According to Rick Callahan, City Councilman for District 5, “this is Our Time: Pleasant Grove NOW!” The southeast Dallas initiative design to stimulate economic growth in southeast Dallas (City Council Districts 5, 7 & 8). The first PG NOW public meeting titled “a charrette” held on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in the Community Room of the Eastifeld College Pleasant Grove Campus.
Citizens, neighborhood groups, businesses, chamber members, dignitaries and a very professional group of planning facilitators attended the meeting, well over 125 people. The general consciences of all participants was excitement and hope as they worked on S.W.O.T analysis and preparing general targets to include in a plan to improve southeast Dallas.
The public meeting including grouping over 100 people in tables of eight and brainstorming on a vision of the PG NOW plan. Most notable targets were set under broader categories: (1.) Small business financing and funding stimulated by low interest loan programs i.e., South Dallas Development funds, People Fund, and other alternative loan programs. (2) Publicity and promoting the campaign i.e., Informate Magazine, Editorial Dallas Morning News, and Grow South web engines. (3) Zoning issues was a more complicated issue but the idea of using existing city departments and protecting businesses and community by enforcing zoning laws and or revising new laws as we move forward with the PG NOW. (4) Focusing on underserve areas was hard since the entire area falls under this category, but certainly the idea that consulting with neighborhood organizations is very important. (5) Workforce development was highlighted by the new center that just moved in to southeast Dallas and utilizing it and the Eastfield College Pleasant Grove campus to identify students and career pathways. (6) Identifying local merchant associations, chambers, crime watches and engaging them in general clean-up campaigns and beatification projects. (7) Create a PG NOW Foundation to raise funds and sustain the PG NOW plan to revitalize southeast Dallas, and such a foundation could begin by organizing historical markers, landmarks, and other PG boundaries. More to come….