Deep Ellum Community Watch
Started 3 petitions
Request Dallas City Council DENY Austin Street Center zoning changes - case #Z190-197(AU)
Update (21 May 2020): The Dallas City Planning Commission has allowed this case to pass and it will next go to the Dallas City Council. Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano - who has the most experience on the Council with this issue - continues to be AGAINST this measure and we support his stance and request the other City Council Members listen to his wise advice on why this is such a negative issue for many in District 2, District 14, and District 7. Our Request: We, the undersigned, firmly support the City of Dallas' Office of Homeless Solutions' strategy of decentralization and dispersion of homeless services, and respectfully ask that Dallas City Council uphold this and deny Austin Street Center's zoning request (case #Z190-197(AU) to expand, add shelter beds and move closer to Deep Ellum, Farmers Market, and the Cedars neighborhoods.Background: Since 2016, Tent City under I-45, numerous residents, stakeholders, business owners, homeless providers, the City, and other concerned parties have invested countless hours to address the detrimental effects from densely-concentrated service providers and shelters serving the homeless community, established within a very tiny segment of Districts 2, 7, and 14 (The Cedars, Downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum, Expo Park, and Farmers Market). This hard work has culminated in the aligned goal of decentralizalizing services in and around the greater downtown area - supported by the City, homeless providers, residents, and urban planners - for the betterment of the homeless, the providers, and the community wherein it all exists. Current Situation: Austin Street Center's current quest is to modify their zoning to allow more beds and to serve even more people in their current facility, closer to the Central Business District. This is the OPPOSITE of the above stated aligned goal of decentralization and dispersion. ASC is legally represented by former Dallas City Council Member Angela Hunt. Oddly enough, Ms. Hunt, who also represented the Salvation Army (case #Z178-121(JM) on their quest for their new facility in March 2019, had this to say on March 7, 2019: “There is an over-concentration of homeless services in the Central Business District. As you’re aware, we are following the charge given us by City Council to provide geographic diversity for homeless recovery services by moving into the northwest region....We are deconcentrating by moving things out of the medical district and the CBD." Conclusion: Dallas County is a sprawling 909 square miles, and it defies logic of the abject unwillingness that service providers and shelters expand their missions into grossly underserved areas of the City and County, wherein their clients' needs are completely unmet. By continually focusing growth in a heavily congested area, Austin Street Center is doing a grave disservice to the countless individuals who are unable to make their way into the city center. Further, Austin Street Center's proposed expansion adds to the existing and unnecessary hardship endured by the surrounding neighborhoods of attracting even more who are "highly resistant to shelter and service"... clients who have - and will - become the problem of the City and the neighborhoods once they leave the grounds of the shelter. The problem is there now, and the City still has no solution for this, even during COVID-19. Therefore, we are requesting that the Dallas City Council do their utmost in ensuring the proposed zoning changes outlined in case Z190-197(AU) are DENIED to Austin Street Center, thus pushing ASC to pursue more opportunities in underserved areas. Concurrently, the surrounding neighborhoods have an opportunity to grow with new development at a time when the City is going to be in serious need of tax dollars after the recent COVID-19 pandemic is going to dramatically impact the next fiscal budget in a very unsavory way. These properties and businesses simply do not need additional hardships at this particular time. Sincerely, Members of:Cedars CollectiveCedars StakeholdersDeep Ellum Neighbors AssociationDeep Ellum Community WatchExpo Park ResidentsFarmers Market StakeholdersDowntown Dallas Residents***ADDITIONAL READING BELOW***"The Containment Zone":Austin Street Center zoning change requests that the Planned Development boundary (“PD 346”) enlarge from 1.5 acres up to 4 acres, new construction of a 59,000-square-foot shelter and more shelter beds added (from a zoned allowance of 415 up to nearly 500). Within ¼ mile radius of the proposed expansion are these homeless shelters and services:--City Square Cottages: On nearly 4 acres of land, resides fifty, individually-housed people deemed Dallas’ toughest and most challenging chronic homeless persons that are the greatest strain on city and county resources. -- City Square Opportunity Center: On 5 acres of land, a 53,000 square-foot, a homeless-and-poverty-focused community center run by City Square nonprofit on 5 acres of land. -- Our Calling Day Shelter Homeless Ministry: On 2 acres of land, a 32,000 square-foot day shelter and homeless ministry that permits homeless for prayer counseling and showers. In/out privileges without security screening.-- 2 acres of a vacant lot across the street from Our Calling used for Port-a-potties, park benches, and tents. The Predatory Element upon the HomelessAn aggregated fragile homeless population attracts the "predatory element", which are drug dealers and users, sexual abusers, violent offenders, and the like. This predatory element is not "the homeless", per se. They don’t go into the building to get help; they loiter outside, and opportunistically victimize the vulnerable there, luring them away from the help they truly need. This spills over into surrounding neighborhoods, challenging community safety and health. The City does not have an immediate solution to this tragic outcome to homogenizing services into one area. The proposed solution is dispersion and decentralization. Dallas Policy and Suggested Guidelines:1) City of Dallas’ Office of Homeless Solutions Four-Track Homeless Solutions Strategy summarily states that decentralization and dispersion of homeless services in and around the Central Business District is a leading goal (August 2018). 2) The 2018 Downtown Dallas, Inc. 360 Plan discourages further concentration of homeless services in and around the greater downtown area. Their statement:"The provision of social services, including homeless-related services, has historically centered in and around our nation’s urban centers, a phenomenon certainly true in Downtown Dallas and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, social service providers must be properly planned and managed in order to abate the chronic concentration of loitering, panhandling, and other quality of life issues related to homelessness. The result, then, will be better neighborhood integration and better service for those experiencing homelessness. Furthermore, equitable dispersion of social services throughout the entire city – in lieu of the current concentration in the City Center – will provide a more balanced approach to the city’s homeless issues." 3) Chapter 51A Dallas Development Code explicitly caps number of shelter beds in and around Central Business District at 1100.
