We Sent All 56 Dallas City Council Candidates A Questionnaire. 25 Responded. Here’s What They Said About Our City’s Racism, Tacos, Potholes & More.

With early voting in the 2021 Dallas municipal elections kicking off on April 19 and Election Day formally arriving on May 1, Central Track is dedicating a significant chunk of its bandwidth to covering this year’s city council elections. Why? Because, though voter turnout is historically just gobsmackingly low in these races each election cycle, these are the elections that can most affect the day-to-day lives of Dallasites — and, more so than in any other election, your votes really does matter in these races. Head here for more of our coverage on this year’s elections. Meanwhile, head here to discover your council district if you’re unsure, and here for more information about both early voting and polling locations.

Already this election cycle, we’ve taken some high- and low-brow looks at the candidates vying to represent your interests on Dallas City Council.

We’ve gotten to know Dallas’ 14 distinct council districts, we’ve taken a look at the three districts in which new representation is guaranteed, we’ve offered a breakdown of the spiciest candidates up for election and we’ve ranked every candidate on how stately their signatures are.

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve also briefed you on what the city council does, how much power those elected to seats at the horseshoe truly wield and why, given historic low voter turnouts in these races, your vote in these elections really matters a ton.

What we haven’t done, however, is heard from the candidates themselves. So let’s amend that here.

In early April, we sent all 56 candidates in the 2021 Dallas City Council elections a 24-question survey meant to showcase their personalities and positions. Aware that these candidates should at least theoretically be quite busy campaigning these days, the directions included alongside our questionnaire made it clear that the goal was for each candidate to answer our queries in lightning-round fashion, promising them that if our survey took them more than 30 minutes to complete, then they were spending too much time on it.

In the end, we received 25 completed (well, to varying degrees) surveys in return. While we wish we’d received more responses, we’ll take it. Hey, it’s better hit-rate than we’ve received in past similar efforts, at least!

More than that, though, we’re pleased with the greater insight the sum of these individual parts provides into the kinds of people who run for office in this city. There’s a lot to be gleaned, we think, over some of these answers — like how long it’s been since they popped a tire on a Dallas pothole, or the last time they rode DART, or how racist a city they believe Dallas to be on a scale of 1 to 10.

The answers submitted here really do speak for themselves. Just as revealing, we think, are the answers certain candidates chose not to provide to certain questions at all.

To that end, you’ll find all of the survey answers we received below, presented wholly unedited beyond formatting. (This is true even in the case of District 5 candidate Ruth Torres, who did not specify what unit of time she’s lived in her district for; just that she’s been there for “3,” which could mean decades, years, months, minutes, days — who knows?)

Get to know your 2021 Dallas City Council candidates, in their own words, below.

District 1

Stephani Kyle

1. Name: Stephani Kyle
2. Age: 36
3. Pronouns: she/her
4. Wingspan (optional): a small but mighty 63”
5. District you’re running in: District 1
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 9 years, 5 months
7. Neighborhood you live in: Kessler Park
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ENTJ – Commander
9. Zodiac sign: Leo
10. Apple or Android? Apple, once you’re in, you can’t leave…cell, watch, laptop – it spreads.
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 501 (Note of history, when I got this phone number, it was the ONLY area code in Arkansas)
12. Your go-to taco joint: Taco Deli
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Mark Cuban – what a great guy! He’s intelligent, business savvy and takes action to care for Dallas and its people.
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: no contest, the Old Red Courthouse
15. Your least favorite highway: 635
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: working and wondering why I was not at the Fair
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: About 6 years ago on Sylvan.
18. The last time you rode DART: 2014 to the Suburbia Music Festival in Plano
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Well crime rates are at decade highs so I don’t think it’s a good time to cut the budget. We need to add social aid to mental health and homeless calls and have implemented de-escalation training but I don’t think the police are overbudgeted, we finally got them competitive salaries so we can attract better officers to come and stay, and need to continue to build programs that allow them to better serve our community (like the mental health response team, better training, and more social workers).
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Safety
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Safety – Oak Cliff’s violent crime rate is 200% higher than the national average
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Diverse
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? TBD, it’s been an interesting first half for our new mayor.
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? I think it’s unfair to lump everyone into a rating; we have some amazing people in this city and we have some people that need to learn empathy…history, compassion, culture…

