Some city council districts so rarely make the news, I wonder what their representatives get up to all day. Some, like Oak Lawn’s District 14 are top-heavy with an unending train of development-related decisions and brouhahas. But my old District 13 has had more than its share. It’s flooded, lost electricity for days, been gassed by Atmos and most recently blown away by tornados – and on top of that faced several large, always-contentious zoning cases (The Laurel apartments, Preston Center parking garage, skybridge, Highland House, PD-15 and St. Michael’s to name a few).
At the center of this has been Dallas City Council member Jennifer Gates and her team.
Love her or hate her, you can’t fault her communication skills. I lived in her district during most of the disasters and zoning cases (another form of disaster), but I’d decamped by the time the tornados hit. When I was a resident for those earlier issues, her communication was the background hum of those events. Meeting notices, resource listings, progress updates, etc. filled email boxes with regularity.
However, it was after the tornados hit (after I’d moved), that I realized the amount of work her office performed to keep track of the myriad of moving parts required to keep her constituents informed. Being afar and unaffected, I saw the effort in a new light.