Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021

Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 1
Cara Mendelsohn, Councilmember

Hello District 12,

The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues to be top of mind for so many. There is a lot of information and it is changing quickly. The latest vaccine news is in the article at the bottom of this enews. Getting the vaccine has been a frustrating process and the interest in obtaining the vaccine exceeds the current demand. While there is no shortcut to help you get the vaccine, we are available to answer the questions you have.

The weather is turning bitter cold and the roads may be icy. Stay safe and warm at home if possible. Please make sure to bring pets inside and if you see someone who is homeless, please encourage them to go to Our Calling, where they can receive assistance for a hotel night or shelter space through a collaboration with the City of Dallas. If they need a ride or other assistance, please call 311 so they can alert a homeless outreach team member.

If there is some way the District 12 office can help you, please contact District12@dallascityhall.com or email me directly at cara.mendelsohn@dallascityhall.com.

Stay safe, Cara


Due to deteriorating weather conditions, Dallas County is reporting the Fair Park vaccination center will not open today (Thursday). Anyone with an appointment or in need of a second dose will be accommodated when the site reopens. As more information becomes available, we will share it with you. If you are scheduled for an appointment at another location, please confirm that the site is still open for vaccine distribution.


Natural Gas – Safety First
Not that long ago, there was an extensive gas leak issue in Dallas that caused house fires, an explosion, and the death of a young girl. The City of Dallas accepted the report from the National Transportation Safety Board that covered various items related to safety in terms of improved training and coordination with Dallas Fire Rescue and Atmos Energy. Here are some important reminders about gas safety:*Gas is odorless and the “rotten egg” smell is added so people will notice leaks.*If you smell gas, leave the area, taking any other people and pets with you. Don’t turn on or off light switches, your phone, an electric garage opener, or even a flashlight. Don’t smoke, start a car, or try to turn the gas off by yourself. Once you are far from the gas leak, call 911.*Sometimes you may not smell a gas leak, but you can hear a hissing sound.*Call 811 to have buried utility lines marked before digging. It’s a state law and you should do it before you install a sprinkler system, dig holes for a fence or mailbox, or plant or remove trees or roots.

There is a lot more information at www.atmosenergy.com/gassafety.
Beautiful Lawns are Coming Soon
The City of Dallas is hosting a webinar called Lawn Care: Green With Envy. This class will teach how to revitalize your turf with simple, effective approach to lawn maintenance. Saturday, March 13, 10-11 am. Register at https://savedallaswater.com/our-events/ Cost: FREE
Virtual Town Hall

Special Guest City Manager T.C. Broadnax

Sign up to join our Virtual Town Halls. If you’ve signed up once, you will be sent the link for all future town halls. Generally, the town hall links are sent out between 3 pm – 6 pm on the day of the meeting.

The meeting lasts one hour. Our special guest(s) usually speak for 5-10 minutes, there is a short update from City Hall, and the rest of the time is yours to ask questions, give input, or feedback. It’s always great to see you – even virtually! Here’s the link to RSVP: https://forms.gle/H6jBDbmBZ3UCzmzM8
Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 2
Avoid the Plumber – Advice from the Water Department

Maybe it seems flushable, but Dallas Water Utilities recommends throwing these items in the trash to prevent expensive plumbing repairs:

*Baby or hygiene wipes
*Paper towels
*Feminine hygiene items
*Personal care items like dental floss and cotton swabs

Also, these items need special care:
*Fats, oils, grease – place in trash or recycle at a cooking oil drop off location
*Medicines – return extra medicines at a take-back event
*Cleaning supplies – bring to a hazardous waste center
*Paints and pesticides – bring to a hazardous waste center

You can learn more at www.defendyourdrains.com.
Bentwood Park, Twin Lakes, Campbell Green & More!
Many of our parks are getting some needed attention and upgrades. Bentwood Park’s fountain is being repaired, additional trash cans added, Twin Lakes is getting additional benches, water fountain for people and pets, along with trash cans, and Campbell Green will be getting additional shade structures in the splash area. Additional projects being considered for Campbell Green include resurfacing the tennis courts, adding a pickleball court, trees and bleachers for the soccer fields, and an evaluation of the long-term usage of the Campbell Green Recreation Center. The community will be invited to give input about the rec center after the evaluation is complete.