Gioviani Valderas

1. Name: Giovanni “Gio” Valderas
2. Age: 42
3. Pronouns: his/him
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: District 1 – Oak Cliff
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: Over 40 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: The Dells
8. Myers-Briggs personality type:
9. Zodiac sign: Libra
10. Apple or Android? Depends on what I’m getting
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 972
12. Your go-to taco joint: El Padrino
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: The incredible and talented Ms. Vicki Meek
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Nostalgia says Charco Broiler but Elrod’s Cost Plus on Ft. Worth Ave. Has a great Color palete that makes me smile.
15. Your least favorite highway: 635 – Which is why I stay in Oak Cliff
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Working
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: More like alignments, I need one now actually.
18. The last time you rode DART: a few years back.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low, or just right? Currently, the old model isn’t working, we need to reevaluate and find waste and best utilize our resources to invest in a new model of public safety. A few months back, Dallas Police Chief candidate RaShall Brackney stated, “if we don’t see investment from our city in marginalized communities then poverty creates its own economy”. I sincerely believe in this statement. Historically, our southern sector communities have been denied equitable resources, let alone equal resources. The most important role of a city councilperson is to concentrate on the necessities that affect us the most, which are safe streets, safe neighborhoods, and investment in infrastructure – especially in the parts of our neighborhood that have been left behind. Let’s truly invest in social services like mental health and homelessness services so that our overwhelmed police officers don’t have to handle every issue. Let’s truly be proactive in regard to Public Safety by investing in creating an Office in Violence prevention to create proactive solutions in our community. By investing in Crisis Response Teams and Civilian Response Teams do more of the clerical work it would allow more officers to be on street. We can alleviate the burden placed on police officers allowing them to concentrate on bigger threats. Let’s continue to invest in a Violence Interrupter program like other major cities do to help to de-escalate potential deadly situations by hiring community stakeholders who know and live in these communities. I want to be clear, Violence Interrupters won’t respond to emergency situations such as active stabbings and shootings. Our Violence Interrupters are valuable assets in our community and I do not want to put their lives in danger.et change programs, the pay gap between low and high skilled workers continues to widen and is a major driver in income inequality. Let’s partner up with fortune 500 companies to incorporate learning labs in our high schools/rec centers in our most underserved communities to teach new skill sets and with guaranteed job opportunities.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Equitable services. What I’ve noticed about our streets as I’ve walked through the neighborhood knocking on doors is that some parts of the neighborhood appear to be on a more aggressive maintenance schedule than other parts of the neighborhood. We have neighborhoods south of Bishop Arts that have unpaved sidewalks and washed out portions of their street due to frequent flooding when it rains. This inequity is a result of elected representatives focusing on some parts of the neighborhood and not others. The rest of Dallas is no different. Regarding transportation, and specifically public transportation, for too long DART has focused on attracting suburban residents and their preferences – instead of focusing on its best customers (Black and brown people). We must ensure that DART has a laser-focus on improving the quality of services provided to residents. We also need more frequent and reliable Bus service, without raising fares. I look to advocate and appoint equitable representation on the DART Board, with members that are committed to Racial Equity. Currently, the Bus System Revamp is in process, but we need to ensure the focus is on strong community engagement and input – and a willingness to pivot instead of rubber stamp plans.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Our District needs a voice at City Hall. We need a leader who knows what its constituents can afford when it comes to housing. We need to push for more affordable homes rather than apartments. We know the quickest way to intergenerational wealth is through homeownership, so I want our community to own homes, so we must support development to build dwellings our community can afford. We also must create responsible anti-displacement ordinances so our most vulnerable families who often are renters have protections to safeguard them from corporate out-of-state developers who don’t care about our community. We must also push for protective zoning for existing homeowners who are struggling to keep up with property taxes. We must encourage smart & sensitive development that doesn’t push out our existing working families. We must finally invest in our neighborhoods, especially in our forgotten ones by fixing our streets and sidewalks.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: home
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? As a former professor at MVC, I would give him C. I have been disappointed in how the Mayor and Council have engaged with each other. Dallas residents are struggling to get by and we need our local government to put our differences aside and work together to take on the real challenges affecting our community.
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 7.5

