City Council Hopefuls Prioritize Crime and Short-Term Rentals in District 13 Campaign

Dallas City Council’s District 13 race is heating up as Gay Donnell Willis seeks re-election against Priscilla Shacklett, who has a set of criticisms listed on her campaign website against the District 13 incumbent. Shacklett claims that the crime rate in the area has increased since last year, citing the number of murders and several crimes that have occurred in the district under Willis’ leadership. Moreover, Shacklett believes that Willis hasn’t done enough to support the Dallas Police Department and school safety, remove the homeless from the streets and make panhandling illegal.

Shacklett comes with a background in accounting, managing budgets for a multi-billion dollar corporation, and real estate experience for the past 12 years, making her a formidable competitor. However, she declined to comment or answer questions for the Observer, leading many to question her ability to lead.

Before her election in 2021, Willis served on city of Dallas and Dallas Independent School District bond committees. She is a former president and CEO of the Turtle Creek Conservancy that preserves green space in the city. During her time on the City Council, she has voted to fully fund the Dallas Police Department and Dallas-Fire Rescue, leading to the approval of millions of dollars in new road and alley construction in the district.

Willis is proud to say that District 13 remains one of the safest parts of Dallas under her leadership, with multiple endorsements from notable organizations such as the Dallas Police Association and the Dallas Black Firefighters Association. She recognizes crime as an issue in parts of her district, particularly low-income, high-density apartments with inadequate lighting and security cameras. However, Willis believes that bringing these places up to code will reduce crime in the district and shifts her focus towards solving the crisis via collaborative measures tailored to Dallas’s unique challenges.

On regulating short-term rentals, Willis is mindful of resident complaints about the possibility of diminishing property rights but acknowledges the danger they pose to neighborhoods. She presses for a vote on the matter, with the council being briefed on new regulations for them in early June. Willis expects a vote on the issue in the following month.

The polls on election day for the Dallas City Council race will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 6. As the day nears, residents look forward to deciding who they want to lead District 13 in the future.

Related Articles

Back to top button