Stay up to date on the latest happening with parks in District 12 by following the new Facebook page created and maintained by our Park Board Representative, Lane Conner at: https://www.facebook.com/D12DallasParks
What is the Condition of Your Street?
If your street or alley is in poor condition and you would like to know if it will be paved soon, the public works department has a great webpage on the city website at: https://dallascityhall.com/departments/public-works/Pages/pavement-management.aspx. You are able to see the pavement condition map, active work happening all over the city from bond funding, regular maintenance, and the water department. There is also a listing in the Infrastructure Management Plan of all the projects that Public Works plans to do in the next 5 years.
Right Care – Focused on Mental Health
During budget season, there was a lot of talk about funding of the police and other focuses on ways to deal with specific types of calls for service. One area that didn’t get as much attention as it should is a program called Right Care, which focuses on mental health calls for service.

The Right Care program started as a pilot with funding from the Meadows Foundation. It created a unit of one police officer, a paramedic, and a behavioral health social worker from Parkland to respond to non-violent mental health calls to 911. The program met with success by reducing the number of arrests, instances of hospitalization, and arrests. With a data-driven success, the Dallas City Council was eager to expand the program. There was unanimous agreement to grow to 3 units, which is the most the program felt it could grow effectively in one year. The second unit is ready to deploy this month and the other unit is still in the training program. The police officer and paramedic are funded by the city, the social worker by Parkland.

Here are some articles about the recent successes and expansion of the Right Care program:

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/right-time-to-expand-right-care-program-in-dallas/2395650/
https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2020/07/for-mental-health-911-calls-dallas-found-success-in-social-workers/
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/09/18/dallas-plans-to-expand-right-care-program-for-mental-health-crises-should-police-still-be-involved/
What’s Happening with the Family Homeless Shelter?
The City of Dallas completed the purchase of Candlewood Suites in D12 in late December. The selection of a vendor to run the family homeless shelter has not been made yet. In the meantime, the City of Dallas has allowed Family Gateway, the largest family program in Dallas, to utilize 18 of the hotel rooms for their clients. Their staff is on-site managing them in the Family Gateway model. Prior to this, Family Gateway was spending tens of thousands of dollars a month to put families in hotel rooms when shelter capacity was not available. All of the people living at the hotel are families and all have jobs.

Family Gateway had been given advice that the best way to stop the COVID-19 transmission in their shelter was to separate out their working families who may be more likely to be in contact with the public. Each family is able to cook in their hotel room and food boxes have been provided by North Texas Food Bank. Family Gateway does not allow any of their clients to panhandle. The District 12 office has not received any complaints about the guests at the hotel. I was able to spend two hours on-site and every person was wearing masks. The families were very young and the kids were adorable.

Many people have asked how they can help or get involved with this project. Real engagement won’t begin until we have a non-profit provider and a contract, but if you’d like to donate something for the new families, Family Gateway would love individual bottles of cleaning solution for each room. Bottles like 409, Windex, Fantastic, Lysol or anything like that. You are welcome to drop your donation off at the facility, mail it, or drop it off at the North Central Police Station. The facility location is 19373 Preston Road. If you are driving there, you can only enter the driveway when you are southbound on Preston, and there is no signage. It is the first entrance on the right, after the turnpike, behind Silver Star Motorcars. (Southwest corner of Preston @ GWB Turnpike)
Preston Ridge Trail – a Mini Expansion
The City recently accepted the proposal from the City of Plano to “extend” the Preston Ridge Trail to the north. The City of Plano will be paying to add a small amount of concrete that will allow walkers and cyclists to transition from the trail to the sidewalk under GWB turnpike. Plano has plans to continue the trail North in the future.
City Golf Courses Closed Due to Freezing Weather
To protect the golf greens, the city covers them when it freezes for more than 24 hours. Starting today, all city courses will be closed and expected to open Wednesday, February 17th. Anyone with a tee time should have been already been notified by a golf pro. Stay warm folks!
Voter Registration
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Deputy Registrar in Collin, Dallas, or Denton counties, you can attend a virtual training. This provides a service to the community and all are welcome to attend.
Training dates: Tuesday, February 16, 6:30 pm and Saturday, February 27th at 11 am.