Chad West

1. Name: Chad West
2. Age: 44
3. Pronouns: he/him/his
4. Wingspan (optional): Optimal
5. District you’re running in: 1
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 13 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Kidd Springs
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ESTJ-A
9. Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: El Si Hay
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Ebby Halliday
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: The Old Red Courthouse
15. Your least favorite highway: All of them.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Scrambling to finish up some work at the office so I could get to the State Fair that afternoon
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never
18. The last time you rode DART: Last week to downtown on the Oak Cliff Street Car
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Just right
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Public safety
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Public safety, mainly theft-related crimes and street racing
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Opportunity
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 6

District 1 candidate Gerardo Sánchez did not submit any answers.

District 2

Raha Assadi

1. Name: Raha Assadi
2. Age: 29
3. Pronouns: she/her
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: District 2
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 4 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Oak Lawn
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Protagonist
9. Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 972
12. Your go-to taco joint: Tacos y más on Cedar Springs
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Judge Tonya Parker
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center because it’s helpful.
15. Your least favorite highway: 75
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: studying abroad in Madrid, Spain
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: November 2020
18. The last time you rode DART: I took the dark twice a week in college to my internship at the courthouse. Since then, I typically take it every year for Turkey Trot (pre-pandemic).
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Depends on how it’s being spent and the evaluation of DPD’s overall work product, which data does not seem to thoroughly analyzed at this point. One of the most important jobs in our community should be met with serious vetting. Amazon monitors its workers’ output and addresses their performance better than Dallas does with its police force. The consequences and value of police service require a new and modern sense of oversight for cities. The buck stops with our City Manager, the police chief, and City Council. Beyond that, we can start with HR. We need to take a good, hard look at DPD’s practices in hiring, firing, and everything in between. In addition to tightened HR procedures, police should be mandated to record all stops even if an arrest isn’t made along with other improvements to data transparency and efficiency. By doing so, we can ensure we’re hiring the right people, which lends itself favorably to retention, while mitigating liability of the police department and city. We should get every bit of return on investment from this substantial portion of our public safety budget. Additionally, police officers are tasked with one of the hardest jobs in society, which oftentimes requires them to wear multiple hats. We need to dedicate funding to addressing trauma before and after our officers hit the streets. By making this trauma-informed investment, we can help recruits understand that our city is one where they can thrive not just survive. All that said, I don’t know how we could improve the human resources of the DPD if we strip it of its financial resources.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Housing solutions that are affordable, sustainable, and attainable for the average, working-class family.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: See response to Question 20.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Growing
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C. I have mixed feelings about how the first term has played out. On one hand, it’s exciting to have a well-rounded, educated and experienced young mayor of color leading Dallas. On the other hand, the mayor’s first term has been marked with a lot of conflict with the council. There are times where I wish the mayor had brought in the council more closely for decisions or worked with Judge Jenkins more productively. There is still plenty of opportunity to foster better communication channels with Council, and if elected, I would consider it my duty to strive for a healthy working relationship with our mayor regardless of any factional infighting in the past. Nonetheless, I appreciate the mayor for wanting to serve the city – it’s much easier to be shouting from the sidelines than sitting in the seat.
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? Dallas’ history of racism unfortunately lends itself to an unforgiving score here. Given that and the fact that Dallas’s primarily Black neighborhoods are being called and mailed everyday by developers to sell their homes and to push them further and further south so that they’re out of signa nd mind, Dallas does not embrace or protect Black wealth, neighborhoods, and history. Let me get my hands on a copy of The Accommodation by Jim Schutze and then I can properly grade.