Dallas Police PAY is the most IMPORTANT issue for new City of Dallas budget
Our Request: We respectfully ask that Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax, Mayor Mike Rawlings, and the entire City Council work to ensure that all personnel and equipment needs of the Dallas Police Department take precedence over everything else in the upcoming review and approval of the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal budgets. Background: Over the past 24 months, the Dallas Police Department has suffered the loss of 6 officers plus countless injuries to other officers in addition to having hundreds of others that have either left or retired from the force. Local law enforcement suffered the tragic loss of 5 officers on July 7, 2016 who were simply working to ensure the safety of protestors in downtown. The officers were gunned down by a cowardly sniper and several other officers were injured. This crime, here in Dallas, was the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks. The officers lost on July 7, 2016 include: DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens DPD Officer Michael Krol DPD Sgt. Michael Smith DART PD Officer Brent Thompson DPD Officer Patricio "Patrick" Zamarripa Then, on April 24, 2018, rookie Officer Rogelio Santander was shot at almost point blank range by a shoplifter; his partner, Crystal Almeida was shot in the face and seriously injured. Now, on July 21, 2018, the community mourns the loss of DPD Senior Cpl. Earl "Jamie" Givens who lost his life due to being hit by an alleged drunk driver as he was helping to escort to the final resting place the body of another DPD Officer that had succumbed to cancer. If the loss and injuries of so many officers in such a brief time wasn't enough, there is also the situation of the extreme mismanagement of the police officer's pension fund through bad investments. Granted, the State of Texas forced the City to accept a solution to ensure the fund was on the path to being refunded; however, that solution will take years to be addressed and the pension fund had been the proverbial carrot for years to attract good candidates to the force since the average pay wasn’t as strong as surrounding communities. Current Situation: Without this lucrative pension, with a depleted police force, and lower pay than many surrounding cities and towns, candidates are not signing up to work with DPD in the droves that they once were and this is placing an undue hardship on the officers that continue to work for DPD. Our community has DPD Officers that are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually taxed to the hilt. We cannot in good conscious ask them to take on any more because, simply put, they have been through too much, too fast. We cannot ask them to accept any more half-measures in the way of solutions. We can no longer ask them to accept lower pay than surrounding communities; DPD pay must be as competitive or better than the surrounding communities. Conclusion: There is no issue in the City of Dallas that should be taking precedence over this and we, the citizens, and our elected and hired officials, owe it to our police officers to ensure the budgets for fiscal years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 have the needs of DPD placed above and beyond any other item on the proposed budgets. Therefore, we respectfully ask for the Dallas City Manager, Mayor, and City Council to do their utmost in ensuring the personnel and equipment needs of the Dallas Police Department are addressed and funded in their entirety in the budgets for FY 2018-2019 and 2019-2010. Sincerely… Deep Ellum Community Watch & Deep Ellum Neighbors Association Board of Directors
Ask Dallas DA to Harshly Prosecute Jarod Broussard for Violent Assault in Deep Ellum
Our Request: We respectfully ask that Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson and the Dallas DA's office ensure that the harshest possible charges and prosecution be applied toward Jarod Broussard for the violent aggressive assault of his victim. Background: On April 19, 2018 at approximately 1:15 a.m., a woman in her 20's was violently attacked by her boyfriend, Jarod Broussard in the 2700 block of Canton in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. A witness posted this video showing the horrific attack from his loft across the street; the victim's screams are haunting. A second, and more visually detailed video, can be seen from the security cameras in front of the building where the assault happened and can be seen in this video. Current Situation: Through fast and efficient work by the Dallas Police Department, Jarod Broussard, 36, was arrested in less than 18-hours from when the assault. Further, Broussard is currently being held on no bond as he has been deemed a threat to society as a result of several factors including: graphic video showing this assault, extensive photos showing him with firearms, and a disturbingly long track record of previous assaults.Update 1: Broussard is currently out on a bond, he must remain drug and alcohol-free, must have no contact with the victim, and must wear an ankle monitor. Update 2: The Dallas Grand Jury has indicted Broussard on 2 counts. Conclusion: It is the previous assaults that has the local community most concerned due to the victims in those cases being too afraid to move forward as the cases were investigated. To date, Broussard appears to have dodged any serious ramifications as a result of his apparently violent nature; that needs to stop with this case. Therefore, we are requesting that the Dallas District Attorney's office do their utmost in ensuring the harshest possible prosecution against Jarod Broussard take place as he is a detriment to society and needs to be incarcerated for the longest possible sentence. Sincerely, Deep Ellum Community Watch & Concerned Local Citizens