallas. There will be a review of the storm and how things were handled so lessons learned can help the city improve.
We will resume normal brush and bulk collection service in August. Week 1 service for August begins on August 5th. We anticipate utilizing private contract crews through the first week in August to pre-sweep Week 2 areas who received collection immediately after the storm and may not have had storm debris out for collection.
BUDGET TOWN HALLS – coming in August!
Learn how the city proposes to use and prioritize your tax dollars. Give input on items you think are over or underfunded and the tax rate.
8/22, 10 am – noon, Timberglen Rec Center
8/27, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Fretz Park Rec Center (with District 11)
8/29, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Renner Frankford Library
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT – 10/1 & CRIME WATCH MEETINGS
If your neighborhood is planning an event for National Night Out or would like help in setting up a crime watch group, please let us know.
With the power outages we had in June with the storm, knowing when power would be restored was important for decisions about staying in your home or going to a friend's home or staying in a hotel. You can find out what is happening at oncor.com or text "reg" to 66267 to enroll in My Oncor Alerts.
DART/Cotton Belt (now called Silver Line)
The Cotton Belt has been in planning for nearly 30 years. Growing up, I remember the trains going through the neighborhood. The DART trains expected are very different and will be much more frequent than what we used to have. There are groups that are working to oppose it and groups working to make it as palatable as possible. Some of our neighbors are excited to have it. No matter your view, I encourage you to be informed of what is happening. The prior city council approved this project. Two groups with Facebook pages that are engaged with this that you can follow and get more information are Neighbors Sharing Cotton Belt Information and Cotton Belt Concerned Citizens Coalition.
PUBLIC INPUT OPPORTUNITY
The Regional Transportation Council and the North Central Texas Council of Governments are seeking public input on a couple of transportation issues. Information is posted online at www.nctcog.org/input for public review and comment. To request printed copies of the information, call 817-608-2365 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAYOR'S BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR
If you, or someone you know that lives in Dallas, needs help providing school supplies for your children, please pre-register for the Mayor's Back to School Fair by calling 311 or go to mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com
Recent lawsuits have struck down the ability of the police to give certain citations to panhandlers. They are still able to give the "Citizen in the Roadway" citation, but they must observe the person going into the street. They are also able to give a citation if someone is aggressive. We have a very active group of panhandlers and there is one foolproof way to get rid of them – STOP GIVING THEM MONEY. The city has a program called "Give Right" that asks citizens to NOT give money to panhandlers and instead give to non-profits serving the homeless. Most panhandlers in our area ARE NOT HOMELESS AND ARE NOT VETERANS, even if they have a sign.
If I can be of assistance to you, please call (214) 670-4067 or email email@example.com.
June 24, 2019 E-News
Hello District 12!
I am excited to represent you and serve the residents of the City of Dallas. The 2019-2021 Dallas City Council was sworn in last Monday and it includes 6 new council members plus a new mayor, along with 8 returning council members. A photo of the new council is at the bottom of this email. There is a great feeling of optimism and a focus on working together to address important issues facing Dallas.
Our District 12 office at City Hall has moved from the north side of the building to the south. There are still many boxes to unpack, but we're already hard at work. If you've ever worked with Navaz, you'll be glad to know that she is continuing as District Liaison. Joining the staff is Elysia Martin, Council Assistant. We congratulate Cherelle Belcher, as she transitions out of the Council Assistant role. Cherelle just completed her nursing degree and will be taking a job in her new field. Updated contact information is at the bottom of this email.
Coffee with CARA - This Thursday
You're invited! Thursday, June 27, Renner Frankford Library from 4:00 - 5:30. It's a casual time to share City of Dallas updates, the status of upcoming projects in District 12, get help with any city requests, find out how to volunteer for a board or commission, offer your suggestions, or ask any questions. We'll have light refreshments that are Kosher certified.
Attend Your Event as a Speaker
If you would like me to come speak with your group or your group would like to visit City Hall, please send a request by email.
Run for the Blue 5k and 1 Mile Run/Walk
On July 6th, Run for the Blue is happening in Dallas. This run raises funds for the families of slain and injured police officers through the Blue Guardian Foundation (a 501c3). This event is in memory of the five officers who were killed and eight officers who were injured on July 7, 2016 in Dallas. Entry is FREE, but registration is required. They need additional volunteers for the event, and I have signed up to help with registration. Here is the link if you'd like to be part of this meaningful event: https://raceroster.com/events/2019/23425/run-for-the-blue-dallas-2019.
There are two new groups of homeowners that have formed to address the Cotton Belt rail line. One group is working to get the best mitigation and betterments available for Far North Dallas in cooperation with DART. They have a Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/NeighborsSharingCottonBeltInformation. The second group is working to cancel the Cotton Belt and reform DART to better serve the core purpose of a regional transportation entity. Their website is www.dart-rider.org. I am working to have DART held accountable for each of the items passed in the Cotton Belt resolution by Dallas City Council. DART is not currently following the provisions of this resolution.
Serving on a Board or Commission
If you are interested in serving as a volunteer appointee on a board or commission, please apply by July 5th. Positions and descriptions, as well as instructions on how to get started with the application process, are listed on the District 12 webpage at: https://dallascityhall.com/government/citycouncil/district12
Dallas Animal Services
Our animal shelter is at 105% capacity and they are working hard to find forever homes for cats and dogs. We are so lucky to have Petsmart at Coit and Campbell that serves as a northern adoption center. If you've been thinking that you have room in your home and life for a new best friend, please stop by and fall in love with one of our furry friends. Also, if you have a son, daughter, or group that is looking for Eagle/Gold Award/Service projects, please email our office as we have several ideas that may interest you.
Bulk Trash/Landscape Debris
Every street has an incredible amount of landscape debris from the recent storms. The city is working hard to pick up everything as quickly as possible. Please separate tree debris from other trash and plastic bags. Only storm debris will be picked up in July. Normal bulk and brush pick up will resume in August.
Need a New Toilet?
The City of Dallas has a program to replace up to 2 toilets in your home for FREE if they were installed prior to 1994. To learn more and apply, call (214) 670-3155 or go to www.SaveDallasWater.com.
Senior Safety Summit
The City of Dallas' Senior Services, the Dallas Police Department, and AARP Texas are hosting an informational workshop about some of the dangers older adults face and how to protect against them. Lunch is included with registration. FREE, but RSVP needed. Thursday, June 27, 9 am - 1 pm, Lakewest YMCA. RSVP at 1-877-926-8300 or www.aarp.cvent.com/sss_2K19. Main topics are hoarding, financial exploitation, home and personal safety.
NextDoor Social Media
Unless you live very close to my neighborhood, I can't see your posts on NextDoor. If you'd like to share with me something that is going on, please email or text.
Need Help, Have a Question, Got a Gripe or Special Request?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Note - Sandy Greyson
A special thank you to Sandy Greyson for her 16 years of service to the residents of District 12 and the City of Dallas. She has served our district admirably and her depth of knowledge and history on issues facing the city will be missed. If you see her out and about, please take a moment to shake her hand and thank her for her service.
Cara Mendelsohn, Dallas City Council, District 12
Office (214) 670-4064, Cell/text (214) 490-1036