Mayoral Candidates Talk Housing, Leadership and Doritos During Mike Rawlings' ‘Engage Dallas' Event

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on Friday kicked off an event meant to encourage young people to become civic leaders — and to showcase the leaders vying to replace him this year.The Mayor’s Star Council hosted its third annual leadership summit, called Engage Dallas, at Fair Park Music Hall. The event, for which The Dallas Morning News served as the media sponsor, drew hundreds of young professionals into a day-long discussion about how to become the city’s next “agents of change.” The day also featured a mayoral forum featuring seven candidates on the May ballot.The council, now in its seventh year, is a leadership program targeted at people between the ages of 25 and 40. Rawlings — who kicked off the day with a conversation with former President George W. Bush — said he’s thrilled with the program’s growth.“This whole notion of ‘Engage Dallas’ is exactly what needs to happen,” Rawlings said. “These people [in the program] are going to live here forever, hopefully, and we’re going to have a better citizenry because of that.“Not everybody’s going to be on the same page, but that’s not important. What is important is that everybody’s engaged.”Here are four takeaways from the event:Many calls for young people to step upThe morning’s activities at the ‘Engage Dallas’ event included presentations from Red Bird mall developer Peter Brodsky, who spoke about tackling implicit bias when working on projects in southern Dallas; Ben Leal, the president and CEO of Jubilee Park and Community Center; and Froswa' Booker-Drew, the director of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances with the State Fair of Texas.“I hope you use your light to make a change in the community and bring your light together with others so we can see the transformation that we so desperately need,” Booker-Drew said to the audience.  Continue reading...

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