Dallas Observer: Best Councilmember 2009

The Dallas Observer just came out with their annual “Best of Dallas” issue, and I’m very honored to have been selected “Best Councilmember 2009,” both by Observer staff and their readers:

The thing about Hunt is that she’s money in the bank.  As Hunt begins her third two-year term on the council, we see her adding a whole lot of seasoning and steel to an already well-formed character as the smart maverick.  She isn’t a member of a clique, but she gets along well with those who are.  She knows when to hold ’em, as she has on the Trinity River, but she knows the even harder thing—when to fold ’em, as she did on approval of the bonds for the new convention hotel.  She’d make a great mayor.  She’s probably too smart to go for it, which is our loss.

Bike with Me to City Hall on October 7

Dallas currently has the dubious distinction of being the “Worst City in the US for Bicycling,” but we’re working to change that.  Join me on Wednesday, October 7 as we “Bike to City Hall” and unveil some of the initiatives that will help transform our city into a bike-friendly destination.

The City of Dallas, in cooperation with DART, the City Parks Department, and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff invites everyone to bicycle to City Hall to promote greater bicycle awareness on the morning of October 7.  Councilmembers will leave from Union Station at 8AM and bicycle down Young Street to City Hall. Meet up with me at Union Station so we can ride together.

Afterward, we’ll introduce the city’s new bicycle coordinator, update everyone on the city’s new bike plan, and unveil upcoming initiatives that embrace Complete Streets policies. Complete Streets are streets designed to provide safe access for all users — not just cars. Developing multi-modal streets improves safety, eases transportation flow, improves air quality, and promotes the overall health of communities that have adopted them.

Please join me and pass this on to bicycling groups that may be interested in participating.

Got Issues With Oncor Tree Trimming? Come to Oct. 12 Meeting

I love trees, and it just kills me to see trees hacked into “V’s” around power lines. I understand fallen tree limbs can cause power outages, but perhaps there’s a better way to address pruning issues?

That’s one of the issues we’ll discuss at my upcoming meeting on Monday, October 12 at Arlington Hall (3333 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas, TX 75219), beginning at 6:30pm.

I’ve received many complaints from residents about Oncor’s aggressive tree trimming around power lines, and at our meeting, we’ll hear from Oncor, arborists, and concerned residents who’ve been researching how other cities address tree trimming around power lines.

I hope you’ll join me and let your neighbors know.

Flashback: Budget 2008-09

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, Angela, you must be psychic. How else to explain your eerily accurate prediction one year ago that the impending economic recession would reduce revenue to the city, reveal the city’s budget forecast as overly optimistic, and necessitate mid-year service cuts?”

Indeed, how else to explain it other than telepathy?

I began dabbling in the clairvoyant arts last year around this time in an effort to see into our city’s financial future. I started out by reading tea leaves (and by “tea leaves” I mean “newspapers”), which foretold ominous fiscal tidings: Lehman Brothers would file for Chapter 11. AIG would go down in flames. Bank of America would take over Merrill Lynch.

And that wasn’t all. My crystal ball/television revealed more otherworldly insights: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be placed in conservatorship. Congress would plunge $700 billion into Wall Street to try to stop the hemorrhaging. And Washington Mutual would become the largest bank failure in American history. Ahem. Continue reading

Woodall Rodgers Park “Groundmaking”

Yesterday, I attended the “groundmaking” for the Woodall Rodgers Park, a 5.2 acre deck park that will be constructed above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation (the non-profit that has raised private funds for the park and which will operate and maintain the park).  Over the last several years, I’ve worked with the Foundation to ensure that the park was included in the 2006 bond program, to make Harwood Street pedestrian-only within the park, and to coordinate with surrounding stakeholders.  In 2006, I joined them in visiting Millennium Park in Chicago and Bryant Park in New York City.  In addition to touring the parks, we visited with community leaders who had been key to the parks’ creation.

The Real Estate Council sponsored a breakfast before the groundmaking ceremony.  TREC has been instrumental in the park’s creation — originating the concept and providing seed money.  The breakfast featured Tony Jones (pictured), Chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who gave a very engaging presentation on “Millennium Park, Chicago: Art, Entertainment and Economics, a model for Woodall Rodgers Park and Downtown Dallas.”

You can check out some pictures from the breakfast and groundmaking as well as from our 2006 trip.

Freedom Day Event

I’m over at the eighth annual Freedom Day event where tons of volunteers are working on the Dallas Fire-Rescue training center — painting, putting in ceiling tiles, planting landscaping. Great stuff.

This is the fourth year I’ve participated, and every year there are more and more volunteers. It’s a great group.