SHARE
Two years ago, Mayor Betsy Price and city councilmembers appeared to listen intently to dozens of outspoken locals as city leaders voted to accept 22 recommendations by the Race and Culture Task Force. Photo by Edward Brown.

A 2018 ploy by city leadership is motivating reform-minded locals to try to vote in an entirely new city council and mayor in May.

Two years ago, Mayor Betsy Price and city councilmembers appeared to listen intently to dozens of outspoken locals as city leaders voted to accept 22 recommendations by the Race and Culture Task Force, a group of citizens formed by city councilmembers in 2017 in response to public uproar following the heavy-handed arrest of a Black mother and her two daughters in 2016 (“ Settling for Less,” April 2017).

At the time, local media (the Weekly included) described the vote as “adopting” the recommendations. While the broader narrative peddled by the mayor and other leaders gave the appearance that substantial social and economic reforms were being considered, the city’s legal team crafted the resolution’s language to merely “accept” the report findings. For lawyers, accepting means that one party acknowledges that it has received something. Nothing more.

Omni 300x250

Now, one of the most important and far-reaching recommendations by the task force is being ignored. Task force members recommended that the city create an independent redistricting committee to ensure that councilmembers do not redraw district maps to serve, ya know, themselves (“ City Officials Backpedaling on Promises?” Jan 28). Fort Worth will add two new city councilmembers and two new districts in 2023. City staff are using a council-appointed redistricting task force that will give final redistricting guideline recommendations in March.

“By wording the resolution the way that they did, city council absolved themselves and the city of any responsibility to deliver upon or fulfill the recommendations,” recently posted a leader with the grassroots group United Fort Worth.

The city’s wordsmithing should be seen for what it is — an effort to mislead the public and to prevent the types of reforms that are long overdue in Fort Worth. City council unanimously voted in favor of “accepting” the recommendations, and many are looking to boot the current city council on May 1 at the ballot box.

LEAVE A REPLY