Monday, November 23, 2015

Not another Uptown! West Dallas Gentrification must embrace local cultures.

The 2015 Dallas ISD Bond Program started badly.  It exposed that leaders in Dallas wanted to eliminate all schools from any areas east of Hampton Road in West Dallas.  That change moved schools over 2 miles more distant from homes in the Los Altos and La Bajada Communities.  The land would have been less valuable for families.  Was the real goal to help developers secure land closest to current the Trinity River less expensively?

Fortunately those plans have been stopped!

Families in these two communities east of Hampton Road are now asking for their current schools, Carr and DeZavala, to be upgraded to Pk-8 schools as they work on alternatives to an Edison Middle School just 200 feet downwind from a cement plant. Such a move would improve student achievement due to improvements available in Pk-8 schools.

It would also keep students away from Edison Middle School, a constantly low performing middle school now becoming the neighbor to an up-wind cement processing plant.  These plans are presenting new problems for Edison and all of West Dallas.
West Dallas Gentrification Process 2015
The gentrification goals in West Dallas must be inclusive ones, not like Dallas Uptown where families were pushed out.  With significant improvement in the quality of the schools the students of West Dallas attend these same students will be able to much more often become the gentry right where they grew up!

Such a change in gentrification patterns is already happening in areas of Oak Cliff.  It was addressed this past March by the Dallas Observer, .

The new gentrification must embrace and build from the cultures and history in place, not erase them again as has happened too often in Dallas History.  The messages from history must be embraced, not erased as in the culturally sterile development of Uptown.