Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Recruiting Companies to Dallas – The One that Got Away

April 10, 2010
In difficult financial times, a city must still remain active and be successful with respect to getting companies to relocate and add dollars to our tax base.
This is one of the primary strengths of our current Mayor, Tom Leppert.  Since he became Mayor, many companies looking to move from various parts of the country now call Dallas home.  Texas has many pluses that make us more attractive when compared to other states (lower cost of living, pro-business attitude, etc), but you still need leadership that can close the deal when it’s on the table (kind of like the fine gent in the picture on the right).
One big fish that got away nearly ten years ago was Boeing. Dallas was a finalist for their relocation, but they ended up in Chicago.  In the following piece on the DMN Frisco blog (h/t Rudy Bush of the DMN), former Boeing CEO Phil Condit talks about many of the factors that cause Dallas to lose out of on a major relocation. Check it out.

UPDATE: Frisco City Council Approves Affordable Housing Support

February 17, 2010

Last night, Frisco City Council voted 4-1 to support developer applications for affordable housing within the city.  This is a follow-up to the story I wrote about a few days ago.

The projects still have be be approved for tax-credits by the State’s housing agency.

Low-Income People can Live in Frisco, too

February 12, 2010

The fantastic Candy Evans at D Magazine’s Dallas Dirt brings us a story about opposition to a mixed-income housing development in Frisco because some of the residents will use Section 8 vouchers.

Like Candy writes, “working folks need to live somewhere and Frisco businesses complain they can’t find enough employees who want to drive in from more affordable areas.”   Stacy Brown (Frisco’s Housing and Grants administrator) states in the clip, “to grow with our businesses, we need those workers. We need them to be able to come here. Otherwise, we can’t staff our restaurants, hotels, retail.”

I couldn’t agree with them more.

View more news videos at:

In addition, it’s not a low-income housing community.  It’s mixed income with some of the residents using Section 8 vouchers. 

For the gentleman in opposition in the news clip: the people that you’re so scared of are already in the city.  There the ones working in the Target and other stores near Stonebriar. Keep worrying about pre-conceived fears you’ve read about, your precious suburb will be just fine.  However, I think this might be more of a threat to your property values in Frisco.

More than A Grocery Store in Oak Cliff (with Video)

June 10, 2009

Yesterday was a great day in Oak Cliff. The Save A Lot grocery store had its official ribbon cutting for the brand new Save-a-Lot store at the Crest Shopping Center in the 2600 Block of Lancaster (map). Note: the Google street view also shows how it looked before the renovation.

Dwaine and I, along with the Mayor, city staff, neighbors, and the shopping center developer have been working on this for nearly two years. We were first looking at putting the store across the street from its current location. Everyone settled on keeping the store in the shopping center. The neighbors’ input was used in creating the store, from the items stocked on the shelves and beyond.

Save A Lot is an important part of this community. In these times, Save A Lot provides the opportunity for a family to get a healthy, balanced meal for $5. Compared to buying fast food every night for dinner because it’s cheap, a void is being filled in this neighborhood. People couldn’t wait to get into the store, as you can see people pushing carts by us even as the press conference progressed.

One major bonus: Save A Lot donated 5,000 pounds of food to the North Texas Food Bank! According to one of their reps that translates into 100 full carts of groceries for needy families at a time when donations are shrinking.

As I have said from the beginning, this is bigger than just a new grocery store.

In the process, the new store also provided us an opportunity to get rid of the asbestos filled theater that was on the north side of the center. The theater had been vacant for years and could not be rented due to the aforementioned issues. Now there’s a new grocery store in its place.

Mickey’s Catfish, owned by Vincent Hall, has just opened in the last couple of months. The mall and the neighborhood has a lot more energy now vs. before Dwaine took office.

You will also see that the entire mall is undergoing an extensive renovation and repaving, which was spearheaded by everyone working with the owners of the center as part of our Lancaster Road Initiative.

One of the comments that struck me the most were the ones made by Rick Meyer from Save A Lot:

“I’d like to take Dwaine on some road shows with me, (and) teach some folks in other communities what it’s all about to be a good partner.”

A comment like that makes it all worthwhile. When you see the various articles and conferences held with respect to what Southern Dallas needs to bring growth and development, this is what it’s all about. You can say it and claim you’re a leader all day long, but just like a World Series Championship baseball team you need a starter and a closer. We have that in our Mayor and Dwaine. This is one of the reason that I’m glad they’re both in office and in leadership positions on City Council. In his remarks, the Mayor also hinted at another store to be announced for District Four pretty soon!

This store and center will always be special to me. It’s where Dwaine’s campaign office was located when he first took office. The neighborhood was promised that this center would be a catalyst for positive change in that part of Oak Cliff and along Lancaster Road. I can’t count the number of nights we walked the center hoping that we could someday be a part of its turnaround. It’s here, but there’s more to come. The work is not done, but we’re moving in the right direction.

Video is below:

Remarks from from Rick Meyer, Vice President of Save-A-Lot.

Remarks from Vanessa Foster from Save-A-Lot and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.

Remarks from Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

Remarks from Cathy Misko and Vanessa Foster of Save A Lot and officials from the North Texas Food Bank.

Economic Recovery Workshop is Monday!

April 19, 2009

By now, you have heard about Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson‘s Roadmap to Recovery workshop.

“The Roadmap to Recovery” workshop will help North Texans access economic
recovery funding. The workshop is designed to bring together representatives of financial organizations and federal and state agencies, who will share information on ways for North Texans to access economic recovery funding.

Three panels of agency representatives will be followed by a question-and-answer session. I will be moderating one of the panels.

Date: Monday, April 20, 2009

Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: The Music Hall at Fair Park
909 1st Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210 (map)

Agencies that have confirmed that they will be represented include:

Internal Revenue Service
Taxpayer Advocate Service
Texas Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Small Business Administration
U.S. Social Security Administration

Financial organizations that are sending representatives include Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas and the Dallas Small Business Development Center. John Podvin, an attorney at Haynes and Boone, LLP, will speak about the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and newly-created Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP).

To RSVP for the workshop:

please call Congresswoman Johnson’s office in Dallas at (214) 922-8885 or e-mail

To submit a question to the panelists:

e-mail, specifying which agency or financial organization to which the question is directed.

Obama Directly Addresses America in Two-Minute Ad: Plan for Change

September 17, 2008

This may be the first time that a major candidate has released a two-minute ad that addresses major issues.

But as Barack says in the ad, “this is no ordinary time and it shouldn’t be an ordinary election. “

Check it out:

Wall Street Affects All of Us

September 15, 2008

Many people are reading about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the pending purchase/rescue of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, and think it doesn’t affect them. They think it’s a bunch of rich Wall Street-types that had it coming.

People also should realize that will companies like Lehman and especially Merrill & Lehman play an important part in our economy. If you have a 401k or pension, Merrill may be the custodian of your funds. AIG (who’s also in deep trouble) reinsures other companies, which means they back other smaller insurance firms. They had to post subsidiaries as collateral to get $20 billion in emergency funds. If this doesn’t work, they’re done. A lot of lower and middle-income people work at these firms also. Assistants, customer services reps, accountants and more work at these firms. This is big, y’all.

Did you know that today’s 500-point drop was the worst since 9/11?

Projected layoff numbers:

Lehman – 20,000
Merrill – thousands of jobs, since Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are everywhere and have a ton of personnel overlap.

These companies have offices all over the United States. In small towns and major cities, these companies matter. A lot of net worth evaporated from the US economy today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.