1. Why is the movement to restore neighborhoods important to you?
By choice, I’ve lived in four historical districts in Dallas. Kessler-Stevens Park in Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum, the Swiss Avenue neighborhood, and my favorite for many reasons—Munger Place.
When we first bought our house in Munger Place in the early 1980s, people did not know their neighbors. The same individuals tended to lead private lives, mostly indoors. The surrounding area was crime ridden. This section of Dallas, called Old East Dallas, went through a long period of decline. Dealing with crime and cleaning up the unsavory and unsafe features in our neighborhood was a critical first step in changing the area for the better. Getting to know our neighbors was a second.
Slowly, the involvement of many of the residents in Munger Place helped persuade the city of Dallas to create the title of Munger Place Historic District. But that was just the beginning, we worked hard to create Neighborhood Watch Groups, helped to create annual family-oriented events, including a home tour to get to know our neighbors, and show the residents of the city how dedicated we were to renovate our historic designated homes near downtown Dallas.
After a while, it became a tradition to sit on our porches, and greet our neighbors as they walk on by.
2. Why do you want to be involved with this movement?
I strongly believe in the mission. Good examples of urban revitalization programs or traffic reconfigurations in cities that were cut in the past by road layouts and highways prove that investments in vacant land can increase tax revenue for the city, and it can also help boost property values and reduce crime and litter under highway bridges. The resulting positive impacts will also help create a more walking and bicycle friendly environment, and more
commercial development. And, finally, it will reduce the amount of traffic affecting the core of our city.
3. What does the word “neighborhood” mean to you, and where do I find it in Dallas?
My “neighborhood” for me is ethnically mixed.
My “neighborhood” for me is where neighbors get to know each other.
My “neighborhood” for me is designed to attract people of all ages.
My “neighborhood” for me its adaptable to future purposes.
My “neighborhood” for me is community driven and involved.
My “neighborhood” for me should be safe.
My “neighborhood” for me has parks and planted trees.
My “neighborhood” for me is clean.
My “neighborhood” for me does not have graffiti.
You can find some neighborhoods in Dallas that have some or many of the bullet points I mention above.