Don Boren and Wanda Conlin recognized for commitment to planning in East Fort Worth
Wanda Conlin and Don Boren
Two longtime and vocal supporters of East Fort Worth will be honored this month by the Midwest Section of the American Planning Association-Texas Chapter.
Planning Advocate Award-Don Boren
Don Boren, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association past president, has been a resident of East Fort Worth for more than 30 years. A graduate of Polytechnic High School and Texas Wesleyan University, he was a part of the management team at John Peter Smith Hospital and later HCA Healthcare.
Most people remember him for the 15 years he spent at Bergeron's TV and Appliances on Meadowbrook Drive. After marrying Wanda Conlin in 2001, Boren moved to West Meadowbrook and bought Kwik Kopy Printing on Handley Drive.
Boren served on the city's Urban Villages Project Selection Committee in 2006. Urban villages are designated as urbanized places that encourage a concentration of jobs, housing, commercial uses, public spaces, public transportation and pedestrian activity. These denser villages are meant for traditional mixed-use development, or complementary uses located close together. This committee reviewed possible sites based on a number of criteria, including the potential for social and economic redevelopment. The two-year task force was successful in identifying urban villages that are still rapidly evolving 12 years later.
Boren is chairperson of the City Plan Commission, representing District 8.
Planning Advocate Award-Wanda Conlin
Wanda Conlin has lived in West Meadowbrook in two different houses on Martel Street for 48 years. The open space behind her home in the Scenery Hill area is her favorite place to walk.
Conlin has served as president of East Fort Worth Business Association, Shakespeare in the Park and Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County. She was past chairperson of the City Plan Commission for seven of the nine years that she served on that commission. She currently serves on the city's Zoning Commission.
When the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality for North America in early 2020, the state's governance temporarily suspended a limited number of open-meeting laws to allow telephonic or video conference meetings. Boren and Conlin made this difficult transition easier for all participants by maintaining positive attitudes; asking critical questions of staff regarding the new procedures; and remaining calm when the remote meetings ran into the inevitable glitches.
Case applicants, neighborhood representatives and other interested parties appreciate their dedication to making the public hearing process successfully work during this difficult time.
Eastside Community Garden Opens
Garden lovers now have a new place to dig in the dirt to grow food. Hosted by Meadowbrook-Poly United Methodist church, and is sponsored by several Master Gardeners from the area.
Read more on the Events page: Garden
Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth Named "Club of the Year" by Optimist International
The Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth received some exciting news recently when it learned it was named Optimist International Club of the Year. The announcement was made during the 2020 Optimist International (OI) annual summer conference originally scheduled for suburban Chicago but instead held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This is the highest recognition any Optimist Club can attain within the Optimist organization, and it is only the second time a Texas club has received this prestigious honor.
The Optimist Club of the Year award is presented to the most outstanding Club as measured by such things as: Club growth; increased community awareness and engagement campaigns; increased volunteer member base; and a variety of other criteria. Points in each category are awarded by independent judges based upon community outreach, impact on children and members, new and innovative ideas, and benefits to the individual Club members.
OI, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, has almost 2,500 clubs worldwide and more than 85,000 members. The Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth was founded more than 60 years ago and is one of several active Optimist clubs in Tarrant County. It is a 501 (c) 4 organization and operates a separate 501 (c) 3 foundation for donation purposes.
Club President Charles Hodges, who works as a director at the Fort Worth ISD Family Action Center, said the award was a pleasant, if unexpected surprise given the intense global competitive nature among the 2,500 OI clubs.
"Just in the Fort Worth/Dallas area alone, there are some tremendous Optimist clubs doing great work," he said. "For example, the Fort Worth Optimist Club (not to be confused for the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth) has run the annual Christmas Tree lot from Farrington Field for decades, with funds going to support scholarships at all Fort Worth ISD high schools, as well as supporting robust youth sports leagues.
The Arlington Optimist Club is well known for its youth sports initiatives including football, baseball, golf and cheer. Those are just two of many active area Optimist clubs dedicated to supporting children, serving the community and investing in personal relationships and growth.
