Historic changes in Dallas — and looking ahead to 2022

The ethics reform vote was perhaps the most important one taken during my tenure in office.

Click here to watch the interview.

The following was adapted from my email newsletter. To sign up, visit MayorofDallas.org.

We did it: Item 91, ethics reform, passed the Dallas City Council on Wednesday on a 15–0 vote.




This was perhaps the most important vote taken during my tenure in office. Ethical behavior must lie at the heart of city government. This cannot be a great city without a strong and clear ethics code and without a culture of ethical excellence at City Hall.

By creating an Inspector General Division, establishing clearer boundaries, and instilling a culture of ethical excellence, the City Council sent an unmistakable message to the people of Dallas: your best interests are the only interests that matter.

Click here to read the story.

A lot of work went into making the final vote on this monumental legislation look easy.

I released the proposed reforms, created by a task force of experts, in late September — immediately after wrapping up work on the budget — and declared it a top priority of the City Council. The goal was to pass it before the end of the calendar year.

City Councilmember Paula Blackmon helped refine the task force’s proposals and principles into a workable policy alongside me, Ad Hoc Committee on General Investigating and Ethics Committee Chair Cara Mendelsohn, other city councilmembers, and the city attorney’s office.

The ethics reform package was discussed at four committee meetings and a full City Council briefing.

Now, it’s the law.

More tweaks to the code and the system will be needed, and the city attorney will now need to hire an inspector general to monitor, investigate, and prosecute ethical lapses. But this unanimous vote is a huge victory for the people of Dallas.

Read The Dallas Morning News’ story about it below and click here to watch an interview that focuses on ethics reform with WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics.

Click here to read the story

What’s next

The meeting last week was the final full City Council meeting of the year. And with 2022 around the corner and ethics reform passed, here’s a preview of some of the big things that are coming soon:

Improving the dynamic Dallas economy. When the City Council returns from its holiday recess in January, city staff will provide a briefing on the creation of a new Economic Development Corporation, commonly known as an EDC. This semi-independent entity will be responsible for promoting the city of Dallas — not the region — and encouraging and supporting economic growth, especially in southern Dallas. The official vote to create the EDC is scheduled for the following week. This will be another major win for Dallas — which continues to rack up big wins — because the EDC will be central to the city’s success moving forward. It’s time for Dallas to assert itself more aggressively in this fast-growing region, and the EDC should be able to help the city do just that.

Click here to read the Dallas Business Journal story.

Developing the Dallas workforce. Another key to the city’s economic success: enhancing upskilling efforts in Dallas. This city needs a workforce that is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. That will require support from businesses, higher education institutions, and nonprofits. The City Council’s Workforce, Education, and Equity Committee will be briefed this week on the new upskilling report, and you can expect a major announcement in January 2022.

Committee priorities. As promised in the State of the City Address, the committee chairs this week will receive a list of policy priorities that they should tackle in the coming year. This legislative program will make Dallas stronger, safer, more family friendly, and more vibrant. Stay tuned for more.

Cheer on the SOC Bear Cave. The South Oak Cliff High School football team defeated Lubbock-Cooper to advance to the state finals. Dallas is proud of this team. Cheer them on and show them some love now that they’ve become the first Dallas ISD team since 2004 to advance to the state title game.

More updates to come this week. There has been a lot going on during this holiday season!

Have a great week, and take care of yourself.




News, speeches, statements, and other information from the Office of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson

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