Based on recommendations from the Task Force on Race and Culture, the city manager laid out plans for independent oversight of the Fort Worth Police Department.
Initially, the city manager will seek approval from the City Council to create a police monitor function in the City Manager’s Office. Recruitment for that position is expected to begin in early summer, with the candidate beginning work at the start of the city’s next fiscal year on Oct. 1.
Among other recommendations, the task force urged the city to adopt a method for independent oversight of the police department to increase the community’s trust in the department. Establishing the independent oversight program would require a City Council ordinance.
The person hired for the police monitor position will lead efforts to empanel a nine-member Community Oversight Board and define the processes associated with independent oversight of the police department.
City Manager David Cooke and his staff are considering models used in other jurisdictions that could be adapted for Fort Worth. Input will be collected from stakeholders, including the police department, community board, City Council and residents. Funding for the police monitor and an assistant position is estimated to be in the range of $300,000 per year.
In other recommendations stemming from the work of the Task Force on Race and Culture, the Police Department plans to reinstate a Police Cadet program and target students in majority-minority high schools as a way to potentially recruit more minority applicants to the ranks of the department. That program is estimated to cost $370,000 annually.
The Police Department will soon begin crafting a diversity hiring plan for all positions with respect to race, ethnicity and gender. A recruitment plan is expected to be presented to the city manager by July.
About the task force
The Task Force on Race and Culture concluded 18 months of work when it presented the City Council with a slate of more than 20 recommendations last December. View the recommendations.PDF File
In 2017, the City Council appointed a 23-member task force to examine issues related to race and culture in Fort Worth. The task force asked for community input through a series of meetings and online engagement tools. As a result, thousands of residents participated in dozens of town hall-style meetings and smaller gatherings called Community Conversations.
Subcommittees studied racial equity and bias in several areas: criminal justice, economic development, education, health, housing, municipal governance and transportation.
Task force co-chairs were Rosa Navejar (presiding co-chair), Lillie Biggins, Rabbi Andrew Bloom and Bob Ray Sanders.
Experience the ease and convenience of riding electric as Fort Worth Bike Sharing adds 50 electric-assist bikes to the fleet.
With e-assist bikes, riders don’t have to sweat the commute – they can go farther faster and climb hills in an eco-friendly way.
Riders can check out an e-assist bike beginning April 29. Download the BCycle App, then select a station to see what kind of bikes are docked at the station. The fee to ride an e-assist bike is the same as regular bikes.
View a video about e-assist bikes by clicking here.
Austin City Taco Co., a new fast-casual taqueria concept making its debut in the Cultural District, will be open for business on April 24 at 5 pm, serving tacos, fries with queso, and house-made salsas in a variety of flavors.
The restaurant is located at 517 University Dr., in the space formerly occupied by The Grotto.
Austin City was founded by Cameron Powell, a Fort Worth resident and UT alumnus who drew his inspiration from Austin, with the signature dish being 18-hour smoked brisket tacos.
In-person early voting runs April 22-30 in the May 4 city election for mayor and city council.
To locate an early voting site in your county of residence, visit one of these election websites:
Fort Worth is being honored as a Monarch Butterfly Champion City by the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program, becoming the fourth city in North America to be recognized with this title for its commitment to monarch conservation.
In the past year, Fort Worth has created 97 acres of monarch habitat, and it has reached more than 100,000 residents through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.
This achievement is the product of years of hard work and commitment, beginning in 2015, when Fort Worth joined the program. Since then, hundreds of cities across the country have signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, with 460 signers today.
Mayor Betsy Price, the Park and Recreation Department and the city’s monarch conservation network have been instrumental in achieving this honor and promoting the conservation of monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
“Fort Worth lies in the middle of the Central Monarch Flyway, the critical migratory pathway for the monarch butterfly. Despite its mostly urban environment, Fort Worth is currently providing habitat for monarchs at city parks, schools, backyards and throughout the city to ensure monarch butterflies have enough native habitat to survive,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We applaud and thank Mayor Price for taking the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge as a Champion City today, and increasing the actions the city will take to help monarch butterflies.”
Price said: “In Fort Worth, we appreciate the beauty that comes with monarchs migrating through our community. As a city that encourages an active and engaged lifestyle for all citizens, we recognize the important role conservation, education and nature plays in overall quality of life. Fort Worth is fortunate to have a community that embraces monarchs and works to preserve our wildlife.”
Jennifer Grissom has been named executive director of Fort Worth Bike Sharing.
Grissom grew up in Fort Worth and stays busy by running, cycling, traveling with her husband and raising a teenager.
One of Grissom’s first tasks will be the introduction of e-assist bikes later this spring. An e-bike system includes some type of small motor that runs the chain wheel.