"What makes this honor extremely special to us is that, to my knowledge, the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth is the only service club, among Optimist, Lion's Club, Rotary and others in Tarrant County to ever receive Club of the Year recognition from their respective international organizations."
Hodges said he started attending the Club several years ago at the invitation of School Board Trustee Tobi Jackson, who is herself a long-time Optimist member, and immediately recognized how many engaged and influential eastsiders were also involved. "I quickly realized the important work the Club was doing for eastside students and families, and I found it to be a great way to give back to the community in which I live.
"When you attend a membership breakfast or Club function, you can't help but be impressed with this dedicated, selfless group of individuals," he said. "Whether it's educators or business people, elected officials, parents or retirees, everyone shares a common thread, which is dedication to the 10-point Optimist Club creed centered around optimism and service to youth and community."
The Club's 60-plus year tradition of meeting weekly for a social breakfast and an informative speaker before the work day begins has been the glue that has held it together and continually spurs new ideas for service. The club has met at various eastside establishments over the years, but during the last decade it has routinely met for breakfast in the rear dining room at the Dixie House Café on Lancaster.
Unique to the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth is that it features three members who are former OI presidents: Don Arnwine, Fort Worth Municipal Court Chief Judge Danny Rodgers, and Ken Garner. In addition, during elections this summer, longtime Club member Patsy Garner was elected by international vote as the Optimist International President-elect for 2020-21 and 2021-22 President. When Patsy assumes her role as OI president in 2021, that will give the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth an impressive and unheard of four OI presidents on its active roster, which is an unparalleled accomplishment in the entire OI network of clubs.
Support for students manifests itself in several ways. The Club is an active sponsor of Junior Optimist International (JOI) clubs in several eastside schools, including Eastern Hills High School, West Handley Elementary and East Handley Elementary, where students learn about leadership, service to community and country and organization, including choosing and running projects benefiting the community such as sock and pet food drives to help local shelters. The Club also sponsors a robust youth 4-H club that meets at the Poly-Meadowbrook United Methodist Church and works on similar youth-building activities.
Other annual Club activities supporting students include: hosting a youth holiday choir performance for eastside elementary choirs and their families; a youth and family appreciation dinner recognizing youth from eastside elementary schools as nominated by the school principals; Young Texan and Texanne awards recognizing an outstanding male and female students from Eastern Hills High School, Oak Ridge, Nolan Catholic and Temple Christian School throughout the year; oratorical and essay scholarship contests for eastside students; and scholarships for graduating seniors.
In addition, the Club supports overall OI goals by continually assisting people in other communities who want to create their own Optimist clubs, including its most recent sponsorship of a club in Kenya, Africa. Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth members have also filled many different leadership roles in the North Texas region to share ideas, support members in other communities and foster comradery around Optimist ideals.
Community outreach is a continual theme for the Club, and it is active in supporting Eastside Ministries on Lancaster Avenue in east Fort Worth with volunteers and donations of clothing, food and money, Ronald McDonald House, food and clothing drives to help the less fortunate, and many other worthwhile community building endeavors.
The Club's highly anticipated annual spaghetti supper has traditionally brought eastsiders, elected officials, families and students together for a come-and-go dinner at the Poly-Meadowbrook United Methodist Church. This year's 50th anniversary dinner was, unfortunately, postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions and will be rescheduled at a later date.(And will be advertised on the GMN site.)
Funding to support the Club's focus is on service to children and the community comes from a variety of sources other than dues. One such source is a robust American Flag subscription program, where for $35 ($30 for veterans) a year, east Fort Worth residents and business owners can have an American Flag posted in their yards to celebrate five flag holidays. Volunteer club members and support groups such as the Boy Scouts distribute the flags in the morning and pick them up in the evening for storage until the next flag day. For information on how to subscribe to the Club's popular American Flag program, email email@example.com.
