Adam Bazaldua wears his progressive credentials on his sleeve and sometimes backs initiatives that are more symbolic than substantive.
For example, Bazaldua backed defunding local police, but later shifted gears and now supports the crime fighting strategies and leadership of police Chief Eddie García. And in the name of equity, Bazaldua has supported the city’s dubious guaranteed income experiment to help low-income residents.
That said, Bazaldua, 36, is a hard worker and advocate for economic equity and is the best choice in City Council District 7 over longtime Dallas activist Marvin Crenshaw, businesswoman Okema Thomas and real estate broker Tracy Dotie Hill.
First elected in 2019, Bazaldua has fought against the expansion of concrete batch plants, questioned the policing tactics of state troopers that former police Chief U. Reneé Hall invited to help reduce crime in the district and was the only council member to vote against a panhandling ordinance, accusing his colleagues of criminalizing poverty and homelessness. However, he also has built coalitions on the council in support of more equitable budgeting, investment and housing policies designed to reverse years of underinvestment in southern Dallas neighborhoods.
Bazaldua said he would favor using 40% of the city’s next bond issue in 2024 for affordable housing, home repair and other related housing measures. “This is our greatest need with this next bond,” he said.
Bazaldua said the city must explore new revenue sources to help catch up on outstanding needs. He believes, incorrectly in our view, that the city should consider a tax or toll on suburban commuters into the Dallas central business district. He favors using rental car taxes to fund cultural centers such as the African American Museum and the future Mexican-American Museum in Fair Park.
He also said Dallas has to improve mobility and remains a strong supporter of returning scooters to both downtown and neighborhoods around the city to help residents get from public trains and buses to and from home and work. “We have put all of our eggs into the basket of a regional transportation entity, but there is still that last mile needed to connect neighborhoods,” he said. “I want them to be strategically placed where data shows we can increase ridership.”
Hill, 55, said she is dissatisfied with Bazaldua’s leadership and is running to reduce crime, attract new businesses and provide affordable housing in the district. She said she would engage with residents to hear their concerns, but failed to demonstrate a working knowledge of the issues or specific policies. When asked about a housing policy before the City Council, she told the editorial board that she didn’t know much about it and would have to look into it. Crenshaw and Thomas did not answer our Voter Guide questionnaire or attend editorial board interviews and show few signs of running a viable campaign.
Bazaldua’s progressivism leads him to support some poor policy ideas. But he is a consistent and steady advocate for his constituents and should return to the council.
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