Jennifer Cortez

1. Name: Jennifer Cortez
2. Age: 34
3. Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
4. Wingspan (optional): not long enough to fly yet, but we’re getting there lol. Honestly I don’t have a tape measure on hand.
5. District you’re running in: District 2
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 5yrs, but working in this community for over 15 years. My grandmother lived here in Little Mexico when she first came to Dallas in the 50s
7. Neighborhood you live in: Cedars
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Mediator INFP-A pretty spot on actually
9. Zodiac sign: Capricorn
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 817
12. Your go-to taco joint: Las Huastecas (nopal tacos are BOMB)
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Erykah Badu
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Cathedral of Guadalupe, personal historic significance. Or the Bank of America building because of the green lights, iconic significance.
15. Your least favorite highway: I-75
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: i was at Bangkok City off of Bryan St. with my best friend Mateo, we were eating some of the best Pad Thai in the city
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: do bike tires count? Cause that would be a couple weeks ago
18. The last time you rode DART: before the storm before the campaign, before my COVID episode .. so like November or December? I live right by Cedars station, use the DART whenever I can but not as much during this pandemic.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Too High. We have one of the highest police budgets in the nation, and the second highest in the state — we must look at other solutions. We can be innovative and decriminalize poverty all while making sure everyone in our city feels safe by reimagining public safety beyond just hiring more police officers.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: racism and poverty discrimination
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: gentrification and a socio-economic divide .. which could honestly sum down to, racism and poverty discrimination
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Inequitable
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? D-
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? The city and the system, 9.5. But the people I have more hope for.

Jesse Moreno

1. Name: Jesse Moreno
2. Age: 36
3. Pronouns: he/him/his
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: 2
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 36 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Peak’s Addition
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Protagonist
9. Zodiac sign: Aquarius
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: My mom’s house
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: My Dad
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Woodrow Wilson High School
15. Your least favorite highway: 345
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: I was at the Big Bang Conference
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never (Nails in my tire, that’s a different story)
18. The last time you rode DART: Feb. 2020
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Just right
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Affordable Housing
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Affordable Housing
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Home
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? Any number on the scale is unacceptable.

Sana Syed

1. Name: Sana Syed
2. Age: 38
3. Pronouns: she/her
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: 2
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 7 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Farmers Market
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: 10 years ago I was ENFP
9. Zodiac sign: gemini
10. Apple or Android? Apple all the way
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 817
12. Your go-to taco joint: Taqueria La Ventana
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Melinda Gates
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: The Joule
15. Your least favorite highway: 35E – north and south
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: working as PIO in Arlington, TX
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: knock on wood – not yet
18. The last time you rode DART: 2015
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Can’t answer that without context
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: healing post-covid and post-protests
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: housing insecurity
22. Describe Dallas in one word: love
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? My encounters with racism in this city have been rare.

District 2 candidate Michael Fetzer did not submit any answers.

District 3

District 3 candidates Irby Foster and Casey Thomas did not submit any answers.

District 4

District 4 candidates Carolyn Arnold King, Johnny Aguinaga, Matthew Canto, Maxie Johnson and Lelani Russell did not submit any answers.

District 5

Jaime Resendez

1. Name: Jaime Resendez
2. Age: 38
3. Pronouns: He/him/his
4. Wingspan (optional): 12’8” ☺
5. District you’re running in: Five
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: All my life, except when I served in the military and when I attended law school.
7. Neighborhood you live in: Trinity Forest
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Advocate (INFJ-A)
9. Zodiac sign: Taurus
10. Apple or Android? Apple, of course.
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214, of course.
12. Your go-to taco joint: Tacos al 100 on Lake June near Jim Miller.
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Erykah Badu
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: La Bola (Reunion Tower)
15. Your least favorite highway: 75 between downtown and 635. It has way too many amenities. We need to bring some of those amenities to my favorite highway, 175, in Southeast Dallas.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Tarlton Law Library at The University of Texas School of Law. I had nothing to do with it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never. I’ve done a great job of weaving around the ones I’ve seen.
18. The last time you rode DART: 2019
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Too high. We need to do a better job of addressing the root causes of crime so that we won’t have to spend so much on traditional law enforcement.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Inequitable access to opportunity.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Inequitable access to opportunity.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Evolving
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C+
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 6.5