Another funding source for club activities comes from its annual golf tournament. Fortunately, Covid-19 restrictions for outdoor activities can easily be managed for this year's 30th anniversary golf tournament scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Sept. 21, at Waterchase Golf Course in east Fort Worth. All funds raised after expenses are used to directly support youth and community engagement activities. Waterchase is one of the highest-rated public courses in the Metroplex and has been a supportive sponsor of the annual tournament in recent years. Starting with a catered outdoor lunch, a 1 p.m. shotgun start follows and culminates with an awards presentation held outside the clubhouse. For information on how groups or individuals can sign up or become an event sponsor, contact Tjbcpa92@yahoo.com, 817-360-6603.
While service organizations like Optimist, Lion's Club, Rotary Club and others have generally struggled with declining memberships in recent years, the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth has thrived with a steady and active membership.
"I'm a firm believer in the saying that many hands make for little work, and nowhere is that more evident than our Club's strong 13-member board structure," said Hodges, who is completing his second year as Club president and passing the reigns to President-Elect Carolyn Hart Riddell in October. "Our board consists of the President, President Elect, Past President, two Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary, six Board Members who serve rotating two-year terms, and various committee heads. This allows for assignments to be shared equally across several fronts without burning anyone out, which is something all service clubs large and small have to deal with.
"It's very comforting that with our Club, no matter which direction you look, there's someone there who has international, District or local club experience," he said. "Instead of having to recreate the wheel after each officers' election, we simply check our tires and keep on rolling."
Like many other service clubs across the nation, Hodges said the Breakfast Optimist Club has been unable to host its regular Thursday morning in-person meetings in recent weeks and has, instead, relied on Zoom meetings and in-person volunteer activities to stay in contact and active in the community. Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the Club will resume it's regular in-person breakfast meetings at Dixie House Cafe, which feature prayer, pledge, song, an informative speaker and comradery.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth is encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or attend any of the Club's upcoming events to visit with members.
The Club can be found online at
or on Facebook at
Eastside Resident Patsy Garner Elected as Optimist International President for 2021-2022
Patsy Garner, an east Fort Worth resident and member of the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth and the Arlington Community Optimist Club, has been elected by Optimist International as President-Elect for 2020-2021 and President for 2021-2022.
The results of the vote conducted of the 2,500 Optimist clubs representing almost 85,000 members across the world was announced at the OI annual conference, originally scheduled for suburban Chicago but held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Ms. Garner's election gives the Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth the unique recognition of boasting four members who have served, or in her case will serve, as the OI president, including Don Arnwine, Judge Danny Rodgers and Ken Garner, to whom she is married.
During her campaign for the OI presidency, Ms. Garner was asked to submit answers to several questions regarding her career, professional experience and Optimist experience at the local, regional and national level. The answers are posted on the OI website and summarize the exceptional qualifications that supported her election.
As a word of warning, if you've ever thought you were too busy to belong to, much less serve in any capacity with a service club such as Optimist, Lion's, Rotary or Kiwanis, be prepared to be amazed!
Quoting directly from Ms. Garner's Q&A submission:
What are your primary qualifications for this office?
Professionally, I have 32 years of experience in Operations & Logistics at a Major Car-haul company, working with a broad spectrum of individuals throughout the auto industry. I have a skill set of making the complicated operate smoothly. I am currently employed at a Fort Worth-based accounting firm, which deepened my understanding of the financial world.
As an Optimist leader, I have almost 30 years of leadership experience at the levels of:
- Club (President, Secretary/Treasurer, Board member, JOI Club advisor, Club Builder)
- District (Committee member/Chair; Secretary/Treasurer, OI Foundation Representative, Governor)
- Region: Vice President Southwest Region
- International: Committee Member/Chair; Optimist International First Lady
The past 3 years on the Optimist International Board of Directors has:
- Broadened my knowledge of the operations
- Helped me to develop and understand the long-range strategies & served on various adhoc committees
- Allowed me the opportunity to play a vital role in re-evaluating our past (thru the Optimist Centennial celebrations) and explore opportunities as to how our future will unfold.
