After years of talk and previous efforts to boost Southern Dallas, the city council Wednesday approved the first official Dallas Economic Development Policy.
“We are getting something done today. We are doing things now. We're not talking about it for the future. We're saying this is what we're going to do now,” said Councilman Tennell Atkins, who leads the Council’s Economic Development Committee.
The new policy is intended to guide city subsidies and promote business, especially in Southern Dallas where there is ample land for growth.
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Council Members called the unanimous vote ‘historic.’
“For too long, residents South of I-30 have not benefited from the economic boom that has rippled throughout the region. Passing this policy sends a strong signal to those communities, we hear you, we support you and we want you to not only succeed but thrive,” Atkins said.
The policy also calls for the creation of a new economic development corporation to promote and invest in Dallas businesses.
“This policy will bring the City of Dallas as a leader on the world stage when it comes to equitable economic development,” Councilman Casey Thomas said.
North Dallas Council Member Jennifer Gates said the results of the 2020 census are expected to demonstrate the urgency for the entire city of Dallas.
“Why are we having this growth, this regional growth, and we’re still stagnant. We’re stagnant for the last 10 years. And, in comparison to cities that are surrounding us, we’re not growing,” Gates said.
Members cited ongoing problems with issuing building permits in Dallas, which contractors have said encourages them to go to other cities.
The city recently added a housing policy intended to promote affordable workforce housing construction.
Officials said economic development success depends on making many efforts work together.