Mayor Johnson: A new opportunity for Dallas families
The Mayor’s Youth Sports Ticket Program can help keep kids safe and give them something fun to do.
The following was adapted from my email newsletter. Click here to sign up.
It’s no secret that I love Dallas sports.
Sports aren’t for everyone, of course. But sports can provide tremendous value for this city through civic pride, life lessons, inspiration, and fun. And for kids, sports can be an outlet that keeps them out of trouble.
That last point is critical. That’s why this administration launched the Summer of Safety campaign to let families know about all the events and programming offered by the city so their kids could stay safe and learn while they were out of school. That campaign worked. Crime went down during June and July, which just doesn’t happen in major cities.
But it’s important to be relentless, throughout the entire year, about engaging children and making this city safer and more vibrant.
That’s why I have launched the Mayor’s Youth Sports Ticket Program in partnership with the Dallas Sports Commission.
This program is inspired by the Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s Teen All Access Pass, which was a huge success again this summer. That pass allowed teens free access to fun and educational venues across the city, including the Arboretum, the Dallas Zoo, the Perot Museum, and Bahama Beach Waterpark.
This ticket program provides a limited number of free tickets — to City of Dallas residents only, ages 12 to 17 — to sporting events across this city and this region. Each ticket comes with an additional ticket for a chaperone so that parents are able to accompany their kids.
Some amazing partners have already signed on. They include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Sidekicks, Dallas Stars, Dallas Wings, FC Dallas, Fair Park First, SMU, Dallas Baptist University, the University of Dallas, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
Participating events include the MEX Tour, World Food Championship, First Responder Bowl, and the NCAA Women’s Final Four. The plan is to add other teams and partners in the future as well.
This is reminiscent of the days when you could go to the grocery store and get free tickets to Cowboys games back when they played at Texas Stadium.
Those days are gone, of course. Sports tickets, like everything else, have become more expensive. Families have been pressed by inflation and the rising costs of housing and childcare.
These headwinds are strong. But through this partnership and others like it, this city is becoming safer, more fun, and more family friendly.
Click here to sign up.
Budget season update
In case you missed it, my budget amendments received support from the Dallas City Council on Wednesday and will be incorporated into the budget during the final vote.
This means Dallas Fire-Rescue will have $2.85 million more for fire station repairs and a new fire engine. And it means $3 million more to help provide housing for people experiencing homelessness, which will speed up the Real-Time Rapid Rehousing strategy.
I also supported another amendment to reduce the tax rate further, but it failed to garner majority support. Still, this is a very strong budget — one that provides a historic tax-rate cut, prioritizes public safety, and invests in communities.
The final vote is this week. The next fiscal year begins October 1.
- While SMU ultimately fell short in the Iron Skillet game against TCU this weekend, it was an honor to toss the coin and a thrill to cheer on the Mustangs. These young men will rebound and continue playing to represent Dallas. Can’t wait for Iron Skillet Week again next year!
- A deal to preserve and revitalize the Longhorn Ballroom is coming up for a vote this week. Check out this story on what this project means to Dallas, both economically and culturally.
- You should also check out this story on the new Franchise Initiative in the Franchise Times.
- And you should read this Sharon Grigsby column about some recent steps to help address the national fentanyl crisis on the local level. This is an important public safety issue for Dallas.
- Finally, speaking of public safety, Dallas continues to reduce violent crime this year. This is why it was so vital to stand firm against “Defund the Police” activists and continue pushing for data-driven policing and community-based solutions to violence. The result? This city is continuing to be held up as a model for the rest of the nation’s cities. Check out the story linked in the picture below:
That’s all for today. Stay safe out there and have a great week!