- Allowed me to work closely with Past International Presidents and have a deeper understanding of the job because of those relations.
- This has all provided me with a solid foundation for making informed decisions to work with future Board of Directors on the opportunities and challenges we face as Optimists serving the youth in our communities.
Why should a Club vote for you?
Optimism has been a part of my life for decades. I joined this great Organization around the time women were allowed to join because my mother told me it would create a bond with my daughter that would grow long into our future. I met my husband Ken while we served as Lt. Governors in separate zones. My daughter has served as club President & Lt. Governor – and my granddaughters have cheered in an Optimist program. Optimism flows through my veins.
- I fully understand the challenges facing clubs. While serving on the International Board of Directors these past 3 years, I was still very active at the club level, in both clubs (cheerleading sponsor, Board member, JOI Advisor, Oratorical committee & club Secretary/Treasurer.) I have also served as the District Junior Golf Chair running our Qualifier. Working directly with kids is a constant reminder of the lives we change as Optimists.
- I believe the club members and leadership are the most important part of the Optimist Organization and am dedicated to providing services directly to them - to ensure your future. Together, we face many challenges as we attempt to grow stronger in membership, improve awareness of our projects, impact our community and move into a new way of serving the kids in our communities.
- My commitment is to work with you and the leadership of Optimist International to ensure we grow stronger and are recognized as the premier Organization we have always been.
As an Optimist International Board member, or Optimist International President, what specific things will you work to achieve for the good of the organization?
- As an Organization, we have made significant changes in recognizing the needs of the membership. To keep our business strong and guarantee longevity, we need to continually challenge ourselves so that we may remain the premier Youth Services organization. I commit to working together in seeking new and relevant ways to serve our clubs so they remain strong and effective in our ever-changing world.
I understand both the challenges & opportunities faced by this Organization throughout North America, in the Caribbean and throughout the world. If elected, I commit to working with the Board of Directors, Committees and Vice Presidents:
- To provide the necessary tools to support growth, financial management, and improved awareness of projects across our Organization;
- To continue exploring additional ways that OI can better serve all of our clubs with focused areas of concentration with sports clubs & non-traditional while strengthening traditional clubs;
- To continue partnerships with other Community service organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions – who not only do amazing works internationally but also at the local level.
- To consider new and innovative structures like Federations as ways to better serve the regional areas.
- To consider different forms of revenue streams to enable our organization to function without putting the burden solely upon our membership.
- To listen and make intelligent decisions on your behalf and lead the Organization into the future.
- To improve communication to the membership and club leaders.
Anything else you would like to say to Clubs?
The flame of optimism is alive inside of me and burning brighter than ever. I want for Optimist International as a whole, to be strong well into the future so that our Grandkids, and great-grandkids get to experience this passion we all have for serving kids!
I would appreciate you and your clubs support as the Optimist International President 2021-2022. By providing hope and positive vision!
Yours in Optimism, Patsy Garner
Congratulations to Patsy Garner for her service to children, the community and Optimist International and for being elected by OI clubs worldwide to serve as president in 2021-2022. She is truly a pride to the Eastside!
Complete your 2020 census
It's Quick & easy & you can do it on your phone!
For the first time, residents will be able to respond to the census online, by phone or by mail.
Every decade, technology plays a greater role in the way the census is conducted. But in 2020, the first time anyone who wants to respond to the census online has that option, the greatest change may come from the way all of us use technology.
For the first time during a decennial census, the majority of people in the United States are using digital and social media in their everyday lives.
"The rise of digital and social media use has exponentially increased the speed of how accurate and inaccurate information can spread," said Stephen Buckner, assistant director for communications at the U.S. Census Bureau. "We know that many people may not know what the census is because it happens only every 10 years, making it a likely target for misinformation and disinformation campaigns, which is why we've been actively preparing to defend against them."
- Reach out on verified social media accounts (@USCensusBureau) to ask questions and flag suspicious information.
