By DIANE XAVIER
The Dallas Examiner
Monday Night Politics: Meet the Candidates presented by The Dallas Examiner online on Facebook continued March 15.
The forum featured candidates running for the office of the Dallas City Council District 5 seat. Candidates included: incumbent Jamie Resendez, Terry Perkins, Ruth Torres and Yolanda Faye Williams.
Resendez is the incumbent for District 5 and has been in this office since 2019.
“I am a U.S. Army combat veteran,” Resendez said. “I am an attorney and prior to serving on the Dallas City Council, I was a member of the DISD school board. To me education is the foundation of society but one of the things that I learned while I was serving on the school board is the education of our students is impacted by a lot of issues. Issues like criminal justice, housing, economic development, transportation. All of those things impacts our students’ ability to learn and be successful. I represent a community in which I was raised. After high school, I served in the military and did a tour in Baghdad, Iraq and that is the experience that changed my life, and I came back and enrolled in community college at Eastfield and ultimately graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.
“Since being elected to council I have been a strong advocate for equity and opportunity for all. Whether it was by amending the city code to increase access to government for underrepresented groups, advocating for increased internet access in high need communities before and during the pandemic, riding my bicycle in every single street in our District to better identify our infrastructure needs and highlight the incredible trails in Southeast Dallas or ending up in a high speed chase during a ride along with the Dallas Police Department while working to address the dangerous street chasing situation in our community. My focus has been on improving the quality of life for every residence in our city. But there is much more work that needs to be done. Now is not the time for Southeast Dallas to have a revolving door of representatives.”
Williams is a paralegal and former Dallas Park Board member.
“I’m a native of Dallas and a longtime resident of Pleasant Grove,” she said. “I am not an activist, I am just someone who loves District 5 in Pleasant Grove. I served five years on the Park Board and the biggest accomplishment I did was the water park and also the $7.5 million dollars for our lake. I love Pleasant Grove. I helped register 50 seniors for the COVID-19 vaccine. I personally took some seniors in my own car to get their first and second shot and I also continue the Turkey Drive.”
“I ask you for your support. I have been consistent and I have been involved in working in the community for over 25 years. I go back to 2010 when it was redistricting and up at 12 at night fighting and advocating for District 5 that they do our community right. I was also on the census in 2010. I served on the census this year. I was the voice when they recently were hiring for a police chief in 2010 and asked them then why didn’t they include us when they were looking for a police chief and they didn’t want to be transparent and they didn’t want to hear from us. I also recently sent the letter to Mr. Broadnax when they were looking for the new police chief. District 5 did not have any representation. I asked him why we were left out. Mr. Broadnax did receive the letter, and we did end up with representation on the panel to select the chief. Everything that I have done I have always advocated. I spoke up numerous times at city hall not for me but advocating for us. We need someone at city hall who is going to work for all. Someone that is going to get the job done. Sometimes you can’t just vote with your colleagues. If the vote is wrong, it is wrong. And no time should we support any campaign manager serving on the redistricting committee. We have to look at ethics. We have to look transparent. I have proven myself that I can get it done and get projects done for us at District 5.”
Torres is a human resource consultant.
“I am a working-class mom and small business owner,” she said. “I am also a former business professor. And almost 12 years in Dallas, I feel a duty to fight for the bold change that working families deserve. I believe that after my work of 25 years helping people startup and expand their businesses that there would be more equity and justice. But that isn’t the reality anymore. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It’s time for change for ethics and accountability in government. For safe streets to walk, to sleep without gunshots. It’s time for good paying jobs and businesses that build our community. It’s time to end cycles of poverty. It’s time to give all our kids change and hope for a decent life when they study and work hard and make good decisions. That is the duty of all of us.”
“About 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King came to Dallas. And there was this emerging wealthy and powerful group. Dallas hasn’t changed because it keeps electing candidates back by those same wealthy and powerful to keep the status quo. The decisions made by those who are elected will impact our community for up to 40 years. Once those contracts are signed there is no going back. We need to protect our community and prevent gentrification. It is time to stop doing the same thing and expect the same results. It is time for change and time for ethics and accountability. We need to give Dallas the equity it deserves. To have a representative for District 5 that will aggressively pursue the opportunities that it needs in housing and economic development.”
Perkins is a local pastor.
“I am a pastor of Abundant Grace Church here in the Southeast Dallas area,” Perkins said. “I also work with a nonprofit agency that serves youth that are homeless. I have worked here with the nonprofit since 2005. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our church has moved forward and hit the ground running with grassroots efforts called P3. Perkins Pushing out Poverty. We served over 6.6 million in food and over 20,000 bottles of water here in the Southeast Dallas area for citizens since the COVID and the freeze that we had a few weeks ago. I am running for city council to make changes in our community and to bring economic development and public safety which we lack here in the Southeast Dallas area.”
“Me as an individual, I have served this community by starting with the pandemic and even before the pandemic. When you see decisions that go through your mind to get food and see people who desire help because they are hurting because they have been impacted one way or the other and we were able to meet that need. We were able to give them some tangible things that they could take back to their families and meet them where they are. They need someone that is willing to listen to them for their concerns and utilize the resources that we have here in the city of Dallas. And use those resources and make sure those resources get to Southeast Dallas. We need someone who is passionate and cares for the individual and not someone who just starts working when it’s campaign time. This is a 24/7 job. You have to meet people where they are and meet their needs with your resources.”
Each candidate also participated in a question-and-answer session during the forum. To view the entire forum including the question-and-answer session for the March 15 forum, visit: dallasexaminer.com or The Dallas Examiner facebook page at https://www.facebook/thedallasexaminer.
The next Monday Night Politics: Meet the Candidates forum is scheduled for March 29 at 6 p.m. Visit https://www.dallasexaminer.com to register to attend and participate in the candidate Q&A.
Reminder: Early voting for the elections starts April 19 and election day is May 1. The last day to register to vote is April 1.