Ruth Torres

1. Name: Ruth Torres
2. Age: 48
3. Pronouns: She/Her
4. Wingspan (optional): Short but quick 😉
5. District you’re running in: 5
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 3
7. Neighborhood you live in: Scyene/Piedmont
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ENTJ
9. Zodiac sign: Aries, April Fool’s baby = a living contradiction
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: In district: Placido Cocina / OOD: Fuzzy’s
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Adelfa Botello Callejo
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Perot Museum
15. Your least favorite highway: 35
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: In the water of Sunny Isles Beach in South Florida (probably)
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: N/A, but got 3 flats driving through DFW airport, 3 different trips in 6 weeks
18. The last time you rode DART: Pre-Covid to FairPark
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? DPD and most depts are too high, better financial management is needed from every department.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Socio-Economic Inequity
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Socio-Economic Inequity
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Conditioned
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? D
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 8

District 5 candidates Terrance Perkins and Yolanda “Faye” Williams did not submit any answers.

District 6

Omar Narvaez

1. Name: Omar Narvaez
2. Age: 47
3. Pronouns: He, Him, His, Y’all
4. Wingspan (optional): Velociraptor
5. District you’re running in: D6
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 5 years, family over 90 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: West Dallas
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Entertainer
9. Zodiac sign: Scorpio
10. Apple or Android? Fuji Apples
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Everyone knows the taco wars are won and lost in D6.
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Pancho Medrano
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: The Eagle Ford School
15. Your least favorite highway: All of them. I really love the new bike lanes on W. Commerce St. and less concrete would benefit our environment by helping to decrease emissions from cars.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: On social media
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: I never have.
18. The last time you rode DART: Yesterday
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Just right and must continue to be held accountable for efficiency like all departments.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Affordable Housing
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Affordable Housing due to land valuations sky rocketing causing overburden of property taxes.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Resilient
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? Anything on the scale is unacceptable. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde

District 6 candidates Monica Alonzo, Tony Carillo, Wendi Macon and Earl Thomas did not submit any answers.

District 7

Adam Bazaldua

1. Name: Adam Bazaldua
2. Age: 34
3. Pronouns: He/Him/His
4. Wingspan (optional): Ideal
5. District you’re running in: 7
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 8 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Buckner Terrace
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ENFJ/A
9. Zodiac sign: Aquarius
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Tacos y Mas
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Erykah Badu
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: The Hall of State
15. Your least favorite highway: I-30, I hate that it acts as a physical divider of the North & South of our city.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Prepping for dinner service at Stephan Pyles.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Just got patched up at HAMMS this week.
18. The last time you rode DART: I have not rode DART since COVID-19 hit Dallas
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? I think the focus should be on accountability & efficiency, not on how much is being spent but how it’s being spent.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Lack of equity
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Lack of equity
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Dallas is the only one word that’s appropriate
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 8 on a good day

Tramonica Brown

1. Name: Tramonica Brown
2. Age: 29
3. Pronouns: She/Her
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: District 7
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 21 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Pleasant Grove
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ENFJ-A — the protagonist
9. Zodiac sign: Capricorn
10. Apple or Android? Android
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Fuel City
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Erykah Badu
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Reunion Tower
15. Your least favorite highway: 635
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: At home
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: February
18. The last time you rode DART: When I was a child.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Too high
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Public Safety
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Crime/Drug
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Home
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? D
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 7

Kevin Felder

1. Name: Kevin Felder
2. Age: 62
3. Pronouns: Someone
4. Wingspan (optional): 6 feet
5. District you’re running in: 7
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 25 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Hillview Terrace
8. Myers-Briggs personality type:
9. Zodiac sign: Pisces
10. Apple or Android? Android
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Velvet Taco
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Ernie Banks
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Bank of America Tower
15. Your least favorite highway: I-35
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: On my way to the Fair
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never
18. The last time you rode DART: Years ago
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? It needs to have a critical internal and external audit.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Rising crime.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Rising Crime.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Thriving
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 10

District 7 candidates Calvin Johnson, Walter “Changa” Higgins, Donald Parrish Jr., James “JT” Turknett and Israel Varela did not submit any answers.