- Call the Census Bureau Customer Service Hotline at 1-800-923-8282 to report suspicious activity.
The 2020 Census will have implications for years to come. IT is MONEY for our neighborhoods that we desperately need.
It is everyone's responsibility to make sure there is an accurate count.
Progress update: Race and Culture recommendations
Posted June 30, 2020 — City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth continues to make progress on implementing recommendations from the Task Force on Race and Culture.
In December 2018, the City Council approved 22 Race and Culture Task Force recommendationsPDF File in key areas of criminal justice, economic development, education, governance, health, housing and transportation.
Criminal Justice: Civilian oversight of Police Department
The new Police Oversight Monitor-Director of the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor Kim Neal and Assistant Police Oversight Monitor Denise Rodriguez joined the city in March. Since then, the office has conducted initial meetings with multiple community organizations, city leaders and FWPD personnel.
The office created a complaint form and has begun receiving and reviewing complaints, inquiries, commendations, use of force incidents, FWPD policies and procedures including, but not limited to, use of force.
All members of the staff are Criminal Justice Information Services certified and continue to participate in external training opportunities. Office personnel have also received training on the Texas Public Information Act as well as met with the City Attorney's Office.
Criminal Justice: Police cadet program
The Fort Worth Police Department completed all tasks related to the advertising, interviewing and hiring 20 new cadets.
Criminal Justice: Police Department diversity
Members of the Fort Worth Police Department Training Division met with colleagues in the Fire Department to share ideas on recruiting. A FWFD representative provided information on a targeted social media campaign and "text this number" campaign that allowed them to increase their diversity pool with great success. These ideas were added to recruitment plans for future implementation.
Economic Development: Job training, transportation to jobs, background issues and hiring process
The city partnered with Workforce Solutions to enhance job fairs and training opportunities and is currently working with Workforce Solutions to identify occupations with labor shortages. Municipal Courts expanded its Safe Harbor Initiative warrant forgiveness program and declared February 2020 Warrant Forgiveness Month. Individuals who voluntarily appeared at a court location in February to act on their cases were eligible for community service or a reduction in the fine amount based on their ability to pay. Municipal Court also continued its Court in the Community initiative to bring the mobile court to sites across the city in February. The city is also working with all chambers of commerce on a memorandum of understanding about various employment-related issues, including transportation to work.
Economic Development: Education incentives to achieve wage parity
In partnership with United Way of Tarrant County and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (which has employed staff to provide oversight and technical assistance to FWISD and community GO Centers), Fort Worth ISD currently has 42 active GO Centers operating around Fort Worth. GO Centers are designed to help students see pathways to careers and college. They are physical spaces in schools, libraries, workforce centers and church-affiliated spaces equipped with computers and overseen by school staff. Tarrant County College also hosts a mobile GO Center. Students visit the GO Centers and research career opportunities, college options and financial aid. Students are assisted by mentors from higher education institutions and from the community.
Economic Development: Capacity-building of minority-owned businesses
The Business Equity Division, formerly the Office of Business Diversity, transitioned from the Economic Development Department to the new Department of Diversity and Inclusion, expanding its responsibilities for capacity-building of minority-owned businesses in the process.
The Business Equity Division completed the city's 2020 Business Equity Disparity Study in June with consultant Colette Holt Advisors. Along with partner organizations, the division completed 77 outreach events for minority businesses to date, and partnered with Beck Construction to launch Beck School of Construction for new or emerging local minority businesses.
Education: Early childhood intervention via quality child care
The city partnered with the Early Learning Alliance to embark on a 10-year movement working to ensure that all children have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life:
Increased Texas Rising Star quality child care by 131%.
On-boarded 3,000+ child care professionals on registry.
Completed 3,000+ infants and toddler screenings through Ages & Stages Questionnaire.
