Elections will be held in Fort Worth May 6 for city council representatives and the mayor.
Mayor Betsy Price will be on the ballot for a fourth consecutive term, but it will be her first time to run opposed since she was elected to the position in 2011 so we sat down with Price to hear about her campaign, her vision for Fort Worth and more.
In her state of the city address in February, Price laid out three main themes that she wants to focus on this year.
“Improving the vitality of struggling neighborhoods, bringing new investments and jobs where they are needed most and investing in our children,” said Price.
Price says the city needs to invest in struggling neighborhoods such as the historic Stop Six in southeast Fort Worth where schools in that area have a 51 percent graduation rate and unemployment is at 21 percent. She announced to the chamber of commerce that Fort Worth plans to invest more than $2.5-million in a pilot program to begin improving the vitality of all neighborhoods throughout the east side of the city.
“Things are happening on the east side of I-35, and developers are finally taking notice of the vacant land and areas ripe for redevelopment,” Price said. “This must be a sustained focus to raising the vitality…the pride…of ALL our neighborhoods.”
She also said that poverty is a major concern for Fort Worth where, according to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate is 18.8 percent.
“When it comes to poverty, unfortunately, Fort Worth is higher than both the U.S. and Texas average,” Price said. “This is not just a government issue, it is not a partisan issue—it is a community issue that all of us should be concerned about and working to address together.”
Price also says that Fort Worth will continue to drive large and small business with a new economic development that will be decided by city council this summer.
“We need quality, contiguous development throughout the city,” Price said. “It’s about efficient delivery of city services. It’s about mobility and connectivity. It’s about a balanced tax base.”
Her final theme focuses on education and building a strong public school education throughout the city.
Price says that she wants to work toward improving the quality of public schools with a particular emphasis on the third grade.
“The goal is 100 percent of third-graders reading on grade level by 2025,” Price said. “Why third grade? It’s the best predictor of their future success.”
Her opponent, Christopher Nettles, also has a strong focus on improving struggling neighborhoods and public education but Price says Christopher may lack the experience needed to be effective.
“I don’t know Chris well, I know that he is a very nice young man,” Price said. “The community, they like the direction the city is going in and we will continue down that route and looking at new and innovative ideas.”
The election will take place May 6, with early voting will begin April 24. Search early voting locations and times here.