District 8

Davante D. Peters

1. Name: Davante D. Peters
2. Age: 27
3. Pronouns: He, Him, el
4. Wingspan (optional): Not sure, not that wide though.
5. District you’re running in: 8
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: In and out all my life.
7. Neighborhood you live in: Highland Hills, Wynnewood, Woodtown All over Oak Cliff
8. Myers-Briggs personality type:
9. Zodiac sign: Virgo
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214 & 972
12. Your go-to taco joint: Tha Alkaline Hour, I follow Dr. Sebi’s diet.
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: John Wiley Price
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: TBAAL
15. Your least favorite highway: R L thornton because he was very racist and this highway is used as a racial dividing line
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Cedar Valley College
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: 2012, busted my rims too. I was chopping blades.
18. The last time you rode DART: Last week.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? When we have lack of quality of life, no vocational centers in our neighborhoods, no access to fresh food or support for community gardens and small businesses, I believe we coud be more sustainable and when it comes to the Budget. Also, DPD has a fleet of vehicles, military weapons, robots and explosives yet they do not serve our neighborhoods, I believe there is plenty money within that budget that can go else where.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Corrupt politicians and its racist foundation.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: I believe all of our issues stem from one issue, our crooked incumbent and corruption in leadership historically.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Hypocritical
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? F-
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 10

District 8 candidates Tennell Atkins, Subrina Brenham and Lakolya London did not submit any answers.

District 9

Paula Blackmon

1. Name: Paula Blackmon
2. Age: 50
3. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
4. Wingspan (optional): Not as wide as my basketball-playing kids
5. District you’re running in: 9
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 27 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Hillside
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Protagonist/ENFJ-A
9. Zodiac sign: Gemini
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Taco Joint
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Louise Reggio
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State in Fair Park
15. Your least favorite highway: I-35 North of 635
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Mayor’s Office at City Hall
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Taking my son, Reid, to Woodrow Wilson High School
18. The last time you rode DART: To the State Fair in 2018
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? This is the 2019-2020 net amount that takes into account the reimbursements. The gross amount for 2019-2020 was $548M. The gross budget for DPD 2020-2021 is $561M, and the net $513M. I think the gross amounts are about right.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Creating mixed-income communities
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Smart redevelopment along corridors
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Innovative
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 6

John Botefuhr

1. Name: John Botefuhr
2. Age: 50
3. Pronouns: I am very pro noun, but I believe that quality adjectives help smooth communication. The real problem are dangling participles that do not have a noun to modify.
4. Wingspan (optional): 183.5 cm
5. District you’re running in: District 9
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: Since 2007
7. Neighborhood you live in: Casa View Haven
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Protagonist ENFJ-T
9. Zodiac sign: Cancer
10. Apple or Android? Android
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: La Banqueta
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Any restaurant owner or service industry worker who has made through 2020-2021.
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: The Hall of State at Fair Park.
15. Your least favorite highway: I-35 …and that song by Tom Cochrane.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: At my clinic that morning watching it on TV.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never, because I will only drive a truck/SUV on Dallas roads until $50 mil is put back into the basic maintenance budget that was taken out last year.
18. The last time you rode DART: June, pre-pandemic. I rode DART Rail from White Rock Station to Union Station for re-licensure seminars at the Hyatt Regency.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? No comment.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Transparency in governance.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Transparency in governance.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Home
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? Does this question include the entire leadership of the city including the city manager?
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas?

District 9 candidate Judith Kumar did not submit any answers.

District 10

Sirrano Keith Baldeo

1. Name: Sirrano Keith Baldeo
2. Age: 57
3. Pronouns: He/Him
4. Wingspan (optional): I don’t have wings.
5. District you’re running in: District 10
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: Over three years.
7. Neighborhood you live in: Lake Highlands.
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ESFT-A
9. Zodiac sign: Virgo
10. Apple or Android? Android
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Velvet Taco
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Mark Cuban (love/hate)
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Bank of America Plaza
15. Your least favorite highway: I-30
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: New Jersey
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: 2 years ago
18. The last time you rode DART: 4 years ago
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? To low
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Crime
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Crime
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Potential
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date?
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas?

District 10 candidate Adam McGough did not submit any answers.

