Join Us for Another Timely Town Hall on Environmental Justice This Coming Tuesday
Our Neighborhood Self-Defense Project is on a Mission to Eliminate the Racism That Redlining Left Behind.
It’s a funded, multi-year campaign to re-map pollution burdens in Southern Dallas. Learn about this exciting new challenge
to the Status Quo. We can make sure new
Shingle Mountains don’t happen.
|Like you, we’re tired of playing defense. We want to start making fundamental changes to the status quo. An upcoming city-wide comprehensive re-examination of Dallas zoning gives us that opportunity.|
While overt racist tools like redlining and neighborhood covenants are gone, the patterns of land use they left behind still haunt South Dallas.
The reason most polluters are found along and South of the Trinity River in Dallas is because that was one of the very few places they, and Black and Brown residents, were allowed to locate. All were considered “undesirable” by the White Powers-That- Be. Redlining meant both people and industry were segregated. Paul Quinn’s recent report, “Poisoned by Zip Code,” explicitly maps this on-going industrial segregation.
It’s the mundane but fundamental tools of city zoning and land use that have propped-up this obsolete legacy of racism for decades. It’s these same tools which must be used to reverse it, only this time wielded by the residents themselves.
That’s the idea behind the Neighborhood Self Defense Project.
Southern Sector Rising, The Inclusive Communities Project and Downwinders at Risk are combining to take on the task of organizing residents to remake their neighborhoods, tract-by-tract by taking advantage of the City’s upcoming “forwardDallas!” process.
Sponsored by Dallas City Hall once every decade or so, “forwardDallas“ is a comprehensive neighborhood planning process that can redraw the futures of communities to better reflect residents’ desires. Usually it’s another consultant-driven under-utilized City Hall exercise that gathers dust on a shelf. But a number of factors make this time different.
For one thing, we and our allies are prepared and funded to wage a multi-year campaign to see the process all the way through. We’ve already begun holding organizing meetings with specific neighborhoods to get them ready. We’ll be there when the City holds its meetings. We’ll be there when the final document is written and when it passes the Council. This is the first time a grassroots campaign like this has been organized specifically to take on the “forwardDallas!” process on behalf of Southern Dallas residents.
Secondly, the Plan Commissioner who will be Chairing the City’s “forwardDallas” Committee is committed to packaging a lot of fundamental change into the final resolution. District 11 Commissioner Jaynie Schultz has been an advocate for Southern Dallas residents in past fights over batch plants. She wants residents to submit their own neighborhood plan for immediate adoption by the Council instead of waiting for up to three years to go through the usual hearing process.
Third, the Dallas City Council just passed its Climate Plan which pitched the hot potato of environmental racism to the “forwardDallas!” process to address. Commissioner Schutz has said she wants to take this problem head on and the Council just gave her their blessing to do that.
Finally, thanks to our supporters, we’ve made the on-going Shingle Mountain disaster a very real and living symbol of the impacts of this kind of racism. City officials know they have to do something. Our job is make sure that something is as big and deep and impactful as we can make it.
Tuesday’s Town Hall is our official debut of the Project. It’ll offer a run through on how “forwardDallas!” works as well as how to get a head start for your own neighborhood plan.
We’ll be joined by:
Chris Dowdy, Dean of Academic Affairs at Paul Quinn College
Rev. Danielle Ayers, Justice Pastor at Friendship West Baptist Church
Jaynie Schultz, D11 Plan Commissioner and the Chair of the “forwardDallas!” Committee.
Peer Chacko, Chief Planning Officer and Director, Planning and Urban Design
Jennifer Rangel, Community Outreach and Planning Director with The Inclusive Communities Project
Evelyn Mayo, Chair of Downwinders at Risk, author, “Poisoned by Zip Code”
Racist zoning is a “pre-existing condition” that keeps Southern Dallas residents trapped in disproportional poverty and illness. We have a unique chance to fundamentally improve public health and end one of the most harmful legacies of Jim Crow.
LEARN HOW TO REVERSE RACIST ZONING
ZOOM TOWN HALL
THE NEIGHBORHOOD SELF-DEFENSE PROJECT
Tuesday, June 23rd
6 pm to 7:30 pm
Meeting ID: 864 5927 9112
A FaceBook Live Event on Southern Sector Rising