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Politics in Pleasant Grove

Diane Xavier | 4/29/2013, 7:18 p.m.
Jesse Diaz, Bruce Shaw and Yolanda Williams The Dallas Examiner

All candidates also discussed what they would do to get things done in District 5.

“We need to work with code enforcement,” Shaw said. “We have to have accountability and clean up the area. We need to build it up and make it safe.”

Diaz said part of the reason for having bad streets and roads is the lack of funding the city has received.

“Pleasant Grove received less than 15 million dollars of a 645 million bond package a couple of years ago, so it’s going to take some time,” he said. “Now that we are going to have one person representing us, things are going to change. It’s our time to get money for our area, and it is going to take years, I think, to fix these problems of bad roads.”

Williams disagreed with Diaz on the time it would take to fix road construction.

“It’s going to take the citizens of Pleasant Grove to watch what happens to their money,” she said. “We need to make sure that City Council uses the money for what it’s allocated for. Pleasant Grove is going to have to be proactive. It’s going to take all of us coming together to help improve the area.”

Despite the negative images of the city, all candidates said there are many positive attributes to the city.

“We have affordable housing and we are growing,” Diaz said. “Our businesses are doing well and we had to build new schools because of the growth in this area.”

Williams said the community is growing as well.

“Pleasant Grove is stable and is a good community, but we have to get it back to the way it was,” she said.

Shaw said the city is a sleeping giant.

“Pleasant Grove is poised to do remarkable things,” Shaw said. “It’s about to be transformed and what’s about to happen to the area is going to affect generations to come. We all have to work together to make sure Pleasant Grove moves forward and there won’t be any dragging or lagging behind. We are going to show the rest of Dallas how great it really is.”

Other areas of concern for residents are how to reduce crime in the area.

Williams said it takes a community to help reduce crime.

“Businesses need to invest in security and we all need to attack crime,” she said. “Leaders have to step up to the plate and be leaders in the community.”

Shaw agreed.

“The power rests with the community,” he said. “The police can only have a limited effect and can’t do everything. “

Diaz said he was surprised at the reaction he got from the community regarding crime.

“I would go door to door to talk to over 400 citizens and they all would tell me the same thing,” Diaz said. “They would tell me that crimes are being committed somewhere else, not here.”

Williams said crime will be hard to reduce if we keep blaming things on race.

“We have the Hispanics playing the race card and the African Americans playing the race card, so we will never get rid of crime if we keep playing the race card,” she said.