To register, go to www.marchtothepolls.org, click voting at the top of the website page and a drop down box will appear. Click “become a volunteer deputy registrar.” Fill out the application and press “submit.”
Give Input on Transportation & Air Quality Plans
Input from residents, local governments and private sector impacts decisions about transportation and air quality policies, programs and plans for North Texas. These decisions determine how North Texans live and travel in the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth region. Input received is provided to the Regional Transportation Council. Comments or questions may be submitted on the specific items listed or other transportation and air quality topics. To watch the presentation or learn more, go to: https://www.nctcog.org/trans/involve/meetings

Submit comments and questions to: transinfo@nctcog.org or (817) 608-2365.
Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 3
In the News…
Public Safety – (Our new police chief is only one week on the job and he is doing GREAT!!!)
https://www.fox4news.com/news/new-dallas-police-chiefs-lays-out-plan-to-combat-violent-crime
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2021/01/12/dallas-police-will-still-send-officers-to-low-priority-calls-after-controversial-911-memo/

Panhandling –https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2021/02/08/yes-panhandling-is-out-of-control-the-legislature-can-help-texas-cities-get-a-grip/
https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2021/02/leading-off-2-4-21/
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/02/04/dallas-panhandling-needs-more-enforcement-city-officials-say/

Street Maintenance –https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/2021/02/06/dallas-streets-need-to-be-fixed-but-the-city-cant-afford-another-300m-in-debt-these-days/

Hillcrest Village –https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/dallas-hillcrest-village-green-park-opens-to-the-public-saturday/2537163/

Payday Lending Ordinance Loophole Closure –https://www.keranews.org/business-economy/2021-01-28/dallas-expands-payday-loan-regulations-to-close-loophole

Homeless –https://www.dallasnews.com/news/commentary/2020/12/10/overcoming-nimby-look-at-what-cara-mendelsohn-did-for-the-homeless-in-her-far-north-dallas-district/
Hillcrest Village Park
Gorgeous weather and tons of people made the ribbon cutting at Hillcrest Village Green extra special! Many thanks to District 12 Park Board member Lane Conner, Park Board Chairman Calvert Collins Bratton, Park Director John Jenkins and his staff, and all who set the project in motion, kept in on track, and made this wonderful park a reality. Weather issues and COVID-19 hurdles didn’t stop the construction of a first-of-its-kind public park in the middle of an old, barely surviving shopping center with way too many parking spaces. Today, it hosts a playground, pavilion, big lawn, seating, a landmark piece of public art, and lots of places for families and seniors to play, dine, connect, and relax. If you haven’t stopped by yet, consider this your official invitation. The park is located on Arapaho between Hillcrest and Meadowcreek.

This past weekend there was a fire at Hillcrest Village in the old Chase building. Thanks to the work of our Dallas Fire-Rescue officers, nobody was hurt and the building was not lost.

Many people have asked about the additional stores and restaurants coming to Hillcrest Village. You can check out all the spaces that have been leased at https://shopcompanies.com/properties/hillcrest-village.
Library To Go Hours
Library To Go evening hours! Due to an increasing number of requests for evening pick up, Library to Go curbside service has expanded to add two nights a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Half the Library locations are open on Wednesdays and the other half are open on Thursdays from noon to 7:00 p.m.
Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 4
Cotton Belt/Silver Line
Here is the information for DART’s upcoming quarterly community meeting:
Wednesday, February 17 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.Join Microsoft Teams MeetingPhone #: 469-391-0632Conference ID: 417 767 281

The City of Dallas Transportation Department is waiting for DART’s comprehensive traffic management plans and design plans before releasing permits to begin building. For now, you will continue to see less than 1 day lane closures as DART/AWH look at utilities, traffic signals, and soil to make their plans. As plans are submitted and approval approaches, we will invite city transportation staff to a virtual town hall so you can ask questions directly.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? – Please stay alert and contact the District 12 office if you believe construction is happening that should not (they are allowed to work within the DART right of way, but not block any streets or traffic to do so). The City has asked for you to call THE POLICE if you see trucks blocking streets. They can only give tickets to the drivers of the trucks if they see them do it.