Education: Service learning and civic engagement
The Rising Stars Leadership Academy has expanded from a 10-week summer program to a year-round experience for youth ages 13-18. Before COVID-19, the goal was to enroll 20 youth in the first year-round class by March 1, 2020. Youth will be selected from economically-challenged communities to participate in the Rising Stars Leadership Academy, which will be held at Martin Luther King Community Center in conjunction with the EnVision Center. The FW@ 6 program sites participated in two service-learning projects — working at the North Texas Area Food Bank, and collecting toys for Cook Children's Medical Center.
Education: College and career centers
Fort Worth ISD currently has 42 active GO Centers operating around Fort Worth. GO Centers are designed to help students see pathways to careers and college. They are physical spaces in schools, libraries, workforce centers and church-affiliated spaces equipped with computers and managed by school staff. Tarrant County College also hosts a mobile GO Center. Students visit the GO Centers and research career opportunities, college options and financial aid. Students are assisted by mentors from higher education institutions and from the community.
The 2016 Charter Amendment increased the number of City Councilmembers from 8 plus 1 to 10 plus 1, effective with redistricting after the 2020 Census for the 2023 municipal election.
Governance: Diversity and Inclusion Department
The activities identified related to the creation of the Department of Diversity and Inclusion have all been completed. The Municipal Equity Division has 1.5 staff members, the Business Equity Division has six staff members, and the Civil Rights Enforcement Division has 10 full-time and three part-time staff members and an assistant department director. The new diversity and inclusion director/chief equity officer began work in December 2019 and developed new mission, objectives and measures for the new department. The Business Equity Division, formerly reporting to the Economic Development Department, now reports to the Diversity and Inclusion Department. All divisions are co-located at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods using a shared-space model to reduce utility costs.
Governance: Diversity training
The Department of Diversity and Inclusion (formerly Human Relations Unit) and the former Performance and Budget Department completed Values Summits on Diversity and Mutual Respect for supervisors in October 2019. The department implemented specialized department inclusion, diversity, equity and access workshops. The city has Diversity and Inclusion educational workshops available online through Employee University.
Health: Health education and outreach
Fort Worth's overall 2018 Well-Being Index score rose to 62.5, a gain of nearly four points since 2014. Gallup Sharecare Well-Being Index has not released new reports for 2019 or 2020 to date.
Health: Active lifestyles
The city opened Hillside Community Center fitness center in February 2020. The city has finalized Silver Sneakers and Active Renew agreements and implemented new programs to increase older adult use of fitness classes and facilities through existing health care providers at community centers.
In order to encourage active lifestyles in neighborhoods, the city began installing 6,800 feet of sidewalk improvement and 1,000 streetlights using existing bond and PayGo funds. To date, the city has 7,230 linear feet of sidewalks planned in NPAs, and 1,200 linear feet or 20% completed. The city has also focused efforts on streetlight maintenance to encourage walkability in neighborhoods. To date, 860 lights have been improved and converted to LED in NPAs since Jan. 1, 2020 (86%). The city's Active Transportation Plan (ATP) was adopted by council April 2019 and is currently used as a guide to prioritize sidewalk gap implementation and 2022 Bond project identification.
Health: Healthy foods
With the approval of the Farmer's Market Ordinance by City Council, the city approved residential food carts that can sell packaged fresh fruit cups in Fort Worth neighborhoods. This was accomplished through a standing partnership with Blue Zones, a local food cart operator (Gabriel Velazquez) and the Code Compliance Department. To ensure access to healthy foods in neighborhoods designated healthy food deserts, the amendment reduces and or eliminates permit fees, updates and eases requirements for new pop-up farmers markets in the city.
Health: Access to providers
The city identified funds to establish the Near Southside Medical District ZIPZONE. The Trinity Metro ZIPZONE program is the agency's "first mile/last mile" solution for users of public transportation. Riders can travel their "first mile" and their "last mile" from the nearest bus stop via on-demand rideshare service. The city paid its first installment invoice to Trinity Metro of the total cost of $250,000 for Near Southside.
Housing: Affordable housing incentives policy
The city's Five-Year Consolidated Plan marks the city as achieving 43% of its goal to promote affordable housing for renters and owners through four funding streams — Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Solutions Grants and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.
