A program already underway to promote one neighborhood is the type of attention Southern Dallas community leaders seek to unite the city in the wake of police shootings.
“Rebirth of Red Bird” is a combination of Dallas Police, government, church, community and business people all working to revive the neighborhood.
“This is my target area,” said Dallas councilman Casey Thomas who represents the Red Bird area. “This is where we’re putting a lot of city resources, and we’re committed to making this area thrive once again.”
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Red Bird is home to Dallas Executive Airport. Homes in the Red Bird area rival North Dallas neighborhoods. But decaying shopping centers and code violations plague Red Bird.
“It’s the basics,” Thomas said. “We want to make sure the basics are taken care of. The neighbors and the residents, they want economic development. They want quality retail. They want sit down restaurants, and all of those things. And we have to make sure neighborhoods are clean and safe if we want to get development.”
A “Rebirth of Red Bird” meeting is set for Saturday morning at Friendship West Baptist Church in the neighborhood.
Friendship West Church Senior Pastor Frederick Haynes attended a White House meeting Wednesday in Washington, DC. Police and community leaders from around the nation met with President Barack Obama to discuss unity after police involved violence the past two weeks. Five Dallas Police officers were murdered by a shooter and two citizens were killed by police in other states.
“I think it was a very healthy conversation,” Haynes said.
As Dallas mourns the officers killed, Haynes said Southern Dallas has not forgotten citizens who died in past police shootings. The Pastor said Dallas police have made strides to improve community relations and reduce the use of deadly force but he wants more progress.
“When we start creating healthy communities, we also will create healthy relationships with the policing community,” Haynes said.
“I believe this can be a transformational moment so we can say next year at this time -- we can say in honor of those police officers -- these steps have been taken. And a part of that will have to do with the development on this side of town. And when we develop the side of town that has been characterized by neglect, you will see a healthier interaction with police, and a healthier Dallas city."
”Citizens are invited to attend the Saturday “Rebuilding of Red Bird” meeting at Friendship West Church on Wheatland Road from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.