District 11

Candy Evans

1. Name: Candace “Candy” Evans. Full name is Mary Candace (NOT Candance, as so many mis-spell it), maiden name was Fox
2. Age: Super old
3. Pronouns: WTF?
4. Wingspan (optional): still measuring
5. District you’re running in: 11
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 21 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Hillcrest Estates, (min. 1 acre lots)
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Ha I’m a Campaigner!
9. Zodiac sign: LEO!
10. Apple or Android? OMG Apple of course
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Velvet Taco but I really like their margaritas best
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Erin Neely Cox & Candy Barr
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State Fair Park
15. Your least favorite highway: Just one? That abortion called the Mixmaster, and much of Central
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Touring a $6 million dollar mansion, testing the fireplace.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Three from 2018 to 2020, including a pothole so big we made a swimming pool out of it. In our super frugal family, we now buy tire packages on every car. The City should reimburse us.
18. The last time you rode DART: 1998 or 1999
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Possibly too low, but I need to dissect it more to see how the funds are being spent.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Crime
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Midtown/Valley View Mall: our retiring City Councilman, Lee Kleinman, really effed it up
22. Describe Dallas in one word: polished
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B minus
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 7

Hosanna Yemiru

1. Name: Hosanna Yemiru
2. Age: 23
3. Pronouns: she/her
4. Wingspan (optional): 6.5 paper towel rolls (I couldn’t find a measuring tape but I checked!)
5. District you’re running in: 11
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 10ish years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Spring Creek neighborhood
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: INTP-T
9. Zodiac sign: Aries!
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 469
12. Your go-to taco joint: Paisanos
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Juanita Craft
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Old Parkland
15. Your least favorite highway: is it cheating to say all of them? If so, I’ll go with I-30
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: most likely home
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: block walking for Scott in 2019
18. The last time you rode DART: two weeks ago — shout out to the Spring Valley station!
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? we spend too much trying to criminalize our way out of systemic problems and not enough trying to actually resolve them
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: COVID-19 recovery
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: high rents + property tax pushout
22. Describe Dallas in one word: full-of-potential (close enough to one word?)
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? factoring in Shingle Mountain, the redlining, and segregation — 7/10

District 11 candidates Jaynie Schultz and Barry Wernick did not submit any answers.

District 12

Eva Curl

1. Name: Elva Curl
2. Age: 41
3. Pronouns: She/her
4. Wingspan (optional): 65″
5. District you’re running in: 12
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 3 years, but I’ve lived in Dallas for 13+ years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Prestonwood Meadows
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: INTJ
9. Zodiac sign: Piscis
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214, of course.
12. Your go-to taco joint: Velvet Taco
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Morgan Fairchild. She is interesting, talented, beautiful, and cares about the environment.
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State
15. Your least favorite highway: The highway I’m on at the time.
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: I was at home – I had just seen him a few days prior to his demise.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: I haven’t yet! I must be a unicorn.
18. The last time you rode DART: 2014, going to the State Fair.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? It’s not about whether it’s too high or too low. It’s about what kind of results we are getting.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Being able to work together for the good of the city.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Protecting small businesses and creating more green space.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Innovative
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? The grade will be given to him by the voters in his next election.
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? This is an answer that varies, depending on who you ask.

Cara Mendelsohn

1. Name: Cara Mendelsohn
2. Age: 54
3. Pronouns:
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: 12
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 25+ years
7. Neighborhood you live in:
8. Myers-Briggs personality type:
9. Zodiac sign: Scorpio.
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 469
12. Your go-to taco joint: Deli News 🙂
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Pete Freedman, duh
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Reunion Tower
15. Your least favorite highway: I-35
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned:
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole:
18. The last time you rode DART:
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently $501 million; is that too high, too low or just right?
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces:
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces:
22. Describe Dallas in one word:
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date?
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas?

District 13

Gay Donnell Willis

1. Name: Gay Donnell Willis
2. Age: 56
3. Pronouns: she, hers, her
4. Wingspan (optional):
5. District you’re running in: 13
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 19 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Schreiber Manor
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Protagonist ENFJ-A
9. Zodiac sign: Cusp of Saggitarius and Scorpio
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Rusty Taco
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Lyda Hill
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State
15. Your least favorite highway: I-345
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Hosting a State Fair-themed party for Kindergarten teachers at Greenhill School
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Fortunately have not popped one
18. The last time you rode DART: To State Fair three years ago
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Gauging how our DPD overtime is tracking, too low, but I look forward to digging in on this one.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Economic disparity
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Public safety
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Spirited
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? My perspective on this may not be the most relevant to the question.