While some policy, procedure and plan development tasks for affordable housing goals are currently on hold due to extensive staff time dedicated to COVID-19 pandemic-related issues, the city responded with the creation of emergency rental assistance program through new CARES Act funding.
Housing: Homebuyer assistance
The city's Homebuyer Assistance Program provides up to $20,000 in mortgage assistance for income-eligible, first-time homebuyers within Fort Worth city limits. To date, the program reported 80% minority participation. Currently, the policy, procedure and plan development tasks for housing goals are currently on hold due to extensive staff time dedicated to COVID-19 pandemic-related issues.
Housing: Resident awareness of housing resources
The city has completed a brochure summarizing information on all city housing programs. This information will also be used on the new city website. The workshops and public meetings originally scheduled for 2020 have been postponed because of COVID-19. Staff is continuing to work on the new presentation and will roll it out when public meetings resume.
Transportation: Equity policy and five-year action plan
The Transportation and Public Works (TPW) Department will be the pilot department for the process establishing the City Equity Plan for Municipal Service Delivery. The city is finalizing a consultant contract in June 2020, to partner with Diversity and Inclusion, and Planning and Data Analytics, to create the framework that will include the City Transportation Equity Policy and Five-Year-Plan with public input.
Transportation: Funding criteria
The city has actively incorporated equity as a criteria for project evaluation in the preparation of the transportation projects considered in the 2022 Bond Program.
Transportation: After-action reviews of pedestrian and bicycle crashes
TPW collected and monitored bicycle and pedestrian crash data, observing a reduction in crashes and fatalities for both bicyclists and pedestrians between 2018 and 2019. TPW prepared a biannual report documenting trends and comparisons among peer cities.
To learn more about progress on all 22 improvement efforts, contact Chief Equity Officer and Director of the Diversity and Inclusion Department Christina Brooks by email or at 817-392-8988.
FORT WORTH CITY COUNCIL REDISTRICTING NEWS
Task force named to advise City Council on redistricting
The City Council on Tuesday appointed an 11-member Redistricting Task Force to advise on redistricting criteria and procedures.
In 2016, Fort Worth voters approved an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Councilmembers from nine to 11 following the completion of the 2020 Census. The Task Force on Race and Culture in December 2018 recommended the goal of ensuring that the City Council reflects the diverse communities that it represents.
Task force members:
Place 1: Lorraine Miller, chair.
Place 2: Salvador Espino.
Place 3: Graham Norris.
Place 4: Craig Allen.
Place 5: Bert Williams.
Place 6: Linda Kennedy.
Place 7: Tony DeVito.
Place 8: Tracy Scott.
Place 9: Kent Bradshaw.
Place 10: Bill Schur.
Place 11: Teresa Ayala.
Here is the timeline for the task force:
By Dec. 8, 2020. Present an interim report on its findings to the City Council.
January 2021. Multiple public hearings will be scheduled, either physically or virtually, at locations throughout the city to solicit community feedback on redistricting criteria and procedures.
March 2, 2021. The Redistricting Task Force makes its final recommendations to the City Council.
Task force meetings will be open to the public.
Learn more about redistricting at CitizensMapFW.org
Many, many thanks.
Contact: Fernando Florez, 817.239.0578 email@example.com
Fort Worth's population put at 909,585, ranking 13th nationwide
Fort Worth has seen 22% growth since 2010.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates as of July 1, 2019. According to these estimates, Fort Worth's population is 909,585 and the city is ranked 13th nationwide, with 11,032 more people than 14th-ranked Columbus, Ohio, and 1,922 fewer than 12th-ranked Jacksonville, Fla.
Fort Worth's population has surpassed three cities since 2017, first moving up from 16th in 2017, then to 15th in 2018 and 13th in 2019.
Fort Worth added 164,761 residents since the 2010 Census base estimate, equating to 22% growth since 2010.