Across the Fort Worth Bike Sharing system, there are 46 stations and 350 bicycles.
A banana peel, leftover bread and even coffee grounds make great compost. Food scrap composting collection has come to Fort Worth as another way to reduce what goes to the landfill and how much methane goes into the air. The pilot program will allow residents to separate food scraps from trash and help create a beneficial soil nutrient that is better for the environment.
That’s what the City of Fort Worth refers to as rethinking waste — a sustainable movement that helps the city better manage its garbage.
More people in Fort Worth want to do what’s environmentally right and help make the community greener. That means reducing waste, reusing items, recycling more and composting.
The pilot program is available to all Fort Worth residents. An annual fee of $20 provides residents with a starter kit that includes a kitchen countertop pail, a five-gallon sealable bucket, assorted educational materials and a refrigerator magnet detailing what can and cannot be composted.
The $20 fee will be donated to Keep Fort Worth Beautiful for its ongoing programs and activities.
As the kitchen pail fills, transfer composting materials to the five-gallon bucket in your garage, laundry room or other area of your choosing. Once the five-gallon bucket is full, drop off food scraps at one of 10 collection sites across the city.
Only residential food scraps are accepted in the composting pilot program. Most foods can be composted: fruits and vegetables, bread and other baked goods, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, eggshells, and cooked meats just to mention a few. Items not acceptable for composting: raw meats, gum, fats and oils, pet waste, Styrofoam, plastic packaging, and most nonedible materials.
To learn more, visit the composting program webpage or call 817-392-1234.
Register here: http://fortworthtexas.gov/solidwaste/compost/
The City Council has approved Fort Worth’s Active Transportation Plan (PDF File) which focuses on walking (including persons with disabilities) and bicycling, including connectivity between other modes such as vehicles and transit.
The plan integrates and updates previous planning efforts such as the Walk Fort Worth and Bike Fort Worth plans, develops a new Trails Master Plan and provides coordination with the regional Transit Master Plan. The approved plan is a unified citywide transportation network for people who walk and bike, with a coordinated implementation strategy for planning, prioritizing and building improvements.
The Active Transportation Plan is a validation requirement for the Blue Zones Project, a community wide well-being improvement initiative to help make healthy choices easier for everyone in Fort Worth.
To learn more, contact Julia Ryan at 817-392-2593.
Assistant City Manager Valerie R. Washington announced two promotions that will result in a more coordinated structure between the Mayor-Council Office and the City Manager’s Office.
Monica Hamilton has been promoted to a new position, executive general manager for the City Manager’s Office. She has served as deputy chief of staff for the Mayor-Council Office for the past four years, and her breath of knowledge in the City of Fort Worth along with previous municipal management experience is ideal for this role. Her new responsibilities include the administrative management of the offices, budget preparation and management, staff assistance and special projects and coordination between all divisions in the City Manager’s Office.
Chelsea Adler will serve as deputy chief of staff to Mayor and Council. She is looking forward to expanding her role to work with councilmembers on various initiatives as well as furthering her work on many of Mayor Betsy Price’s priorities.
As I assume the chair of the Cultural District Alliance, I thought it might be appropriate to introduce myself to you, our members. I first want to thank the exemplary leadership of Max Holderby and of previous chairs. We have seen unprecedented growth in the Cultural District since I first began working in the district, and this organization of members and volunteer leadership has become integral in the success of our neighborhood.
Fort Worth has always been home to me, but being an Air Force brat, it wasn’t until I came to TCU that I finally moved here. Even though I lived all over the world, it was always the Cultural District that I associated with Fort Worth. When we would visit family during the holidays, we would always spend time in the museums and Botanic Gardens. So, when I began working at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, it just felt like home.
I have now been at the Modern for 17 years. In that time, I have watched well over a billion dollars of investment happen in our district (a very conservative estimate). What was once a collection of industrial warehouses, car lots, and the Acme Brick headquarters, now is one of the most vibrant and urban communities in Fort Worth. With all of that growth, we have encountered a long list of challenges, but CDA has always been at the table to ensure our members’ voices are heard.
Despite all of the growth we have experienced, I am regularly reminded that we are by no means finished. We consistently see new building permits filed every month, major transportation projects that effect traffic, mobility, and pedestrian access are being addressed all over the Cultural District, and new facilities like Dickies Arena will energize and engage the western boundaries of our area.
As we continue to grow, CDA will work with our membership on issues that arise. I hope that over the next few months, you will see more opportunities to interact with us and other members at events and public meetings, as well as see this newsletter on a more regular basis where you will find information about some of the varied projects that CDA is working on. And please let us know how we are doing. I look forward to this opportunity to work with everyone.
Dustin Van Orne
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Office: +1 (817) 692-9931
PO BOX 471391
Fort Worth, Texas 76147