Mac Smith

1. Name: Mac Smith
2. Age: 76
3. Pronouns: Yes
4. Wingspan (optional): 6’1″ fingertip to fingertip. But I can’t flap my arms fast enough to fly anymore. Now that I am involved in politics, I am filling up with hot air. Maybe I will float off someday.
5. District you’re running in: Dallas City Council District 13
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 17 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Preston Hollow
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Grumpy Old Man
9. Zodiac sign: Taurus
10. Apple or Android? Bi.
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 972
12. Your go-to taco joint: Jack in the Box. 2 for a dollar.
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Eric Johnson (the first)
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Thanksgiving Square – My company dug the hole for the basement. I was there.
15. Your least favorite highway: I 35 near downtown during rush hour
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Everybody has to be somewhere; but, I don’t remember.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: About three years ago..
18. The last time you rode DART: Last month. I retired from DART and ride for free.
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? Too low. We need more officers and we will probably have to spend more to adequately fund the pension plan.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: The murder rate has doubled in the last six years. We need to reverse the trend.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Taxes are rising faster than our wages.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Great
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 2 (two being low). You won’t get that impression from the media and the agitators; but, we don’t live in the world we read about in the newspapers. Most of us are getting over it and are trying to bring Martin Luther King’s dream to fruition. To judge each other by the contents of our heart.

District 13 candidates Leland R Burk, Da’On Boulanger-Chatman and Ryan Moore did not submit any answers.

District 14

David Blewett

1. Name: David Blewett
2. Age: 55
3. Pronouns: Still working on it.
4. Wingspan (optional): Above average.
5. District you’re running in: District #14
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 35 years give or take.
7. Neighborhood you live in: Lakewood Heights
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: Advocate
9. Zodiac sign: Scorpio
10. Apple or Android? Apple
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 214
12. Your go-to taco joint: Tacos y Mas
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Neal Sleeper
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State
15. Your least favorite highway: i-30
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Home at my son’s first birthday party.
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Never
18. The last time you rode DART: About a year
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? 83% of the budget is personnel. We need to hire more officers to meet the demands of our residents. So the budget will be going up.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: Decaying infrastructure.
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: Out of control street racers/revving engines who have disrupted sleep and quality of life to the point that many are thinking of moving.
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Central
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? B
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 3

Paul Ridley

1. Name: Paul E. Ridley
2. Age: 68
3. Pronouns: he/him/his
4. Wingspan (optional): average human height
5. District you’re running in: 14
6. How long you’ve lived in this district: 27 years
7. Neighborhood you live in: Munger Place
8. Myers-Briggs personality type: ENTJ-A
9. Zodiac sign: Aquarius
10. Apple or Android? Android
11. What’s your cellphone’s area code? 469
12. Your go-to taco joint: Velvet Taco
13. A famous Dallasite you admire: Angela Hunt
14. Your favorite building in Dallas: Hall of State at Fair Park
15. Your least favorite highway: I-35
16. Where you were when Big Tex burned: Don’t recall
17. The last time you popped a tire on a Dallas pothole: Was on I-35
18. The last time you rode DART: Before the pandemic
19. DPD’s annual budget is currently around $500 million; is that too high, too low or just right? About right.
20. The single biggest issue our city at large currently faces: social justice
21. The single biggest issue your particular district currently faces: gentrification resulting in loss of affordable housing
22. Describe Dallas in one word: Optimistic
23. What letter grade would you give Mayor Johnson’s term to date? C-
24. On a scale of 1 to 10, how racist a city is Dallas? 7

District 14 candidate Elizabeth Viney did not submit any answers.

More 2021 Dallas City Council Voter Guide Coverage:

• WHY THIS ELECTION MATTERS.
• MEET THE DISTRICTS!
• IN THESE THREE COUNCIL RACES, FRESH BLOOD IS GUARANTEED.
• MEET THE SPICIEST CANDIDATES!
CANDIDATE SIGNATURES, RANKED.

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