Seattle has been the fastest growing large city (more than 500,000 population) since 2010, with 24% growth between 2010 and 2019, while Fort Worth and Austin are tied for second-fastest-growing large city.
Fort Worth is estimated to have added 16,369 people between July of 2018 and July of 2019, equating to 45 people per day.
The draft estimate of Fort Worth's population by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is 873,130 as of Jan. 1, 2020. NCTCOG and the U.S. Census Bureau use different data sources, methodologies and timeframes for producing annual estimates, and both revise past annual estimates when producing new estimates.
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Tips to keep the heat from beating you down this summer
In June, MedStar crews treated at least 88 patients with heat-related conditions. Of that number, 57 patients were serious enough to require transport to area hospitals and six patients were deemed critical.
As Fort Worth enters the hottest period so far this year, with heat indexes predicted to exceed 105 degrees, it's a good time to remember that prolonged or intense exposure to high temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt through excessive sweating, particularly through hard physical labor or exercise. This loss of essential fluids can disturb circulation and interfere with brain function. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include muscle cramps, paleness, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible.
Heatstroke is a life-threatening problem that occurs when the body suffers from long, intense exposure to heat and loses its ability to cool itself. Some of the most common signs of heatstroke include confusion, vomiting, alteration in sweating, hot and flushed skin, rapid heart rate, decreased sweating, shortness of breath, decreased urination, increased body temperature (104-106 degrees Fahrenheit) or, potentially, convulsions.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know starts experiencing any of the symptoms above, immediately call 911.
While heatstroke and heat exhaustion are common this time of year, they can be easily prevented:
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water during the day, especially if you are engaged in strenuous activity. Sports drinks are a good choice if you're exercising or working in hot conditions, but water is a good way to hydrate as well.
- Ventilate. Stay in a place where there is plenty of air circulating to keep your body cool. If you are indoors and don't have access to air conditioning, open windows and use a fan.
- Cover up. Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing to avoid absorbing the sun's light and trapping heat. Wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun, but once you feel yourself getting warm, remove any items covering your head that can trap heat close to your body.
- Limit activity. Heatstroke can occur in less than an hour when you are participating in strenuous activity on a hot day. If you feel yourself getting hot or light-headed, stop your activity and rest in a cool place out of the sun. Be sure to drink water or a sports drink before, during and after strenuous activity.
- Check on friends & neighbors. The elderly are especially vulnerable to heat-related emergencies. Many elderly residents are not aware of how hot it may get in their residence. Call on older friends and family members regularly to assure they are doing OK.
Experts share protection tips for West Nile Virus and COVID-19
The City of Fort Worth, in partnership with The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, is reminding residents to protect themselves against the West Nile virus even as they guard against COVID-19.
Although mosquitos do not carry the COVID-19 virus, residents shouldn't minimize the dangers of West Nile virus.
In Fort Worth, West Nile virus is on the rise and can display similar symptoms to COVID-19: fever or chills, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea and continued fatigue and weakness.
West Nile virus activities in the mosquito population are currently higher than 2015 or 2016 when Tarrant County had 26 and 27 serious cases respectively, said Joon-Hak Lee, associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at HSC. At that time, the estimated number of West Nile virus infections was about 6,600. Lee said many of the people infected were asymptomatic while others experienced mild symptoms.
Lee, who is monitoring the West Nile virus and COVID-19 as part of a continuing collaboration with the City of Fort Worth, warns that key indicators point to a possible increase in West Nile virus infections this year.
Like COVID-19, virus prevention and control depends on personal efforts by individuals to minimize the risk of exposure.
Advice to protect against West Nile virus
Avoid being outdoors for extended periods of time between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., when mosquito activity is highest.
Cover arms and legs while outside, and spray DEET insect repellant on shirts and clothing before you head outdoors.
Eliminate standing water in yards and neighborhoods.
The elderly and those with weakened immune systems should use caution, as they can be particularly susceptible to the West Nile virus.
Guidance to protect against COVID-19
- Wear a mask.
- Wash your hands.
- Keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet from others.