SOUND WALLS – The discussion of the color and finish of the wall continues as we await DART’s responses to several questions about options that include a “green wall,” sometimes called a “living wall” as plants cover the sound wall. The information provided about availability and maintenance will be shared on a specially-called virtual town hall as soon as we get the information in writing.
COVID-19 Vaccine
Dallas County operations at Fair Park have been encountering significant operational challenges. Our office has heard from many who have had to wait 5 hours or more, found the location closed or out of vaccine when they went, challenges with restrooms and more. While this is a center run by Dallas County, not the city, we are working with the county to try to improve their operations and communications. It is challenging because they are changing things daily and notifications are not coming to city councilmembers. At the council meeting today, many councilmembers expressed frustrations with the lack of communication and issues that residents are experiencing. Here is the latest as confirmed by the Director of Emergency Management:

*Fair Park will open at noon tomorrow.
*You do not need an appointment for your second dose. Some people have been contacted about their second dose, some have not. If you have not yet received your second dose and it is time for you to get it (date on the card), go to the place you received your first dose. Bring the card with the first dose information. If you are going to Fair Park, they will be able to look up your information if you can’t find your card.
*Mom advice: If you go to Fair Park, fill your gas tank before you go, wear a warm jacket (unknown if they will have converted to drive thru yet), bring a book, go to the restroom before you leave, bring a bottle of water/snacks.
*Everyone seeking a vaccine should enter at Gate 2 (both first dose and second dose).
*If you are going to Fair Park by DART or being dropped off, please go to the DART station. From there, a shuttle bus will take you to the building.
*If you have already received your vaccine and are still on the Dallas County waiting list, there is no way to remove yourself at this time.*If you would like to volunteer to work at the Dallas County site, you can register with www.Voly.org.

******************City of Dallas operations at KBH convention center are running smoothly. All doses for the week have been given out on schedule and no additional vaccinations will happen through the city this week. This is an all drive-thru process in the underground parking lot of the convention center. The people invited for the vaccine are pulled from the Dallas County waiting list.

******************Methodist Hospital operations resume tomorrow and Friday, giving out 2,000 doses. All appointments are offered by Methodist to people pulled from the Dallas County waiting list.

******************Ellis Field House, Eastfield College, Sam Tasby Middle School, West Dallas Multipurpose Center, and Irving Health Center will all be closed tomorrow through Monday due to inclement weather. All are expected to open Tuesday, February 16th. All require appointments and pull names from the Dallas County waiting list.

******************There is a frequently asked questions list posted on www.dallascityhall.com/covid19. Most questions address the issues at Fair Park.

******************Big news
1) Governor Abbott announced that FEMA has selected Dallas as one of their mass vaccine sites. They will use Fair Park and AT&T Stadium to give out thousands of shots per day starting February 24th. Details will be coming out in the next few days.
2) Private businesses will soon start receiving federal allocations of the vaccine. If you aren’t signed up with Walgreens, CVS, Tom Thumb, HEB, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Kroger, you should do so. Once these places start vaccinating, it should be much easier to obtain a vaccine.

Anyone may register with any county in Texas for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is highly recommended that you register with ALL available vaccine sites. Here are the three main counties:

Denton County vaccine information and registration for waiting list: dentoncounty.gov/covid19vaccine.
Collin County vaccine information and registration for waiting list: https://www.collincountytx.gov/healthcare_services/Pages/COVID19vaccines.aspx
Dallas County vaccine information and registration for waiting list:https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination.phpDallas County is giving names off their wait list to UTSW, Parkland and Methodist Hospitals, the City of Dallas, and others to assist with vaccination.

If additional information about eligibility, changes from appointment to walk-in, or other information becomes available, we will post it on social media and send out an enews. Please follow CDC guidelines to keep yourself and others healthy.
Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 5

Need help, got a question, or want to give input?
Email: Cara.Mendelsohn@DallasCityHall.com
Office phone: (214) 670-4067
Text phone: (214) 490-1036

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Dallas City Hall District 12 Enews February 11, 2021 6

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